With basketball legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving as the keynote speaker, the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy (PBLA) raised $200,000 during its Jan. 26 gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Denver. More than 400 guests attended the sold-out event, which was attended by many Regis community members. PBLA’s executive director, Lonnie Porter, welcomed guests to the gala and NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups, who joined the Academy’s mission in 2006, introduced Dr. J.

Three PBLA alumni spoke at the event, including Monique Gonzales, who graduates from Regis in May with a Doctorate of Pharmacy.

Dr. J was one of the dominant basketball players in the NBA during the 1970s and ’80s, winning three championships and four Most Valuable Player awards, most notably with the Philadelphia 76ers. He was an innovator who changed the way the game was played, popularizing giant leaps and playing above the rim. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

Photo caption (left to right): Chauncey Billups, Staci Porter-Bentley, Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Lonnie Porter.