Middle School “Live Period” Sponsored by Black BBall Hall of Fame

The Philadelphia Black Basketball Hall of Fame is sponsoring the first annual Middle School Showcase at Fidonce Basketball Development on Friday, December 29, 2017. The Tournament is designed to facilitate exposure to high quality academic high schools for Philadelphia-area Middle School students.

Admissions staff and basketball coaches from Catholic, Independent, Charter, Magnet and select Public Schools will be invited. Parents of participating students will have an opportunity to interact with high school representatives.

To encourage parents to bring relevant academic information, admission is 50% off if a player’s report card is presented. We want the parents and coaches to approach the event as a Middle School “Live Period.”

The Black Basketball Hall of Fame encourages and supports basketball centered activities that further academic advancement.

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For further information, please contact:

Delgreco Wilson

blackcager@gmail.com

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Richard Granberry: An Update on the Claude Gross Scholarship Recipient

In April, the representatives of the Black Basketball Hall of Fame, Lionel Simmons, Geoffrey Arnold, Bruiser Flint, Mo Howard and Delgreco Wilson awarded the first Claude Gross Memorial Scholarship to Richard Granberry. The Claude Gross Scholarship is provided to Philadelphia area student-athletes attending a historically black college or university (HBCU). Upon graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School, Gross was offered scholarships by North Carolina A&T and Winston-Salem Universities.

He was unable to attend primarily because he had to work and help contribute financially to his family household. One of the finest scholastic basketball players on the east coast, Gross never attended college.

The Black Basketball Hall of Fame provides the Claude Gross Scholarship to help ensure that financial considerations do not prevent young student-athletes from attending college.

In his first semester since receiving the Scholarship, Granberry had a current term GPA of 3.56. His cumulative GPA is 3.46. On the court, Granberry leads the Virginia State Trojans in scoring at 12.3 ppg.

25289292_1645205638833730_3625522460602425222_nThe Black Basketball Hall of Fame is extremely proud of Richard Granberry.

Keep grinding young man!

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Richard Granberry Dunks for Virginia State University

 

 

Philly Basketball Beefs: Notes From an OG

In exactly one month I will be 53 years old. My son will be 35 in January. My grandson will be 1 in January.

When the high school guys call me OG, I truly appreciate it… I feel that I’ve earned that designation… After all, I truly love and respect my OGs like the late Claude Gross pictured below… Every interaction and every move I make in the basketball community, I make knowing that he is watching me… I literally hear his voice giving me instructions… He’s never steered me wrong…

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Delgreco Wilson & the late Claude Gross

In 1992, I began to work with freshman basketball players Mark Bass and Reggie Townsend at St. Joseph’s University. Since then, I have worked with young men and women every year helping them transition from high school to college. I have been blessed to encounter hundreds of young people on their basketball journeys.

Some, like Bass, have become dear friends. That’s my Lil’ Bro… I attended his wedding. His wife is like my sister. His Mom is my buddy. His sons are my nephews. Not a week has gone by since 1992, that I haven’t talked to Bass.

Guys like Rashid Bey (SJU), Terrell Myers (SJU), Eddie Griffin (Seton Hall), Jameer Nelson (SJU), Delonte West (SJU), Jamal Nichols (SJU), Mark Tyndale (Temple), Dionte Christmas (Temple), Samme Givens (Drexel), Scott Rodgers (Drexel), Devon White (La Salle), Traci Carter (La Salle), Dion Waiters (Syracuse), Rick Jackson (Syracuse), Scoop Jardine (Syracuse), Trayvon Reed (Texas Southern), Dimencio Vaughn (Rider), Anthony Durham (Rider) and hundreds of others have all listened to the same spiel.

All are friends… Once they are no longer students, we become equals…

Until then, I try to maintain an adult/child distinction while they are students… It helps me when I ask them about their academic progress or when I try to redirect them from negative social behaviors they are exhibiting… College coaches know that I will try to reinforce the positive messages they are sending to the kids once they are on college campuses.

Parents like Ursula Tilghman (Austin Tilghman), Chandra Minnis (Biggie Minnis), Constance Cotton (Matt Cotton), Anthony Durham (Ant Durham), Dwayne Welch (Elijah Kiah-El) and Charles Brown (Charlie Brown) trust me with their child. These kids spend hours in my office and in my home… I am treated like an extended family member, I get report cards… I get test scores… I get question after question about the recruitment and eligibility processes…

I value these relationships…

The thought of publicly engaging in a “basketball beef” is anathema to me! Straight dumb, incomprehensible “nigga-shit”… Not gonna be able to do it…

I spent years developing a platform whereby I am able to reach thousands of parents, AAU coaches, HS coaches, college coaches and players.

Why would I use it to tear down another Black man? Huh? This what that would look like…

 

I’m NOT going back and forth arguing, calling names with a Black man for public consumption and entertainment!

We got WAY BIGGER fish to fry…

We have super elite HS athletes in prison right now… Two very serious NBA prospects have had to deal with allegations of sexual assault… A college senior finishing a wonderful career was shot in the leg in South Philly… An incoming freshman was shot multiple times in the torso before he could go off to college on a scholarship… Less than 1/3 of Black boys are graduating from Philadelphia and Camden public schools in 4 years… I could go on and on…

There is a void in leadership within the basketball community. Guys like Sonny Hill, Tee Parham, Ray Scott and Fred Douglas are in their 80s… They’ve put in half a century… It time for guys in their 40s and 50s to assume the reigns!

So what are we doing? How are we behaving?

So what are some of the contemporary “elders” doing? What the current so-called “leaders” doing? What are the “ol’ heads” of today up to?

Some go on Facebook and become social media “gangstas”… “Keyboard tough-guys”… Some go around “trashing” other Black men… Some smear other Black men… Some slander the businesses of other Black men…

NUT SHIT!

Black basketball guys in his mid to late 40s are calling a guy in his early 50s a “sucka” on social media? Really… Really? Shit is corny…

Why not “jive turkey”?

Basketball Beef? WTF?

Miss me with the “Nigga Shit”!

I ain’t done anything to harm anyone in the basketball community… EVER!

I’m not about to start… This summer, I’ll have my grandson with me checking out games…

You and your homie can play internet “gangstas” and social media “tough guys” all by yourselves…

Real tough guys… Some of my friends and family members that have done 5, 10 or more years and prison constantly tell me to ignore the HATERS… It’s good advice…

See you at the games! And… y’all ain’t gonna do shit but make another facebook post…

Hate is like a disease… I don’t make fun of cancer patients… I don’t taunt people with HIV…

I hope they find a cure… Same with hate… I hope you are cured!

Donta Scott: Point Guard

Donta Scott: Point Guard

Donta Scott stands about 6’8″ and weighs approximately 220 pounds. For the past two years, he’s been an important part of Imhotep’s frontcourt. As a freshman, he started every game and rebounded relentlessly while playing aggressive defense. Last year was more of the same, although he stepped out on the perimeter more frequently.

Tonight Imhotep opened their 2017-2018 campaign. Their starting point guard is Donta Scott. With coaches from Temple, La Salle and St. Joseph’s watching intently, Scott was the primary ballhandler for the Panthers.

He walked the ball up… He pushed the ball up… If he rebounded, he turned and he was gone… If one of his teammates rebounded, they immediately looked for Scott…

Jamie Ross’ Frankford squad was disciplined and well coached. They competed hard and never “lifted their skirt.” There were plenty of hard fouls as Frankford implemented their version of the “no layup” rule.

Nonetheless, over time it became obvious that Imhotep was simply too big, too strong, too skilled, too athletic and too good.

It’s really difficult to evaluate either team… The game was too lopsided…

But it is interesting to note… Donta Scott is the starting point guard for Imhotep. He plays at the top of a 1, 2, 2 full court press on defense. He defends the opposing point guard. He handles the ball every possession for Imhotep.

Will this experiment last? Will it payoff with another Public League Championship? Will they win another State title?

How does it affect discussions about the “best” Philly point guards?

All these things crossed my mind as I watched him lead HIS team. Fatts is tearing it up in Rhode Island and Beatty is down in Columbia, South Carolina. People wondered… “Who’s gonna play point for Imhotep?”

That question has been emphatically answered… Mr. Scott, time is yours…

 

 

Sam Sessoms Leads Shipley over Neumann-Goretti

“Don’t ever disrespect me… Man!”
“Me and Antwan Butler are the best two point guards in the city… Don’t ever disrespect us by comparing us to junior point guards… They’re not ready!”

Sam Sessoms, December 9, 2017

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Shipley Senior Point Guard, Sam Sessoms

A year ago, I sat courtside and witnessed a magisterial point guard performance… I saw a young man do what he wanted, how he wanted, when he wanted against a Philadelphia Catholic League powerhouse… He was unstoppable…

At the conclusion of that game, trying to capture the essence of a dominant 44 point performance… I spent a few moments thinking about different ways to describe what I had witnessed… Now, I’m a capable scribe… I know how to use thesaurus.com… But, after about 3-4 minutes I just decided to write what I truly felt at the time…

So I typed the following: “Collin Gillespie is a BAD MUTHAFUCKA!”

After all my years of study… undergraduate and graduate degrees… That was the very best I could do.

I was proud of myself! It really conveyed what I was trying to get across… People understood… It resonated…

Tonight… I find myself in the same position… So… I must emphatically state that…

Sam Sessoms is a BAD MUTHAFUCKA!

He singlehandedly willed his Shipley squad to a victory over mighty Neumann-Goretti in one of the marquee matchups of the five game set organized by Jeremy Treatman.

The Play-By-Play Classic Carroll Tip Off featured some of the finest players on the east coast. Tyree Pickron, Andrew Funk, Ryan Young, Justin Paz, Marcus Littles, Dahmir Montague, Will McNair, Donelle Holley and AJ Hoggard all played on the same court tonight. It was truly a glorious gathering of scholastic stars.

But one shined brighter than all the rest.

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This ain’t AAU…

This past summer he played an important facilitator role while paired with two top 20 National recruits (Cam Reddish, Duke commit and Louis King, Oregon commit). With Shipley, Sessoms is asked to bring and aggressively utilize all of his tools… And, he has a full set…

Tonight… He was deep in his bag!

Sam Sessoms dominated this game against Neumann-Goretti. Scored 37 points and assisted on five (5) other baskets. But more than the stats, it was the way he did it. He refused to let Shipley lose. Neumann-Goretti defenders, especially, the uber athletic Chris Ings, were able to bother him from time to time. Nonetheless, Sessoms imposed his will on the game start to finish.

He helped his teammates play better. He offered encouragement and stern redirection when necessary. Whenever he sensed Neumann-Goretti gaining confidence he went for the kill. Pull up jumpers… Crossovers, spin moves, in and outs… Whatever was needed to create space, he utilized…

Well on his way to 2,000+ career points and headed to Binghamton after prom and graduation, he appears intent on forging a legacy that will stand the test of time.

For those that are admirers of “Philly guards”, I encourage you to make a few trips out to the Main Line to catch Shipley in person this season. You really won’t be disappointed, because…

Sam Sessoms is a BAD MUTHAFUCKA!

Speedy vs Bobby: The Legend and the Rookie

Speedy Morris is a Philadelphia basketball coaching legend. He began his head-coaching career at Roman Catholic HS. His teams were dominant. Speedy went 347-82 from 1967-1981. After that, he manned the sidelines at Penn Charter, going 41-14 from 1982-84. Then in a surprising move, he took over the La Salle University women’s team. Of course, he won… going 43-17 from 1984-86.

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Speedy Morris and La Salle great Lionel Simmons

Morris was ultimately given the reigns of the La Salle men’s team and went 238-203 from 1986-2001. Under Morris, the Explorers reached the postseason six times, including four NCAA appearances. His best La Salle team featured national player of the year Lionel Simmons and finished 30-2. They ended the year, ranked No. 12 in the nation.  In 2002, he took over at St. Joe’s Prep, where he is 321-109.

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Speedy Morris following his 300th win at SJ Prep

Morris has won eight Catholic League titles (6 at Roman, 2 at the Prep). He also won an Inter-Ac championship at Penn Charter. Morris has been inducted into the Pennsylvania State Hall of Fame, the La Salle University Hall of Athletes, the Big 5 Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. He is the winningest coach in Catholic League history.

Bobby Jordan is my friend. Bobby Jordan is NOT a coaching legend. A true Philly hoophead, Jordan was a point guard at Roman Catholic before playing for Bruiser Flint at Drexel. Immediately after his playing career was over, Jordan joined the staff at his alma mater. He worked in administrative capacities before being named an assistant coach.

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Girard College Coach, Bob Jordan

When Flint was let go at Drexel, Jordan was named Athletic Director at Girard College. He hired veteran coach Clyde Jones who immediately led Girard College to the PIAA Class A state championship game. A successful first year, by any reasonable measure. Jones, however, resigned abruptly after the season ended.

Jordan leaned on his Roman Catholic connections to lure Philly Legend Donnie Carr away from Hartford University. Carr was named Head Coach and the Cavaliers looked to be perfectly situated to build upon the successful foundation laid by Clyde Jones.

Then John Giannini threw a monkey wrench into Jordan’s carefully laid plans. La Salle University offered Carr an Assistant Coaching position at his alma mater… His dream job! Jordan and everyone else in the Philadelphia basketball community were ecstatic for Carr.

But… Jordan, the Athletic Director was forced to identify a third Head Coach for the Girard College program in a little over a year. Despite their success, the program was in need of stability. Bobby Jordan the Athletic Director decided to hire Bobby Jordan to coach the team.

That’s how my friend found himself in his first game as a Head Coach facing the legendary Speedy Morris. Oh yeah… This game is also a battle for Girard Avenue bragging rights. If you throw a stone over the wall from the Girard College campus it will likely hit a car in the St. Joe’s Prep parking lot.

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Welcome to the head coaching ranks Bob! It was a great game… Tightly contested throughout… The headliners lived up to their billings… Mikal Jones and Daquan Copeland led a valiant effort by Girard. Big Ed Croswell bumped and banged his way to 22 points to lead St. Jospeh’s Prep. In the end, it came down to the final play…

The game was tied 56-56 with 10 seconds to go and then this happened…

 

With that… the legend knocked off the rookie! Speedy, for now is King of Girard Avenue!

However, I like my youngin Bob’s performance. His team was prepared… His team NEVER backed down…

Stay tuned… Girard College is in good hands!