Former Lakers athletic trainer to deliver division commencement keynote

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Los Angeles Lakers Head Athletic Trainer Gary Vitti to deliver the keynote speech at this year’s division commencement ceremony. 

BY YASMINE PEZESHKPOUR MCM ’16
March 8, 2019

About Gary Vitti:

During his 32-year tenure with the Lakers, the team won 14 division titles, 12 conference titles and eight NBA Championships. Vitti has worked alongside such notables as Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson. Prior to working with the Lakers, he trained tennis greats John McEnroe, Billie Jean King and Chris Evert. He is also known for his philanthropic endeavors, including his work with the Miami Project for Paralysis and the National Kidney Foundation as well as providing countless scholarships to athletic training students.

Vitti will be the keynote speaker for the division commencement ceremony, taking place on Friday, May 10 at 9 a.m. at Alumni Park.

What he hopes the graduates take away from his keynote:

“Without giving it away, I hope to convey a few gems or life lessons I’ve learned from working with some of the greatest champions in the world.”

Three people who have inspired him the most:

“Jerry West, Pat Riley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”

What he wishes he knew when he was graduating:

“The secret to happiness.”

Why he was invited to deliver Commencement address:

“Gary Vitti has decades of experience as the former athletic trainer with the Lakers. Athletic trainers and physical therapists work together as a team in the treatment of athletes, and we thought his perspective on this professional collaboration would be essential,” Associate Dean James Gordon says.

Click here for more information on the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy 2019 Commencement Ceremony.