At 6’6” tall, former Celtic M.L. Carr towered over the podium in the Charles and Nevart Talanian Cultural Hall of Holy Trinity Church, as the gathered crowd enthusiastically greeted him with a signature move that he himself made famous, the waving of their white napkins and towels in the air and calling out “M.L.!, M.L.!!, M.L.!!! He laughed and said, “That’s what I want you to do the day I enter the Gates of Heaven!” M.L. Carr was known for being the Celtics player who waved his white towel in the air to cheer on his teammates and rise up the support of the crowds.
On Sunday, April 30, in the second of a series of events celebrating books, courage and legends, Holy Trinity Church was pleased to have M.L. Carr share his life’s inspiring story and message for all.
M.L. Carr is a two time NBA Champion, having won with the Boston Celtics in 1981, and 1984. On Sunday, April 30, he showed another side of himself, in an environment far different than the parquet floor of the old Boston Garden, this skilled basketball champion demonstrated his eloquence as an orator. Sharing from his life and career, Mr. Carr took the gathered crowd back to his early days in the small town in North Carolina, where he grew up. “I come from a town that has two famous champions and I remind the other younger champion that I was the first whenever I speak with him,” jokingly said Mr. Carr, referring to the great Michael Jordan. “Growing up with very limited means, I came from a loving and supportive family. A family of hardworking people, with many ministers throughout the generations.”
M.L. Carr is an engaging public speaker who has the unique ability to hold the attention of all ages through stories and life lessons. Particularly engaging were his many stories revolving around the work ethic of the Boston Celtics. “A man named Red Auerbach instilled a complete team first approach throughout his years leading the Celtics.” Using the imagery of St. Paul’s One Body, Many Parts, Mr. Carr went on to describe that “no one player, no one person, can accomplish what a team can. The hand cannot see, and the feet cannot hear, but the body works better when everything is in sync and harmoniously working as one. Everyone, and every part of the body is important. If everyone does their job, the body works well. It was like that for the Celtics, and it is like that for the church, everyone has a role to play”. He went on to tell of how he was mentored in life, and now mentors others, and how he was encouraged in life, and now encourages others from all walks of life. “I was the worst player on my high school team, but one of my mentors took an interest in me and my life changed for the better.”
“M.L. Carr is not only a two-time Celtics Champion, he is a Hall of Fame Speaker,” stated Holy Trinity’s pastor, Fr. Vasken Kouzouian. “His understanding of the everyday issues that people and families face is remarkable. Through his personable nature, M.L. put us all at ease the moment he entered our church, and from there it was as if we had known each other for years. His talk, inspired and motivated. His presence, was powerful, but his words were most unforgettable.”
Before anyone realized the passing of time, the engaging former Celtic spoke candidly about his life’s experiences and lessons learned for one hour, and graciously answered every question asked of him. Offering his time to sign photos, and books, Mr. Carr left the gathered crowd with this message, “We don’t make excuses, we make it happen. No excuses, no complaining will get you to your goal. Go out and reach your goal.”