Guest speaker Lanard Copeland is known as one of the best basketball imports to ever play in the National Basketball League (NBL). After a two-year career in North America's National Basketball Association (NBA), Copeland joined the NBL.
He found his stability in Australia, where he won a pair championships with the Melbourne Tigers. As one of the NBL's highest-profile athletes, Copeland won fans across the country for his friendly personality off the court and his aggressive, powerful play on the court. Lanard revolutionised Australian basketball's aerial game with his high-flying dunking and amazing jumping ability.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Lanard loved the game of basketball from a young age. After not making the cut for his high school basketball team, he was told to quit the sport and focus on other pursuits. Lanard didn't quit, though; through determination and perseverance he trained harder than ever.
Two years later, his hard work paid off when Georgia State University offered him a scholarship to play basketball. He went on to play for the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA, as well as for teams in Europe and Asia before arriving in Australia.
Lanard has won fans in the community for his no-quit attitude and his dedication to being a leader in furthering the skills of Australia's young, successful basketball players. Currently, Lanard is a co-director of the Australian Basketball Development Institute, a program which prepares young players for the road ahead.
Lanard has also used his international experiences and his basketball wisdom to help players win college scholarships to play in the United States.
Lanard’s compelling story is one of conquest and hard work. He never quit, training as hard as he could to take himself to the next level. Giving up was never an option.
His example of determination, excellence and a willingness to foster the basketball community are just a few of the reasons why Lanard is a leader in Australia's basketball world and an engaging, dynamic keynote speaker.