PHOENIX (AP) — Jerry Colangelo has been an owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA. He’s been an owner of indoor soccer and football teams, was executive director of USA Basketball and has been chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame since 2009.
In recent years, the successful businessman has become involved with Grand Canyon University, first by building the business school that now bears his name, then by guiding the basketball program into Division I.
For his contributions to the school and beyond, the school has created the Jerry Colangelo Museum, a celebration of his successful and charitable life. The museum opened this week inside the school’s on-campus basketball practice facility.
“Jerry has meant so much to the city of Phoenix, the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and where is that legacy going to be remembered?” Grand Canyon President Brian Mueller said. “He sold the Suns, he sold the Diamondbacks and he’s already made a huge impact here. For us to have museum here, right in the front of campus, right next to the arena, we believe is going to interest a lot of people.”
Colangelo first became involved with Grand Canyon by agreeing to Mueller’s request to join the board of directors of the small Christian school. He later lent his name to the Colangelo College of Business, helped the school hire former Suns player Dan Majerle to coach the basketball team and oversaw the Antelopes’ four-year rise to Division I basketball.
The schools’ values were a perfect fit for Colangelo, a proud Christian with a long history of good works in the community.
“When people say they want to build a museum in your honor, it’s a little daunting and you wonder how that might come about, what it would look like and how it would feel,” Colangelo said. “The GCU people have done such a tremendous job of piecing my history together in a chronological way, it’s going to tell a story…