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!

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