His athletic heroism showed his selflessness. His life showed his servanthood.

Funeral Service Information

Attending the Service

Funeral services for Willis Reed, Jr. are set for 11 a.m. Saturday, April 1 inside the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on the campus of Grambling State University.


The service will follow a strict no photo, video, or livestreaming policy. Attendees are asked to make sure before the proceedings begin that their cellular devices are set on silent. Those devices should not be displayed during the proceedings. Noisemakers and weapons of any kind are also prohibited.

Paying Tribute

At the family's request, in lieu of flowers or gifts, that donations be made here to benefit the Department of Athletics.

Those preferring to give by check can make the check payable to the Grambling University Foundation with Willis Reed Memorial Fund in the memo line and mailed to: P.O. Box 587, Grambling, LA 71245

Media Access

Media seeking to attend the funeral service must be credentialed through the Grambling State University Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing using the request form linked here

About Willis Reed, Jr.

Born on June 25, 1942, in Hico, Louisiana, Willis Reed earned a basketball scholarship to Grambling College (now Grambling State University) in 1960. 

While at GSU, he dazzled fans and dominated the court, closing his collegiate career with 2,280 career points and leading the Tigers to a NAIA National Championship in 1961. 

During his illustrious professional career, Reed won two NBA Championships, earned two NBA Finals MVP awards, was named the NBA’s MVP in 1970, was a seven-time NBA All-Star, earned one NBA All-Star game MVP award, and was a five-time All-NBA selection. 

Reed also earned one NBA All-Defensive Team recognition and was selected to the NBA's 50th and 75th Anniversary Team.

His No. 19 jersey was also retired by the New York Knicks.

Upon his retirement from the NBA in 1974, Reed embarked on a coaching and administrative career beginning in 1977 when he became the head coach of the Knicks. His leadership and influence benefitted other organizations including the St. John’s University men’s team (1980-81)  and the Creighton University men’s basketball program (1981-85). 

Upon joining the New Jersey Nets as head coach in 1988, he was hired as the general manager and vice president of basketball operations a year later, a position he held until 1996 when he was promoted to senior vice president of basketball operations. During his tenure, he helped craft New Jersey into a title contender.  

Reed was honored by Grambling State in 2022 when he became the first basketball player in school history to have their jersey retired. The court inside the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center was also named in his honor.