Sign the Damn Transfer Papers!

Stink-Stink is 15 years old… All his life, he has done just enough to get by… He NEVER does homework… He NEVER truly studies…

As a result, he has a 1.5 Grade Point Average at the end of his sophomore year at SouthWest Philly High. SW Philly HS is a traditional neighborhood school. Most of the kids live in the community immediately surrounding the school. The 4-year graduation rate at SW Philly HS is 47%… The 4-year graduation rate for Black males is 26%…

Stink-Stink is a Black male…

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While he never really took basketball seriously, he was always gifted. He could flat out score. Whether it was playing late night money games with the Ol’ Heads from the projects or unlimited summer league games ’round the way… Stink-Stink got buckets!

As a 9th grader, he averaged 17 ppg and he didn’t even really understand the plays. His relationship with his coach was strained because Stink-Stink was frequently absent from or late getting to school. It was a constant struggle to get him to submit class assignments on time. Never disrespectful to teachers or administrators, Stink-Stink just didn’t take school seriously…

That summer, a scout from Philly Funk, the Converse sponsored AAU program, approached Stink-Stink and got him to play with their 16U team. Flying for the first time in his life, Stink-Stink played in Chicago, Memphis, Houston and Las Vegas over the summer… He was truly grateful… Stink-Stink had never stayed in a hotel before those trips…

Highly motivated… He showed his ass!

Dunk, New York

Going against the top rated guards in the country, he repeatedly scored 25 or more in big games… More than the point totals, it was the way he did it… NASTY!! No screens… No back doors… Off the dribble, crossovers, in and outs, floaters, step-backs, to the left, to the right…

Stink-Stink BUSSED dey ass!!

His self-esteem and confidence was through the roof…

When he returned to SW Philly HS, he was unstoppable… He took basketball very seriously now… He got to school early and put up 200 jumpers… He lifted weights… He watched film… He was learning his craft…

He tore the Pub up… As a sophomore he averaged 24 ppg… He had three games of 40 or more…

One of his Philly Funk coaches, Big Earl, got an assistant coaching job at Uptown Charter School…

Uptown Charter has won 6 State Championships over the past 8 years… They have sent 24 kids to D1 programs over that span…

Big Earl explained to Stink-Stink’s Grandmom that SW Philly HS hasn’t had any kids go D1 in basketball in 15 years… Big Earl explained that the avg. SAT score at SW Philly HS is 680… He told Grandmom that Stink-Stink would have to score at least 900 IF he was able to raise his GPA from 1.5 to 2.3 in order to accept a scholarship… The average score at Uptown Charter is 860…

Big Earl showed his Grandmom that St. Joseph’s is $55,000 per year and $220,000 over 4-years… Drexel is $70,000 per year and $280,000 over 4-years…

Big Earl suggested that Grandmom transfer Stink-Stink from SW Philly to Uptown…

Grandmom told Big Earl to go to Graterford and talk to Stink-Stink’s Dad about it… Big Earl made the trip… Done deal…

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When Grandmom submitted the transfer papers, the SW Philly coach refused to sign off… Fuck is wrong this dude?

The Guidance Counselor grilled Grandmom… “Are you doing this for athletic reasons?”

Grandmom said, “I’m doing what’s best for my grandson…”

“But is it for athletic reasons? I’m worried about SW Philly’s program… I’m tired of the big Charters taking their best players.”

Grandmom replied, “With all due respect sweetheart, I don’t give a FUCK about the SW Philly program… I’m worried about my grandson… His Mom is strung out doing who knows what, who knows where and his Dad is locked up… I’m trying to put him in position to get a scholarship… His GPA is 1.5 here… He needs a fresh start at Uptown Charter!”

The Guidance Counselor signed the papers…

As she should!

Stink-Stink gonna go D1…

Jones Resigns from Girard College & Surfaces at Chichester HS

Chichester, Pennsylvania – May 25, 2017 – Chichester High School has named Clyde Jones Head Boys Basketball coach. Jones resigned as Head Coach of Girard College on May 8, 2017.

In his only year leading the Girard College program, Jones led the program to an appearance in the State Championship game. This was Jones’ third appearance in the State Finals. He led Penn Wood to two State Championship appearances, winning one.

One of the most respected scholastic coaches in the region, Jones returns to the Del Val league where he vied for supremacy with Larry Yarbray’s Chester program for many years.

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Black Cager Sports looks forward to covering Jones return to Delaware County basketball.

 

Teaneck’s Pierre Sow Commits to Hampton University!

Pierre Sow (pictured below) is an unassuming, quiet and highly intelligent young man. A strong student, Sow has very good grades and an outstanding SAT score. He also happens to stand about 7’0″ tall and is fast becoming a very good basketball player. A key member of the 2 time State Champion Teaneck (NJ) High School Highwaymen basketball program, Sow has worked his way to a Division 1 scholarship. On the morning of April 7, 2017 he committed to play for Coach Edward Joyner, Jr and the Hampton University Pirates. IMG_1876

Sow just began playing organized basketball a couple of years ago and has really progressed while playing for Teaneck’s fine coach Jerome Smart. However, Division 1 colleges in New Jersey paid little attention to Sow. They missed out on kid with a chance to be a good college player. Sow’s former HS Assistant Coach, Roland Whitley firmly believed in Sow’s ability to compete at the Division 1 level.

“The kid has all the tools… He’s long, he has good timing and he’s very agile. He lacked strength and experience. But, I knew he was a Division 1 player”, said Whitley. “More than anything else, I just needed more people to see him play. So I asked Black Cager Scouting Service to come and check him out two years ago. Delgreco Wilson (below left) came up and agreed that Pierre was a D1 prospect.”

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Wilson noted, “I saw a kid that was raw with a huge upside. The immediate goal was get him in the gym against other good big guys in the off season. I reached out to several Philadelphia area AAU/Grassroots programs. Only Philly Pride invited Pierre to come work out. He didn’t end up playing with them for the summer because the travel was too much, but he made it to several workouts and made some important contacts.”

Philly Pride directors Nette Bennett and Amauro Austin are proud Hampton University alums. Austin reached out to Hampton and strongly encouraged them to offer Sow a scholarship. He had been considering prep school.

“Those guys at Black Cager Scouting really helped me through this thing,” said Whitley. “I played at North Carolina State under Jim Valvano but things are much different these days. I really leaned on them to help me guide the family. We are extremely happy with Hampton University.”

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According to Wilson, “academically, Pierre is the type of kid that usually ends up in the Ivy or Patriot League. Hampton is a perfect fit for him because he has the intellectual tools to really take advantage of Hampton’s academic programs. The University President, Dr. William R. Harvey (above right) made Sow’s mother (above center) feel welcome and assured them that he would take care of their son. There is no substitute for the intimacy and familiarity one finds on HBCU campuses. Jaekwon Carlye is a Philly Pride kid completing his freshman year at Hampton and he loves it there. I know Pierre made the right choice.”

 

 

Ryan vs. Reading: Up, Up and Away!

It’s levels to this shit…

I just watched a wonderful PIAA “Final Four” contest between Archbishop Ryan, out of Philadelphia, and Reading High School.

Mannnn listen… Reading is thirsty!

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Reading has a long proud tradition of competing for PIAA State Championships and coming up short… Many of the people wearing the red shirts, hoodies, jackets and hats with Big R emblems watched Stu Jackson (pictured above) lead Reading High to a State Championship game in 1973. Even more, watched Donyell Marshall (pictured below) emerge as an All-American in 1991.

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But neither won it all… No State Championships!

Reading has won more than 2,000 basketball games. They have more victories than any other high school in Pennsylvania. Chester High is next with around 1,850.

The Knights also own a record 19 District 3 championships; they won their first in 1929 and added three more in the past decade.

Long dominant at the local level, Reading has 20 Berks championships despite not joining the league until 1979. The Knights won the league title in each of its first six seasons and has claimed two-thirds of the trophies ever since, going 62-12 in league playoff games.

Reading ain’t new to this…

The Knights played their first basketball game in 1901, less than a 10 years after Dr. James Naismith hung peach baskets in the Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA.

PIAA State Championship are long desired and highly valued in Reading… State’s is the pinnacle in Reading… Young Philly ballers still strive for Catholic and Public League Championships… The State’s are an afterthought…

Philly is new to this…

Ryan, along with the rest of the Philadelphia Catholic League, joined the PIAA for the 2008-2009 season.

Reading is 0 for 116 in PA State Championships… Ryan is 0 for 9…

Many Philly fans were amazed that 90% of 6,000 or so in Liacouris Center were hardcore Reading supporters. Quite a few openly wondered where were the 9,000+ that crammed into the Palestra a few weeks ago?

“What the fuck?”

“Why doesn’t Philly support teams chasing State Titles like Reading?”

State Championship just don’t matter that much to Philly hoop heads. Thus, Philadelphians have no way of understanding the heavy load Lonnie Walker is carrying… He is shouldering the hopes and dreams of all 98,653 Reading residents… After 116 years of playing basketball, they have real shot at winning their first State Championship.

Conversely, Philly is spoiled! Imhotep, Neumann-Goretti, Constitution, Girard College and Archbishop Wood are ALL playing for State Championships… Philly is gonna probably win at least half of the 6 State Titles on the Boys side… It’s what we do…

Reading has NEVER won one…

The team and the town came to the Liacouras Center with HIGH EXPECTATIONS!

Ryan has a very good squad… They have 2 D1 players, a rock solid D2 player and a few really good youngsters. They were ready to do battle early…

Izaiah Brockington came out demonstrated why NJIT gave him a scholarship to play basketball. Early on, first quarter and a half, he was the best player on the court. He was aggressive and highly focused. Reading had no answer as Ryan jumped out to a big early lead on the back of Brockington. He went left… He went right… He went over them… He went under them… He was unstoppable… Ryan had a double figure lead in the first half.

Then it happened…

Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird… It’s a plane…

It’s Superman!

Yes, it’s Superman, strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands. And who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way… And now another exciting episode…

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Photo Credit: Derek Campbell

I didn’t see a phone booth… I don’t know where it happened, but one of the Reading players transformed into FUCKIN’ Superman! Real Shit! In the blink of an eye…

Lonnie Walker became the biggest player on the court…
Lonnie Walker became the fastest player on the court…
Lonnie Walker became the most skilled player on the court…
Lonnie Walker became the most explosive player on the court…
Lonnie Walker became the best shooter on the court…
Lonnie Walker became the best defender on the court…

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Photo Credit: Derek Campbell

The 5,500 or so Reading fans willed him into action… On the break, he jumped so high and dunked so hard it looked like one of JJ’s paintings on Good Times… He seemed to defy gravitational pull… He jumped and soared and floated and eventually came down when he felt like returning to earth… Only after depositing the ball with tremendous force through the rim…

He pulled up from 25 feet… Splash!!

He spun, pump faked and dropped a sweet ol’ skool finger roll… Ryan decided they were tired of him scoring so they would foul hard when he attacked the rim…

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Photo Credit: Derek Campbell

…And ONE!!

Just in case Ryan thought they were going to make some halftime adjustments, he jumped on their asses to start the second half… Look… Up in the sky…

Like I said, Ryan has a good Catholic League team. Brockington and Matiss Kulackovskis are solid D1 recruits… Fred Taylor is a high level D2 rim protector…

If someone could have given them a big ASS bag of Kryptonite they might have had a chance…

After final buzzer sounded, Clark Kent sprinted to kiss his beloved grandmother seated at the end of the court… He personally thanked each and every cheerleader… The electronic and print media tried to grab his attention, but he made them wait as he rushed to join the procession and respectfully shake hands with his vanquished opponents…

Class Act!

I hope Superman ends Reading’s State Championship drought this weekend!

One hundred and sixteen years is a loooooong time…

When the Philly teams win, they’ll get nice pats on the back… When Reading wins, they become folk heroes for generations to come… But first, a parade!

It’s levels to this shit!!