Utah Jazz’s Kyle Korver replaces Sen. Bob Kerrey as speaker at Creighton University

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kyle Korver of the Utah Jazz speaks with the media following their season-ending game at the team practice facility on Thursday, April 25. 2019.

Omaha, Neb. • A former Creighton University basketball star will replace former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey as the university’s commencement speaker later this month.

Creighton's president, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, announced Thursday that Kyle Korver will speak at both May 18 ceremonies scheduled by the Jesuit college in Omaha.

Kerrey decided last month not to address graduates and their families, saying he didn't want his support for abortion rights to be a distraction. The state Republican Party's executive director, Ryan Hamilton, had said Creighton should find a different speaker and "take a stand for their pro-life values." Kerrey, also a former Nebraska governor, says he supports Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Korver has played for several National Basketball Association teams, finishing the past season with the Utah Jazz. He graduated from Creighton in 2003.