the Baller’s Almanac: September 1, 2012

Four years ago today, Thurl Bailey delivered the Invocation at the Republican National Convention. The former NC State star has dedicated his life to public service since his retirement from professional basketball.  His awards are numerous including NBA's Kennedy Community Award, the Utah Association for Gifted Children's Community Service Award, Sigma Gamma Chi fraternity's Exemplary Manhood Award, and the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America's American Champion Award.

He has six children, and is a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The convention was held in Minnesota, where Bailey has ties due to his three years with the Timberwolves.

Two years ago today Richie Farmer announced that he was running for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. Farmer, who's jersey is retired at the University of Kentucky, had been the Commissioner of Agriculture in Kentucky for two terms. His run for a bigger office was derailed by multiple improprieties.

It's Buzz Williams' 40th birthday, born today in Greenville, Texas. Williams, one of the rare coaches who didn't play college basketball, was an assistant for fourteen years at six different schools. He finally got a shot at being the head coach at the University of New Orleans. However, he only stayed there for one season before accepting an assistant position on Tom Crean's staff at Marquette. And when Crean was hired to take over Indiana, Williams received the promotion. He's now entering his fifth season as head coach.

Williams has guided the Golden Eagles to NCAA Tournament appearances in all four of his seasons, and they've reached the Sweet-16 in each of the past two.

Williams received his bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from Oklahoma City University, and his master's from Texas A&M-Kingsville. He received both degrees while he held position on the basketball staffs.

Other birthdays include: Jim Seminoff 1922 (USC), Saul Mariaschin 1924 (Harvard), Guy Rodgers 1935 (Temple), Dallas Thornton 1946 (Kentucky Weslyan), Vinnie Johnson 1956 (Baylor), Joe Cooper 1957 (Howard, Tulsa, Colorado), Hutch Jones 1959 (Vanderbilt), Jeff Cross 1961 (Maine), Tim Hardaway 1966 (UTEP), Cuttino Mobley 1975 (Rhode Island), Ryan Gomes 1982 (Providence), and Miles Plumlee 1988 (Duke)