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Lee Park renamed to honor Moses Malone, other Petersburg legends

Posted at 4:04 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 17:45:51-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- City leaders have renamed Lee Memorial Park in Petersburg.

The park's new name is Petersburg Legends Historical Park, according to Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham.

The idea for the new name was to honor basketball legends who honed their skills at the Petersburg park.

"Moses Malone, Mark West, Frank Mason, Quinton Spain," Mayor Parham said.

Moses Malone
Moses Malone is shown relaxing on the locker room steps of his former high school Feb. 20, 1974 Petersburg,Va. Malone has been offered a lucrative contract by the Utah Stars. The 6-foot -11 former Petersburg High School basketball star plans at attend the University of Maryland this fall as a freshman. (AP Photo)

The move to change the park's name came amid a nationwide movement to rename buildings and places that were named after Confederate figures.

Petersburg was an epicenter of Civil War battles and home to Petersburg National Battlefield.

Moses Malone, a NBA Hall of Fame inductee and three-time Most Valuable Player, was a star athlete at Petersburg High School from 1970 - 1974. He led the Crimson Wave to two state titles.

"Moses has always called Petersburg home and he would often visit and he had a special affection for Petersburg High School and many of the classmates that graduated in the Class of 1974," friend and classmate Wayne Crocker said.

The 12-time NBA All-Star played for nine teams over his 21-year career, most notably for the Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers, which he led to a championship in 1983.

Julius Erving, Moses Malone
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 31, 1983 file photo, Philadelphia 76ers Julius Erving, left, and Moses Malone, right, hold the NBA Championship trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles. Malone, a three-time NBA MVP and one of basketball’s most ferocious rebounders, died Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, according to a The Philadelphia 76ers statement. He was 60. (AP Photo/File)

Malone died in 2015 at the age of 60.