NCAA Basketball Academy Camps – Instructors and Rosters

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Regional Sites

EAST REGIONAL
University of Connecticut
Storrs, Connecticut
Instructors:
Pete Gillen, former head coach at Virginia, Providence and Xavier
Mitch Buonaguro, former head coach at Siena and Fairfield
SOUTH REGIONAL
University of Houston
Houston, Texas
Instructors:
Ben Braun, former head coach at Rice, Cal, and Eastern Michigan
Matt Howard, player development instructor
MIDWEST REGIONAL
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, Illinois
Instructors:
Melvin Watkins, former head coach at Missouri, Texas A&M and UNC-Charlotte
Jerry Dunn, former head coach at Tuskegee and Penn State; former assistant coach at Michigan and West Virginia
WEST REGIONAL
Grand Canyon University
Phoenix, Arizona
Instructors:
John Moore, current head coach at Westmont College
Steve Spencer, current head coach at Orange Coast College; former assistant coach at UCLA

PYB Awards Zane Major Scholarships

By Eric Dixon
July 12, 2019
Zane C. Major, Sr., a former St. Joe’s great and pillar of the
community, showed many what could be done when passion meets purpose.
His love of basketball and photography along with a profound
understanding of the importance of  “paying it forward” and leading
the youth came together to help Major have a positive impact on the
youth in two needy communities, in Philadelphia and Reading.
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Zane Major, Saint Joseph’s University

His legacy of nurturing and guiding young people will be honored for
years to come through the Zane C. Major, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund
presented by the Philadelphia Youth Basketball organization. The
scholarships, four college scholarships and 2 paid high school
internships, were introduced to an audience of about 3 dozen
youngsters and staff attending the PYB basketball camp at St. Joseph’s
University’s Hagan Arena.
Cindy Major, sister of the honoree and his “first model”, shared her
perspective on Major’s early years behind a camera and on the court.
“He always had his camera ready to take a photo of family and
flowers.” His basketball games at Roman Catholic High School and St.
Joe’s were family events that were rarely missed.
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Cindy Major

She said his involvement with mentoring youngsters began with his days
running the Sonny Hill basketball clinic. This involvement would span
decades and impact many children and young adults. He wanted to help
them find their passion whether it was on the court or behind the
lens. Those in attendance appreciated the effect of his contribution
on Monday.
One such attendee was Laila, a bright 11 year old from Reading, and
her grandmother, Christine Tenney of Delaware. “I love the sport,”
gushed Tenney, a “dominant player” during her time at Reading High
School in the late 1970’s, as she explained why she was excited about
transporting her grand-daughter the hour or so drive from her former
hometown to the Hagan this week. “(Players) learn how to collaborate,
and the value of teamwork and respect” while playing basketball, added
the former coach.
These are ideals Major sought to instill in his teammates as a player
at St. Joes from 1975-79. Although he as a double figure scorer and
would end his illustrious career as a Hawk as a member of the
program’s 1000 point club, it was a his leadership, character and
passion that are the cornerstones of his legacy.
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Mo Howard

Mo Howard, a long time friend of Major also spoke encouraging the kids
to appreciate the memories they make as they play and grow in the
game. “Those memories will come together and become experiences and it
is those experiences that will help shape who you become,” he told the
young players seated on the Hagan Arena main floor.
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Crystal Golmore-Harris and PYB’s Zane Major Scholars

Crystal Gilmore-Harris, Major’s long time girlfriend and “soul mate”
also addressed the campers. She explained that he was “passionate
about everything he did.” According to Gilmore-Harris, he was only
able to help the youth in Reading for 3 years before his untimely
passing this past January, but in that short time he was able to help
many of the young people in the community.

Beyond Basketball: The Social Context of Lewis Lloyd’s Career

Sports are much more than just games and matches… This especially true of the relationship between basketball and the city of Philadelphia. Youth, high school, collegiate and professional basketball are social phenomena in the City of Brotherly Love. For thousands of people, they are an important part of the individual, external, social constructions that influence our lives and development. Moreover, this relationship is constantly evolving as we age. In short, basketball in Philly has a meaning that goes far beyond box scores, standings and championships.

Basketball is intricately related to the social and political contexts in which many Philadelphians, especially Black males, live. Basketball provides stories and images that many use to explain and evaluate these contexts, the events in our lives, and our connections to the world around us.

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Mr. and Mrs. Tee Parham

For example, the playing careers of John Chaney, Tee Parham and the late Claude Gross inform those willing to probe rigidly enforced Aparteheid-like racism/white supremacy and segregation in Philadelphia throughout the late 1940’s, 1950’s and early 1960’s. One reads/hears about their magnificent exploits in cramped gyms across the city and wonders how they would have actually fared if given an opportunity to compete in what we now refer to as the Big 5. Alas, it was not to be… For one reason and one reason alone they were denied access to the Palestra playing floor. They had melanin in their skin and, thus, it was of a darker hue. That fact forbade their participation. In this way, basketball can help explain and evaluate the proliferation of racism/white supremacy in Philadelphia and across the entire United States of America during that period.

By the mid-late 1970s and the 1980’s two issues were vying for center stage in most policy debates surrounding urban centers in America. One, adequately educating Black American public school students and two, the decimation of millions of Black families through the scourge of drug addiction.

Just as an analysis of the playing careers of Chaney, Parham and Gross informs and explains the racism/white supremacy of their era… An analysis of the illustrious playing career of the recently deceased Lewis Lloyd forces us to confront the monumental shortcomings of urban public education and address the ongoing problem of chemical dependence within the Black community.

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Claude Gross, Philadelphia!

Lloyd came to the fore during one of the most competitive eras in the history of scholastic basketball in Philadelphia. His career overlapped that of one of the greatest schoolboy basketball players of the past half century, West Philadelphia’s Gene Banks. Banks was the Golden Boy… He was the great player that also did everything the right way. Banks crosses all of his t’s and dotted all of his i’s. He named HS All-American three times. He was named to the very first McDonald’s All-American game and was the MVP of the contest. Banks also played in the prestigious Dapper Dan Classic and won MVP honors in that game. He was the consensus number one High School player in America and, fittingly, accepted a scholarship to Duke University where he was named ACC Rookie of the Year and ultimately became an All-ACC and All-American collegiate player.

Everybody knew exactly who Gene Banks was in 1977… Even a skinny 7th grade student at Thomas Studevan Middle School in Darby Township. Basketball was a religion in Darby Township and Banks was a prodigy. In 1977, Darby Township put together an undefeated regular season only to lose to eventual state champion Elk Lake in the Final Four of the PIAA playoffs. Alton McCollough (6’8 Center) was a junior and he teamed with Billy Johnson (6’7” PF) and Mike Gale (6’5” SF) to provide DTHS with a frontline that trounced every opponent Delaware County had to offer. These were my basketball heroes. I saw them everyday, I lived down the street or around the corner from them. They were accessible to me. Banks was on a totally different level. Even at 12, I was voracious consumer of sports journalism. I read the Delaware County Daily Times and the Philadelphia Daily News sports sections every single day.

As a result, I was intimately aware of the exploits of Gene Banks and the legendary Speedboys…

Lewis Lloyd’s exploits, however, escaped me as child. I pretty sure I heard the name, but it most certainly wasn’t revered like that of Gene Banks.

Unlike Banks, who easily acclimated himself to the rigorous academic environment at highly selective Duke University in the Fall of 1977, Lloyd traveled a far more treacherous academic path. His career almost ended before it even began because of academics.

Late in the public league playoffs of 1977, following yet another majestic performance where Lloyd dropped 37 points (14-19 fgs) and grabbed 17 rebounds in a win over Southern, Daily News sportswriter Ted Silary wrote:

“Despite all his talent, Lloyd’s climb up the basketball ladder of success will be tough at best. Though a senior eligibility-wise he still carries a 10th grade course load.”

Wait… What?

The great “Black Magic” was playing basketball in the Public League as a senior, he was in his 4th year of high school and he was a sophomore academically. Yup… This is problem that has persisted for far too long and impacted the life chances of far too many talented young Black men. Fast forward 31 years, Jared Denard was the Associated Press, Class A Pennsylvania Player of the year in 2008. He was first team All-State, All-City and All-Public. Like Lloyd, three decades earlier he also a sophomore academically at the conclusion of his scholastic playing career.

The ability of guys like Lewis Lloyd and Jared Denard persevere and flourish despite the odds stacked against them serves as a guidepost for younger player experiencing academic struggles. Their struggle and subsequent academic success must be celebrated. Too often we seek to hide the academic pain and suffering while only celebrating the athletic accomplishment.

Fuck that! Lewis Lloyd had to do it from the muscle… He had to dig himself out of the dirt and I truly admire him for that.

While Gene Banks played in the Final Four as a freshman, Lloyd toiled away at New Mexico Military Academy. While Gene Banks captured bright lights in the finest basketball conference in America, Lloyd was playing in little, cramped and suffocating JUCO gyms for 2 years.

But, to his credit, he never lost focus and worked diligently on both his game and his academics. By 1979, Lloyd was in a position to accept a scholarship to play for Drake University in the Missouri Valley Conference.

They had no idea what was about to come…

Clearly, Lloyd had some unresolved issues on the court. He had a BOULDER on his shoulder! As a result, he punished opponents. He was relentless on both ends of the court as he led the nation in scoring and rebounding. He quickly assumed the throne vacated by Larry Bird as unquestioned best player in the MVC. Lloyd was the man… He was a two-time All-American and two-time MVC Player of the Year. His number 30 will never be worn by another Drake University player.

Back in Darby Township… As a high school sophomore in 1981, I read about Lloyd. But this was before ESPN, before social media, before youtube. I knew he was from Philly. I knew he was from Overbrook. I knew he was “Black Magic” but I had never really watched him play. I just knew he was in “the league.”

Lloyd would spend two nondescript seasons in Golden State. During his rookie year, he appeared in just 16 games and averaged a mere 5.9 mins in those appearances. He managed to squeeze out 3.6 ppg in these limited minutes. His second season saw Lloyd emerge as key member of the rotation. He played in a total of 73 games, with 24 starts, and his minutes tripled to 18.5. His production also jumped as he averaged 9.4 ppg.

Then came the breakthrough… At the age of 24, Black Magic was traded to the Houston Rockets…

Awwwww Shit!

For the first time he was entrenched as an NBA starter. Lloyd appeared in all 82 games for the Rockets that year with 82 starts. He logged 31.4 mpg and put up 17.8 ppg while shooting 52% from the field.

LLOYD

L-R Kevin McHale, Larry Bird and Lewis Lloyd

Ohhhhh… So that’s Lew Lloyd… It all began to make sense to the kid from Darby Township. By 1986, Lloyd was one of the leaders of a strong Rockets squad that knocked off the mighty Lakers to reach the NBA finals where the faced the Boston Celtics.

The playoffs that year were a total immersion into the game of Black Magic. He would dunk on Kareem, guard Magic, post up Byron Scott all while looking like he was going about 3/4 speed! How did he do it? It looked so effortless…

Once they knocked off the Lakers, you had to root HARD for Lloyd and the Rockets. But Kevin McHale and Larry Bird were some Bad Muthafuckin white boys… McHale averaged 25.8 ppg and 8.5 rpg while Bird (Finals MVP) damn near averaged a triple double 24 ppg, 9.7 rpg and 9.5 apg. They were just too much for the Rockets.

Fuck the Celtics!

But at 21, I was able to fully appreciate the subtle, smooth greatness of Lewis Lloyd on the court. I found myself trying to will in his floaters over the outstretched arms of Robert Parish. I wanted him to BUST Danny Ainge’s ass! I tried to mentally close the rim when Bird and Ainge launched those picture perfect jumpers… To no avail… Swiiiiiish! Damn near every time… FUCK!

Pass the blunt… Lew will be back! So I thought…

Later that year, Lloyd and teammate Mitchell Wiggins tested positive for cocaine and were suspended from the NBA for 2 1/2 seasons. Like with his academic difficulties, many Lloyd fans feel a need to try to obscure this aspect of Lloyd’s career. It’s an understandable urge. But doing so prevents us from placing his career in it’s proper historical context. Lloyd, Wiggins and others like Michael Ray Richardson were caught up a wave of cocaine that flooded the Black community.

By 1986, crack cocaine and all the mayhem that came with it were ravaging Black communities all across America. Cities like Philadelphia and Houston were hit especially hard. In Philly, the Junior Black Mafia (JBM) was aggressively seizing control of cocaine distribution throughout the city utilizing a classic American strategy of brute force. “Get down or lay down” was the last thing any ”independent” drug dealer wanted to hear in the mid 1980s. You either had new business partners or you made reservations for a dirt nap.

As a college sophomore, trying to explore city nightlife for the first time, I saw grown men just hand over the keys to their EXPENSIVE cars out of fear. It was not unusual to see a guy one evening and hear about his death the next day. Guns, crack, violence, prostitution and dysfunction came together to form stew of misery that flooded Black communities, destroyed families and ended the playing careers of some fantastic NBA players.

Cocaine abuse, like opioid abuse today, represented a health crisis.

But Lloyd, Wiggins and tens of thousands of other Blacks with cocaine addictions were not treated like opioid “patients” are today. The focus was not on treatment as it is the predominantly white opioid addict population of today. They were not considered ill men in need of medical attention, they were “addicts,” if not “criminals” that needed to be isolated and ostracized.

While suspended, Black Magic played for the Cedar Rapid Silver Bullets in the CBA where he averaged 18.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg during the 1988-89 season.

Lloyd was finally reinstated in September 1989. He would never regain the form he had shown as a starter for the Rockets. Houston released him and he played two games with his hometown 76ers before retiring from professional basketball.

Every once in a while I would venture into the city to catch a summer league game and there he was… Still going strong… Giving the youngins hell… Same floaters… Same eurosteps… A little slower but still extremely effective…

Over the last couple of years, I actually got to know Lloyd a little bit… About five years ago, while watching an AAU tournament at Philly U, I was seated right next to Lloyd. We chatted and he told me his son was playing. He was always extremely gracious. If you didn’t know he was a college All-American and high profile NBA player, there was nothing about the way he carried himself that would tip you off. He was just Lew Lloyd from Philly.

Indeed, that day a good friend of mine who happened to be an NBA agent at the time asked, “who is that”? I became irate, “you don’t know who that is and you’re an NBA agent from Philly… Shame on you!” But he didn’t know…

Indeed, far too many didn’t know.

In attempt to pay proper homage to his illustrious playing career, the Philadelphia Black Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Lloyd in his first year of eligibility. The committee was excited and eager to embrace Lloyd… But he was away seeking treatment when the induction ceremony was held. I got to speak to him over the phone and he was proud and anxious to receive his award recognizing his enshrinement.

Since he returned to Philly, every once in a while we would cross paths and he would remind me that I still had HIS award in my possession.

On June 8, 2019, I took a picture of Lloyd’s Hall of Fame Award and posted it on his facebook page. I wrote “I have something that belongs to you in the caption.”

On July 5, 2019, Lloyd passed away.

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L-R Lloyd, Makhai Hartley, Mo Howard and Gene Banks

I look forward to presenting the award to his family. Like Lew, his brother Daryl (Drake University) and his nephew Sean Lloyd (Southern Illinois) had much success competing in the Missouri Valley Conference. Like Lew, they are both gentlemen of the highest order.

To those that want to hide the obstacles Lloyd had to overcome and ignore the demons he battled to the end, I say you just can’t skim through the music. You have to listen to the whole album.

Despite the challenges he faced… Black Magic played some sweet, sweet music. One of the GREATEST to ever lace ’em up in the history of Philadelphia… Rest in Peace.

 

Bert Cooper and the Golden Age of Darby Township Sports

I’m a few months older than Bert Cooper… We grew up in what is, in effect, “South Southwest” Philadelphia… Darby Township begins where Southwest Philadelphia ends. When 84th Street turns into Hook Road, you have entered Darby Township.

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A small two stop light town of about 3,000 nestled against the SW corner of a city with 1.5 million residents.

Sports was a way of life…  Bert Cooper grew up in the Golden Age of Darby Township sports. All he knew was winning… The town was blessed… He was destined to become one of the greatest boxers in the world. Like so many of my childhood friends, Bert was blessed with God-given athletic talent and gifts. His rise was preordained.

When we were about 10 years old in 1975, Darby Township won a state Championship in basketball. These were different times. There was no travel ball… There was no recruiting… I could stand in front of my house and hit damn near every player’s home with a rock. We knew everyone on the team… We knew their Moms, Dads and all their siblings.

I had just begun to think seriously about sports… Like most boys in Darby Township I was getting into basketball. But for the most part, I was into bikes. Poppin’ wheelies with David “Top Job” Crawford and Donald Barton was my primary preccupation. So was Bert Cooper. We had minibikes. We didn’t follow any of the established safety protocols… We rode on the streets… We rode on the sidewalks… We used to ride through the park at full throttle… No helmet… Shit… My minibike didn’t have working brakes…

Carroll Buter had a dirtbike… Clarence “Poochie” Wilson had a Binelli minibike… I had a “Cat” 3.5HP minibike… Bert and his brothers had dirtbikes, minibikes and motorcycles…

Life was good… Who knew what Bert would become?

Muhammad Ali was the Heavyweight Champion of the world… He had just knocked out the big, bad, invincible George Foreman to regain the belt. His challengers were Ken Norton, Jimmy Young, Ron Lyle, Ernie Shavers and Leon Spinks. These guys were bigger than life itself.

The notion that Bert would challenge for same title held by Ali was incomprehensible…

Little did we know that God had a plan for Lil’ Bert Cooper to enter the pantheon of great heavyweights… And… Bert did it from the muscle… Boxing wasn’t the sport of choice in the Darby Township.

When we were 12, the Darby Township HS basketball team was undefeated until losing in a Final Four game to Bob Stephenson and Elk Lake.

By the time we were 13, Darby Township High had an undefeated football team featuring Cardell Baskerville, Vincent Clark and Gary Gadsen. They were so good, that we believed we were HIGH MAJOR! These guys were so talented and performed so well, we didn’t realize we were the poor, little Black school… Seriously…

All we knew was that there was absolutely nothing you could do once Gadsen handed the rock to Baskerville or Clark. They were going to run through you, over you or around you. Unbelievable how much talent God packed into this tiny tight-knit community. Baskerville and Clark both rushed for over a thousand yard. They both imposed their will on opposing teams with a combination of quickness, speed and power at the point of contact.

Booooom! That first hit is not bringing either of them down… Now what?

As fall faded into winter, the balls started bouncing in the gym. After a season that saw Darby Township’s undefeated campaign thwarted by Elk Lake, Alton McCoullough was ready to lead the Eagles back to Hershey. Mission accomplished…

Just too much… Alton was just too much… With super sophomores Kevin Gale and Derick Loury on the wings, the Eagles trounced the competition and once again played for the state title.

This is what Lil’ Bert Cooper saw when he was 13… Winning… Domination… Little Darby Township held it’s own every time out…Why not him?

Track season came around… What else? State Championship…

The Eagle’s finest sprinter Ward Crump and running back Vincent Clark would be featured in Sports Illustrated a couple months apart from one another.

Darby Township… A Lil’ Louder Now…

By 1980, Kevin Gale is the best basketball player in Delaware County and the Eagles are once again in the State Championship game.

Bert fucked around on the court… But he wasn’t a basketball player… His little brother Jimmy was a magnificent player and his older brothers Monte and Jonah were both good players. But, Burt played basketball like he boxed. Nonetheless, he was usually not far from one of the courts…

When we were around 15 or 16… Bert started bringing boxing gloves to the basketball court. Lex Jones and Robert Bell would “spar” with Bert in the park. Lacking any real boxing skills and possessing an overabundance of heart, these guys used to beat the shit out of one another for hours.

Life was good…

They were just fucking around… Or, so we thought…

Little did we know, a spark was lit in Bert… He found his calling…

Knockin’ dudes out!

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He sought out the great Joe Frazier and embarked upon a pugilistic career would earn him respect across the globe.

It’s the fall 1984, Bert’s been under the tutelage of Frazier for a couple years, we get the call… Bert’s pro debut is in Atlantic City.

What?

Newt waxes the Grand Prix, shines the rims and we’re out…

Spurg, Geoff and about 3 car loads make our way to the AC expressway… Couldn’t be late…

Seriously, you couldn’t be late…

Bert knocked out his opponent in the 1st round in 7 of his first 10 fights… Another one ended with a 2nd knockout and yet another ended in the 3rd.

Of course… we had a ball!

We drank too much… We smoked too much… We ate too much… We’re from Darby Township!

It got to a point where Newt, a lil’ tipsy, challenged Joe Frazier in the hotel room. “I can knock you out,” he said to the former heavyweight champion of the world.

You can’t make this up…

Surrounded by his friends, fresh off a knockout… Bert was smiling ear to ear… He had “FAT” roll with a couple hundred dollar bills surrounding about a thousand ones bulging in pocket.

These were the first steps on a legendary journey… Henry Tillman? Got ‘em… Willie de Wit? Got ‘em…

Eventually in 1989, they put my man from round da’ corner in with Big George Foreman… That one didn’t end too well… Sensing Bert’s out of the ring issues probably impacted his training, Foreman punished the body… He landed several heavy hooks in round 1 that hurt Bert. In round 2, he continued to attack the body and landed a solid right hook that stung Bert. Bert was done for the night, he remained on his stool and did not answer the bell to begin the 3rd round.

A year later, Bert knowked out Orlin Norris… He was back in the mix…

His next fight was a historic 12 round slugfest with Ray Mercer… Both men stood there and traded blow after blow with neither retreating an inch… Mercer won on points… They spend the night with each other in the emergency room…

Bert, just two months later, jumps in the ring with Riddick Bowe… Bad move… Bert was not fully recovered from his war with Mercer. He was knocked out by Bowe in the 2nd round.

Imagine what a healthy Bert Cooper could have accomplished? Imagine if Bert had been able to conquer his demons?

Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World! From Burton Avenue…

After reeling off 4 straight wins, in November 1991 Bert finds himself fighting for the title. He’s agreed to face one of the greatest boxers ever to grace the planet. Evander Holyfield was at his peak.

Bert, from Burton Avenue, was fuckin’ around… You’d see him here… You’d run into him over there… You heard about this… You heard about that…

The demons… Those fuckin’ demons…

But on that night you were there… Glued to the television…

Yeah… Yeah… Yeah… Holyfield is the shit… Yeah I saw the Olympics… Yeah I saw the Qawi fight…

Matter of fact I watched it with Bob Welsh and Brian Bacon… We got fucked up that night… So what?

I liked Bert to knock Holyfield the fuck out!

Seriously… I liked Bert to whoop his ass…

Seriously… I liked Cardell to run over Mean Joe Green…

Seriously… I liked Alton to post up Bob Lanier…

Seriously… I liked Crump to outrun Carl Lewis…

I’m from Township!

Ding!

The bell sounds and “Boom” Holyfield catches him… Bert goes down in round 1…

That’s NOT the plan… Uh Ooooh… Bert won’t stay down though, he gets up and takes the battle to Howlyfield.

Then… It happened… In round 3 Bert caught him and Holyfield is down for the first time in his career.

At that moment… Everyone from Darby Township trying mightily to lift our champion to victory… We were all screaming at the screen… Send telepathic signals through the airwaves… We thought we had it…

Holyfield endured Bert’s onslaught of power shots that very few men could withstand. A true champion he finally recovered and vanquished Bert in round 7.

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Cooper vs Holyfield

As only Darby Township would… We had a fuckin’ parade anyway!

For our champion… Bert Cooper represented lil’ Darby Township on the world stage.

A warrior, a fighter an MAN!

He would continue to fight another 2 decades with varying degrees of success. His fight with Michael Moore has also been elevated to legendary status.

Rest well Champion… You put in a lifetime of work…

I Love Bert Cooper… God Bless the Cooper family.

 

 

A Lil’ Louder Now…

Bill Zeits: Donofrio Preview, Triple Threat vs Hunting Park Markieff

By Bill Zeits

April 15, 2019

Philadelphia, PA: Triple Threat is led by Donta Scott, Hakim Hart, Jamil Riggins and Jameer Nelson Jr. Scott is the do it on both ends of the floor franchise player from Imhotep. Hart is one of the most prolific scorers in the area and is due for a huge game. Riggins has been Triple Threats best offense player in the tournament… He hit 8 treys and grabbed 14 boards in the quarters win..

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Jamil Riggins attacks the basket

Nelson Jr is a super athletic and the point guard… He dunked with different hands on 2 straight possessions in the quarters. The 5th starter is Shipley freshman, Khalil Farmer who had 10 points and a couple huge buckets in the quarters. The only sub I remember is Gettysburg commit, Shane Scott who put up 8 in the quarters

Hunting Park is the team I’ve called “The Pub” throughout the tournament… The Pub is led by 2 Mastery North seniors, Jamir Reed and Lakeem Mcailey and 2 MCS kids Nisine Poplar and Jihad Squid Watson. Reed is a big, physical and tough Philly guard who can score and defend on the other end of the court. McAiley is a lefty who put on a show in the first half in the quarters. He was dominant offensively.

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Lakeem McAliley

 

Poplar is the sophomore who is getting better every game and sky is the limit the next 2 years. Watson is the veteran guard who scored big buckets in the 2nd half as Raw sports tried to rally .Watson either scored the bucket or got the assist to put the game away. The 5th starter is Dahmir Fowlkes. I dont know a lot about Fowlkes other than he showed great energy and the ability to finish on the break. He’s only a sophomore like Poplar. The bench of Hunting Park has been among the best in the tournament. The headliner has been Tyrone Williams. Williams had 13 7 5 in the quarters and was all over the court. The 2 remaining players I remember were Taj Campbell and Aaron Harrison. Both players had 6 points in quarters and showed great energy on both ends of floor.

This should be a good one…

Let’s Talk About Ball in Philly: Black Cager Middle School Classic

This past Saturday and Sunday, Cardinal O’Hara hosted the third leg of the Black Cager Middle School Classic. The 4 month grassroots circuit features teams from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Locally, we had Gratz legend Jarett Kearse’s Philly Blue Magic in action. After three stops, Philly Blue Magic is undefeated at 10-0. Blue Magic will be the number #1 seed when the playoffs get underway two weeks. The reigning Baltimore Catholic League Champion, St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, MD) will host the the playoff and Championship Games.

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Jarett Kearse and Philly Blue Magic

There were three other Philadelphia area entrants for this session. Team Claude Gross featured sixth grader Olin Chamberlain, Jr. Chamberlain is the nephew of both Wilt Chamberlain and the legendary Claude Gross. A long athletic point guard, Chamberlain has a tight handle, excellent vision and range out to the 3 point line. He will contribute immediately at the varsity level in three years.

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Team Claude Gross

The Philly Mavericks played 4 competitive games. Haneef Hall is a big man with soft hands and a nice shooting stroke. Charles Cook is an athlete wing with very good change of pace moves. Dame Collins (below) does an excellent job with this program.

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Dame Collins, Philly Mavericks

James Nelson Stewart put together the Suburban All-Stars. They had a very good little guard. That team also has a lot of length. High School coaches at private and Catholic schools should contact James.

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James Nelson Stewart and Bonner Assistant Joe McGinn

Each team played four games against teams like Maryland Sting, Team Melo, Crusader Nation, Thrill Black, Team Dedication and Virginia Lightning.

The Philly teams paid between $0 and $300 to participate.

The games were held at Cardinal O’Hara High School, in Springfield, PA. The Cardinal O’Hara gymnasium features two full regulation length courts and two electronic scoreboards.

United Brothers Basketball Organization provided the referees. Six referees worked 4 games each. Referees were paid between $20.00 – $30.00 per game.

Donta Scott (Imhotep CHS) managed the games. He worked 1 pm – 7pm on Saturday and 12pm – 6pm Sunday. Donta managed the games, worked the clock, kept the scorebook and supervised a 13 year old boy that manned the other table. That boy was paid $10.00 per game. Donta made between $200-$250. Jalen Hudson (Ridley HS) and an assistant worked the entrance table. They were paid between $200-$250.

We need additional workers for upcoming events. Must be willing to learn and love youth basketball.

AAU/Grassroots teams can play in gyms similar to O’Hara in Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware for $200-$300, with a 4 game guarantee. We want additional teams from the Philadelphia region.

Black Cager Sports provides media coverage to participating teams.

Refereeing is locked up. Philadelphia-based United Brothers Basketball Organization (U.B.B.O.) provides referees for Black Cager Sport youth basketball events.

 

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U.B.B.O. Referee T. Younger

Coaches from O’Hara, Friends Central, Bonner, Roman Catholic, McDevitt, Springside-Chestnut Hill and a few other Delaware and Maryland power house programs were scouting players and meeting parents.

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Springside-Chestnut Hill Coach Hartwell McFadden

Black Cager Sports is seeking 12U, 13U and 14U teams for additional competitive events. Those interested in working AAU/Grassroots events are encouraged to submit their resume to blackcager@gmail.com.

We look forward to hearing from interested parties.

 

A Hawk is a Hawk… Right?

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Actually… I am not friends with Lange. I do know and respect his wife from working at St. Joseph’s. I met her when she worked as an academic advisor for student-athletes at SJU… I was tutoring several players…

Arguably Lange is qualified.

His hiring would be perceived as a slap in the face by some that have supported and believed in the “Hawk Tradition” in the Philadelphia community.

Philly College Basketball fans in their 40’s and 50’s grew up on the Hawk. Even the Black guys. Since Blunt wants to have the “race” discussion…

We know about Ramsay, Lynam, McKinney, Boyle, Griffin, Martelli… These are Hawks…

We also know about Clark, Warrick, Costner, McFarlan, Williams, Martin, Arnold and Flint… These are Hawks…

For the younger set it was O’Connor, Bey, Bass, Myers, Davis, Crenshaw, West and Nelson… These are Hawks…

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The Hawk

A Hawk is a Hawk… Right?

Generally speaking, throughout Hawk basketball history, the “best” available Hawk has been given an opportunity to lead St. Joseph’s Basketball into battle.

This is how the position has been filled…

Flint, Baggett, Arnold, Bass and Nelson are Hawks. In varying ways, they are at least, as qualified as Lynam, Boyle, Griffin at the same points in their coaching careers.

Currently, the Men’s Head Coach position at St. Joseph’s is OPEN.

This job, almost always, has gone to the most qualified Hawk.

Jameer Nelson is also qualified.

Hardaway in Memphis, Mullin at St. John’s, McKie at Temple, Ewing at Georgetown are the appropriate comparisons for the Nelson candidacy.

More importantly…

Nelson, more than any other Hawk in my lifetime, has brought honor and glory to Saint Joseph’s. I was there… I saw firsthand…

Saint Joseph’s was at legitimate top 10-15 program for Jameer’s last 2 seasons and peaked with run to the top.

While at St. Joseph’s, Jameer Nelson was the finest player in College Basketball… The very best… I was there…

He has been an exemplary citizen.

Nearly 10,000 points and 4,508 assists in the NBA.

Graduated from Saint Joseph’s!

Committed his son to St. Joseph’s!

The St. Joseph’s University Men’s Basketball Coach position is open. This job has always gone to Hawks, with Phil Martelli being the notable exception. Phil did run point for St. Joseph’s Prep and Phil had been a ten year assistant. Notably, Bass has twice that and he’s a Hawk. Geoff has at least the same amount of experience and he’s a Hawk.

As an aside… I think the Hawk basketball community should include Terrell Myers in discussions about positioning the the “strategic asset”.

His AAU program has won the National 17U Championship on the Under Armour Circuit 3 out of the last 5 years. Over the past few years, players from his program have committed to Duke, Miami, Maryland, UNLV, Villanova and Providence… He is a Hawk… I was there with Terrell as well…

Something is amiss…

Everything that the “Hawk” stands for says that Nelson, Flint, Arnold or Baggett will be announced at the next head coach.

The job is open and they are Hawks…

Just like Ramsay, Lynam, McKinney, Boyle, Griffin, Martelli…

Would you ask Ramsay, Lynam, McKinney, Boyle or Griffin to work FOR Billy Lange at SAINT JOSEPH’S?

John Becker? Dane Fife? Billy Lange?

Huh?

The Hawk is on the clock…