The Philadelphia Public League put together its all-league team, which features some of the city’s best high school basketball players. The coaches have selected a first, second and third team in each division along with honorable mention.
They also selected Most Valuable Players in each division. The coaches picked an overall MVP as well. Maurice Watson was the league’s MVP overall. Watson led Boys’ Latin to the league championship game. He scored 2,265 career points. He recently passed basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain as the league’s second leading scorer.
Savon Goodman was the MVP for Division A. Goodman led Constitution High to the league championship two weeks ago. Tahjere McCall, Engineering and Science standout, was chosen as the MVP of Division B. Shaquille Bowman, Esperanza’s big man, was selected MVP in Division C. Nadir Matthews, Bodine High School for International Affairs, was named MVP in Division D. Matthews led the league in scoring. He averaged 28.8 points a game. Larry Webster, Parkway West’s backcourt ace, received MVP honors in Division E.
There are a number of seniors named to the all-league. However, there are some terrific underclassmen, too.
First team: Savon Goodman, Constitution, 6-foot-7, senior; Maurice Watson, Boys’ Latin, 5-foot-10, senior; Daiquan Walker, Constitution, 6-foot-2, senior; Rysheed Jordan, Vaux, 6-foot-4, junior; Jeremiah Worthem, Math, Civics & Sciences, 6-foot-6, junior.
Second team: Brandon Austin, Imhotep Charter, 6-foot-6, junior; Hakeem Baxter, Philadelphia Electric, 6-foot-2, junior; Khyree Wooten, Imhotep Charter, 6-foot-2, senior; Imire Taylor, Frankford, 5-foot-11, senior; David George, Philadelphia Electric, 6-foot-8, senior.
Third team: Malik Starkes, Math, Civics & Sciences, 6-foot-4, junior; James Cole, Vaux, 6-foot-4, senior; Yahmir Greenlee, Boys’ Latin, 5-foot-9, junior; Jai Williams, Philadelphia Electric, 6-foot-9, junior; Gary Gordon, Bartram, 6-foot-3, senior.
Honorable Mention: Terrell Parker, Communications Tech, senior; Carlos Taylor, Boys’ Latin, senior; Malakiah Hunter, Southern, senior; Louis Myers, Southern, sophomore; Terrieck Williams, Bartram, junior.
First team: Tahjere McCall, Engineering and Science, 6-foot-3, senior; Nijay Kelly, Fels, 6-foot-3, senior; Marquise Richards, Paul Robeson, 5-foot-11, senior; Jahyde Gardiner, Freire Charter, 6-foot-5, junior; Diante Lunsford, University City, 5-foot-9, senior.
Second team: Karon Keene, Strawberry Mansion, 6-foot-4, senior; Michael Bowlers, Lincoln, 6-foot-7, senior; Kendale Truitt, George Washington, 6-foot-3, junior; Fateem Brockington, Delaware Valley, 5-foot-10, senior; Nafece Edwards, George Washington, 6-foot-4, junior.
Third team: Dijon Eggleton, Engineering and Science, 6-foot-2, senior; Dequan Jackson, Dobbins, 6-foot-3, junior; Khayri King, Delaware Valley, 6-foot-3, senior; TJ Scott, Fels, 6-foot-2, senior; Donte Watkins, West Philadelphia, 6-foot-1, senior.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Jiles, Fitzsimons, junior; Troy Steed, Franklin Learning Center, junior; Carlton Wright, Freire Charter, senior; Richard Lemon, Paul Robeson, senior; Desmond Sams, West Philadelphia, senior.
First team: Shaquille Bowman, Esperanza, 6-foot-6, senior; Demetrius Davenport, Palumbo, 6-foot-2, senior; Mike Sturdivant, Masterman, 5-foot-11, junior; Kyle Lafferty, Central, 6-foot-1, junior; Deryl Bagwell, Northeast, 6-foot-1, junior.
Second team: Luis Cirilo, Bracetti, 6-foot-1, senior; Gary Bryant, Masterman, 6-foot-1, junior; Gerald Scott, Martin Luther King, 6-foot, senior; Sharif Saunders, Ben Franklin, 5-foot-9, senior; Tramayne Brooks, Hope Charter, 6-foot-5, senior.
Third team: Quamier Johnson, World Communications, 6-foot, sophomore; William Leak, Martin Luther King, 6-foot-2, junior; Nafis Streeter, Martin Luther King, 6-foot-4, senior; Qaadir Nock, Audenried, 5-foot-10, junior; Yusef Savage, Northeast, 6-foot-4, senior.
Honorable Mention: James Harrison, Overbrook, senior; Khalil Keel, Esperanza, senior; Mike Foster, Mastery North, junior; Juawann Mason, Audenried, senior; Darius Moore, World Communications, sophomore; Shakeem Stevens, Olney, sophomore.
First team: Nadir Matthews, Bodine, 5-foot9, senior; Eugene Lett, Randolph, 5-foot-7, senior; Ikeem Dickerson, Sayre, 6-foot-6, senior; Sean McLean, Bok, 6-foot-3, senior; Stanley Whittaker, Mastbaum, 5-foot-10, junior.
Second team: Samson Akano, Roxborough, 6-foot-2, senior; Hakim Williams, Sayre, 5-foot-10, senior; Jamie Betancourt, Kensington, 6-foot, junior; DJ Alexander, Lamberton, 6-foot, junior; I-Meir Martin, Bok, 6-foot-4, senior.
Third team: Jamier Cross, Carroll, 6-foot, sophomore; Jay Hardy, Swenson, 6-foot-4, senior; Anthony Fagan, Lamberton, 5-foot-11, junior; Jessi Carrasquillo, Edison, 5-foot-7, junior; Ravi Sinanan, Mastbaum, 6-foot-2, junior.
Honorable Mention: Josh Collins, Roxborough, senior; Steve Smith, Franklin Towne, junior; Deontae Richardson, Randolph, junior; Jamir Leach, Mastery South, sophomore; Deonte West, Bok, junior.
First team: Larry Webster, Parkway West, 5-foot-10, senior; Keenon Johnson, New Media, 6-foot-3, senior; Quamir White, Palmer Academy, 6-foot-6, senior; Tobias Stokes, Girard Academic Music Program, 5-foot-9, junior; Harris Griffin, Elverson, 6-foot-2, senior.
Second team: Nadif Bracey, Science Leadership, 6-foot-3, senior; Joe Flynn, Philadelphia Academy, 6-foot, junior; Luis Martinez, Sankofa, 6-foot, sophomore; Shahiyd Tilghman-Bullock, Douglas, 6-foot-2, junior; Donte Winfield, Palmer Academy, 5-foot-11, junior.
Third team: Eric Moody, New Media, 6-foot-1, senior; Sam Kabangai, SL, 6-foot, senior; Mike Lauer, High School for Creative and Performing Arts, 6-foot-1, senior; Malik Burbage, Palmer Academy, 5-foot-11, senior; Two Osis, Elverson, 6-foot-1, junior.
Honorable Mention: Jeff Williford, Girard Academic Music Program, sophomore; Ikeal Johnson, Elverson, junior; Will Madden, Rush, junior; Aaron Ball, PA, senior.
It’s been a special year for Maurice Watson, Boys’ Latin’s outstanding senior guard. It all started when he announced his decision to go to Boston University last summer on a basketball scholarship.
Since then, Watson, a 5-foot-9 standout, has gone over the 2,000-point mark in his career. He currently has 2,157 points. He’s getting close to Wilt Chamberlain’s career high school scoring mark of 2,206 points. Chamberlain is second on the all-time list behind former Strawberry Mansion star Maureece Rice, who finished his career with 2,681 points.
Watson put on quite show earlier this week as Boys’ Latin edged Engineering and Science, 62-59, in an exciting Public League playoff game. Watson had a game-high 30 points. He also handed out six assists.
Boys’ Latin will play Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter on Saturday, February 18 at Ben Franklin High School as a part of a playoff doubleheader at 3 p.m. Watson is heading down the stretch of his scholastic career. He doesn’t want the season to end. This is what he was thinking after the victory over E&S. He thought of his teammates, too.
“I didn’t want this to be my last game,” Watson said. “I’m a senior. I was thinking of my players. I know I didn’t want this to be my last game and neither did they. We’re going to get back in the gym and get ready for Saturday.
“Carlos (Taylor) has been my best friend since eighth grade. Yahmir (Greenlee) is kind of like a little brother. I’ve taken him under my wing. He just amazes me every time. I never have any doubts playing with them.”
Taylor is a 6-foot-4 forward. He plays very well around the basket. He can step out and hit the midrange jumpshot. Greenlee is a 5-foot-7 guard. He’s not much smaller than Watson. But Greenlee showed where he’s pretty explosive. He scored 21 points in the victory over E&S.
Watson will certainly miss Taylor and Greenlee next year when he’s playing for Boston University. These guys are teammates and friends. In addition, Watson will miss his father, Maurice Watson Sr., Boys’ Latin head basketball coach. His dad has been a big part of his success.
“I’ve been playing basketball for 14 years,” Watson said. “All 14 have been with him. I know it’s going to be a sad day when it comes to an end. We’ve been successful together. It’s been our bond and our connection. We’re friends off the court. It’s going to be sad not being able to play for him. ”
Watson knows the season will certainly end at some point. Time will tell whether it’s sooner or later. Right now, Maurice Watson Sr. knows the season is winding down. With the possibility of playing for a Public League championship and a run in the PIAA playoffs, he’s trying to stay focused.
“Every game now is emotional for me because I know I’ll have another year with Yahmir,” his father said. “Carlos has been like a son to me. Then, coaching my own son who I’ve been coaching for 14 years. Every game is emotional. I try to keep my poise. It’s hard. I’m not ready for it to end. We’ve worked so hard. I can’t be more proud of him and the team. As a coach, I’m enjoying the ride.”
It’s a ride that still going strong.
If you watched the Public League championship game, you know why Daiquan Walker, Constitution High’s high scoring guard, is one of the best players in the city. Walker scored 15 points to lead Constitution to the Public League championship. The Generals defeated Boys’ Latin, 85-60, to capture the league crown at Community College of Philadelphia last Saturday afternoon.
Walker put on quite a show with his ballhandling skills, perimeter shooting and explosiveness to the basket. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
“It was a good team effort,” Walker said. “They chose me, but like I said I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. I’m just thankful that we were able to win the championship.”
Walker did a get a lot of help from his teammates. Savon Goodman was very impressive. He had a game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds. Goodman, a 6-foot-7 senior, was terrific inside. Amonie Holloman, a 5-foot-7 shooting guard, had 15 points knocking down several three point shots from the corner. Fajion Jones scored 13 points.
Yahmir Greenlee was the leading scorer for Boys’ Latin. Greenlee had 22 points. Maurice Watson chipped in with 14 points in a losing effort.
In the women’s championship game, Prep Charter defeated Central, 70-34, to win the Public League championship. Kahleah Copper led the Huskies with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Prep Charter has won back-to-back league titles. Copper was named the women’s MVP.
Herb Douglas recently celebrated his birthday. This just wasn’t any birthday party. He became 90 years old on March 9, 2012. Douglas had a big bash in his hometown of Pittsburgh at the Senator John Heinz History Center. He had a number of sports legends at this party. Douglas said Joe Cosgrove, chairman of Pentec Health, and Randy LeTang, president, Wellbridge Capital, sponsored the event.
Douglas, who resides in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia, has become the oldest African-American Olympic medalist. In 1948, he won a bronze medal at the Olympics in London. That’s where the Olympics will be held this summer.
Douglas has been quite a pioneer throughout his life. In 1942, he teamed with William Morton, Clarence Doak and Howard Mitchell to make Xavier University (New Orleans, La.) the first HBCU (historically Black college and university) to win a relay at the Penn Relays. The team captured the 440-yard relay in 41.7 seconds.
After two years, he left and came home to help his father, who was blind and had a parking garage business. Right after World II in 1945, he went back to college. He decided to attend to the University of Pittsburgh. He played football and set a school record in the long jump (24-4.88) which lasted 23 years.
Douglas joined Schieffelin & Company (now Moet/Hennessy USA) in 1963 where he became the third African-American to reach the level of vice president of a national company.
Temple-Syracuse to headline inaugural Gotham Classic
Two of the top college basketball programs in the country, Temple and Syracuse, will headline the field of the inaugural Gotham Classic, which culminates with the two teams facing each other at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Dec. 22. Temple, the sixth winningest Division I program with 1,790 wins, returns two starters from last year’s team in junior guard Khalif Wyatt (17.1 ppg) and junior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (9.3 ppg).
The Owls, who posted a 24-8 record in a 2011–12 season highlighted by the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season championship and a fifth straight NCAA appearance, also will return fifth-year senior forward Scootie Randall and junior forward Dalton Pepper, both of whom red-shirted last season.
Syracuse, which made its eighth NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2011–12, ranks fifth on the NCAA wins list with 1,844 victories. The regular season Big East champions return three starters from a team that posted a 34-3 record. The Orange lead the all-time series with Temple, 16-13, but the schools have not met on the court since Temple defeated Syracuse, 65-54, in the NIT third place game at Madison Square Garden in 2002.
The format for the inaugural Gotham Classic sees both Temple and Syracuse playing three games on campus beginning Dec. 15 before taking on each other at Madison Square Garden. The other three teams in the event will travel to both Syracuse and Temple before facing each other, with one game at home and the other on the road.
The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia announces 2012 Phoenix Awards winners
Maurice Watson Jr., Boys’ Latin standout and Kahleah Copper, Prep Charter star, have been named winners of the 2012 Phoenix Awards. The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia was established in 2008 by Michael G. Horsey, a local certified public accountant, to recognize the “most outstanding” senior male and female basketball players in the Public League.
The high school playoffs are in full swing in the Public and Catholic Leagues. Maurice Watson from Boys’ Latin and Savon Goodman from Constitution High put on quite a show last weekend. Watson, a 5-foot-9 senior, scored a game-high 41 points to lead Boys’ Latin over Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter, 81-60, to advance to the semifinal round. Watson also surpassed basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain as the No. 2 scorer in Public League history. His career total is 2,228. Chamberlain had 2,206 career points from his playing days at Overbrook. Strawberry Mansion’s Maureece Rice is the all-time leading scorer in the Public League with 2,681 career points.
Goodman was very impressive too, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds as Constitution defeated Math, Civics & Sciences, 72-51 as they move on to the next round.
The Public League semifinals will be played on Tuesday night, February 21 at Southern High School. In the first game, Boys’ Latin will face Communications Tech at 6 p.m. In the second contest, Constitution will battle Bartram at 7:45 p.m.
On Wednesday night, Feb. 22, the Catholic League semifinals will be held at the Palestra at 7 p.m. Neumann–Goretti, defending league champion, will play Roman Catholic. Neumann–Goretti has some great players in Ja’Quan Newton (15.4 ppg) and John Davis (13.2 ppg). Shep Garner is a key player for Roman Catholic. Garner is averaging 16.5 points a game.
In the second game, Archbishop Carroll will face St. Joseph’s Prep at 8:30 p.m. Alec Stavetski (15.5 ppg) and Yosef Yacob are two of Carroll’s top players. Steve Vasturia (22.8 ppg) and Miles Overton (14.9 ppg) are the players to watch for St. Joseph’s Prep.
Shafeeq Coleman, Overbrook High’s first baseman, and Shakore Taylor, Engineering and Science outfielder, played for the Public League baseball team in the Carpenter Cup. Coleman and Taylor are two of the league’s best players. The Public League had a tough 9-3 loss to the Delaware County team. The Carpenter Cup features some of the great high school baseball players from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
NCAA winners circle had Penn Relays look
The recent NCAA championship meet at Drake University had some familiar names who stood out at this year’s Penn Relays. At the top of the list has to be Princeton’s Donn Cabral, chosen the outstanding men’s relay performer at Penn with his anchor victories in the distance medley and 4xmile relays. At the NCAA meet, Cabral won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 8:35.44, after setting a new collegiate record for the event of 8:19.14 at an invitational meet on May 18. He’s among the favorites in the steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Trials, which get underway this week in Eugene, Ore.
Indiana’s Andrew Bayer won the NCAA 1,500 meter, after he had been chased down by Cabral and finished second in the DMR at Franklin Field. And Illinois’ Andrew Riley was a double-winner of the 100 meters and 110 high hurdles at the NCAAs after winning the 110 hurdles at Penn; the Jamaican sprinter also anchored the Illini to fifth place in the Championship of America 4x100 relay at the Relays.
In women’s individual events, Oregon’s English Gardner won the 100 meter after running on several relays at Penn, while Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU won the 200 meters and anchored the Tigers to first place in the 4x100 (with Takeia Pinckney, Semoy Hackett, Rebecca Alexander). At Penn, Duncan anchored LSU to first place in the 4x200 meter relay and to second place in the 4x100.
NCAA 400 champion Ashley Spencer brought Illinois home in fifth place in the 4x400 meter relay at Franklin Field, and NCAA 5,000 champion Abbey D’Agostino anchored Dartmouth’s fourth place 4x1,500 relay team.
Other newly crowned NCAA women champions who ran on relays at Penn were LSU’s Cassandra Tate (400 hurdles) and Ohio State’s Christina Manning (100 hurdles). And Texas A&M’s Natosha Rogers finished in sixth place in the women’s Olympic Development mile at Penn, but won the 10,000-meter event at the NCAA meet.
And two teams improved from Penn to the NCAA when LSU’s men (Barrett Nugent, Aaron Ernest, Keyth Talley, Shermund Allsop, same order at Penn) won the 4x100 relay after placing third in the Championship of America, and Oregon’s women (new members Gardner, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roseler, Phyllis Francis), second-place finishers at Penn, took home gold as collegiate champs.
And finally, after repeating as men’s and women’s long jump victors at the Penn Relays, Marquise Goodwin of Texas and Whitney Gipson of TCU, won those events at the NCAA championship meet.
Phoenix Club of Philadelphia fifth annual awards program
The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia recently presented its annual basketball awards to high school and college basketball standouts from the Philadelphia area. Kahleah Copper (Prep Charter) and Ciara Andrews (Cheltenham) received the Lurline Jones award. Maurice Watson, Jr. (Boys’ Latin) and Amile Jefferson (Friends’ Central) were given the Kenneth Hamilton award. They were the top high school players.
Gloria Brown (University of Texas, El Paso, Neumann-Goretti) was presented with the Marilyn Stephens award, which goes to the best women’s college basketball player. Ramone Moore (Temple) was honored with the Wali Jones award, which is given to the best men’s college basketball player.
This is a big week for high school basketball in the Philadelphia area. The District 12 PIAA semifinals will be held on Tuesday, March 20 and Wednesday, March 21 for five of the city’s best teams. There will be a semifinal doubleheader at Southern High on Tuesday night.
In the first game, Constitution High (21-9) will battle Math, Civics & Sciences (19-9) at 6 p.m. Constitution has been playing great basketball. The Generals walked away with the Public League championship. Savon Goodman and Daiquan Walker are the key players for Constitution. Goodman, a 6-foot-7 senior, averages 27.5 points a game. He’s one of the most explosive players in the city. Walker is also a big time player. He averages 19.3 points a game. The 6-foot-2 senior averages 19.3 points a game. He was named MVP of the league championship game.
MC&S is the defending Class A state championship. Danny Jackson, MC&S head coach, has an impressive team, which features 6-foot-6 forward Jeremiah Worthem and 6-foot-4 guard Malik Starkes. Worthem is the team’s leading scorer. He averages 18.7 points a game. Starkes is capable of putting the ball in the basket. He averages 14.1 points a game.
In the second game, Neumann-Goretti (26-3) will battle Boys’ Latin (25-6). The tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m. Neumann-Goretti won its fourth consecutive Catholic League championship a month ago. The Saints edged St. Joseph’s Prep, 59-57, in an overtime thriller at the Palestra. After that game, N-G defeated Boys’ Latin, 66-57 for the Class AAA city title. A year ago, the Saints won the state championship.
They have some great players such as 6-foot-2 Ja’Quan Newton, 6-foot-4 John Davis and 6-foot-5 Derrick Stewart. Davis and Stewart have given N-G some dominate play around the basket. Newton is an exciting player in the open court. He averages 15.4 points a game. Davis tallies 13.6 points a game.
Maurice Watson, a 5-foot-9 senior, is Boys’ Latin’s leading scorer. Watson is the No. 2 scorer in city history with 2,338 career points. He recently moved past basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list. Watson averages 22.2 points a game. He will be playing his college basketball at Boston University next season. Yahmir Greenlee plays in the backcourt with Watson. Greenlee, a 5-foot-9 standout, averages 13.6 points a game. Up front, Boys’ Latin has 6-foot-4 Carlos Taylor to provide some scoring inside and from the perimeter. Boys’ Latin lost to Constitution for the league title.
On Wednesday, Imhotep Charter will play Holy Cross at Bethlehem Liberty. The game begins at 7 p.m. Imhotep Charter is the defending PIAA Class AA champion. Andre Noble, Imhotep Charter head coach, has two outstanding players in 6-foot-2 senior Khyree Wooten and 6-foot-6 junior Brandon Austin. Wooten leads the team in scoring. He averages 15.6 points a game. Austin averages 10.6 points a game. Both players were solid contributors to last year’s state title team. Imhotep Charter is coming off a big 65-54 win over Bishop McDevitt. Austin had 24 points and 11 rebounds in that contest.
In a couple days, the state championship games should be set for this weekend.
Boys’ Latin vs. Constitution for city title
It doesn’t always happen this way. But it really looks like the two best teams will play for the boys Public League basketball championship on Saturday, February 25. That would be Constitution High School and Boys’ Latin. These two powerhouses will face each other at Community College of Philadelphia, 17th and Spring Garden streets. The tipoff will be at 5:30 p.m.
This league title game will feature two of the city’s best players in Boys’ Latin’s Maurice Watson and Constitution High’s Savon Goodman. Watson and Goodman have been playing at another level throughout the league playoffs.
Watson, a 5-foot-9 senior, has been very impressive. He has scored 30 points in a victory over Engineering and Science. He tallied 41 points in a win over Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter. In that contest, he moved past basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain as the No. 2 scorer in Public League history. His career total is 2,251. In the win over Communications Tech, he had 23 points. Watson is averaging 22.2 points a game. He will be playing college basketball at Boston University next season.
Goodman, a 6-foot-7 senior, is a major Division I prospect, too. He has put up some big numbers in the postseason as well. He has a playoff high of 41 points. Goodman had 24 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Math, Civics & Sciences. He also had 27 points in the Generals semifinal victory over Bartram. Goodman is averaging 27.5 points a game.
The girls Public League championship game will be played at 4 p.m.
Rev. William “Bill” Greason, Negro League pitcher, will be the keynote speaker at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Mullica Hill, N.J., for its “Afternoon of Black History” program on Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. The program is free. The church is located at 44 High Street. This year’s theme is “Taking the Mystery out of Black History.”
Greason, 88, will share anecdotes from his life’s journey, including stories of segregation and Jim Crow, breaking through baseball’s racial barrier, his association with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and triumphs from the fight for equality as a civil rights activist. Greason came to the Negro Leagues as part of the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948, along with Willie Mays. He pitched at Rickwood Field during this time and in his rookie year played in the Negro League World Series. In 1952, he broke Oklahoma’s baseball color line as a pitcher for the minor league Oklahoma City Indians. He was also one of the first African Americans to play for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1954.
Greason, also a retired Montford Point Marine, arrived on the shores of Iwo Jima during World War II, with the 66th Supply Platoon on the fourth day of the 1945 invasion. He was a member of the 34th Marine Depot Company and several of his friends were among the 6,800 who died there. His awards include a battle star, the Japan Occupation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and a Bronze Star. He answered the call of duty a second time with service during the Korean War and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2012. Greason is currently the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
There will be an opportunity for visitors to take photos, get autographs and purchase Negro League memorabilia. There will also be refreshments available for purchase after the program in the fellowship hall. For more information contact Marilyn Greene at (856) 863-0293 or Kimberly Greene (919) 414-2676.
Black History Month on ESPN: One month, 28 films, 179 hours of programming
In observance of Black History Month, ESPN will celebrate the accomplishments of African-American sports figures who excelled within their sport or in society. Each day in February, ESPN will offer Black History Month programming on various platforms. The schedule will include:
- Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. – ESPNU will televise a film from ESPN Films’ archives with a significant Black History Month theme.
- More than 150 hours of content will be available on ESPN Classic, including encore presentations of award-winning programs.
- 30 for 30 Ghosts of Ole Miss (Sunday, Feb. 24, 5 p.m., ESPN) – chronicles the 1962 Rebel football team’s undefeated season.
- SEC Storied: Croom (Monday, Feb. 25, 10 p.m., ESPN2) – the first African-American head coach in the Southeastern Conference Sylvester Croom
- Current and former athletes are featured in a 30-second celebratory vignette
- Topical discussions on the weekly studio shows
- Feature stories and videos on the ESPN.com Black History Month topics page
Villanova’s Hilliard is Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week
The United States Basketball Writers Association has selected Villanova guard Darrun Hilliard as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Jan. 27. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 19 this season.
As the Big East Conference Player of the Week, Hilliard was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference player of the week.
Hilliard, a 6-foot-6 sophomore from Bethlehem, led the Wildcats to wins over a pair of Big East foes ranked among the top five. Last week, he delivered a great performance in a 75-71 overtime win over then-No. 3 ranked Syracuse. After scoring 13 of the Wildcats’ first 25 points, he finished with 25 and added career highs in rebounds (seven) and assists (six) while not committing a turnover.
Last week, he was among five players in double figures as Villanova upset then-No. 5 ranked Louisville, 73-64. Hilliard scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds to average 18.0 points a game and 5.5 rebounds for the week.
He scored 14 points in a tough 65-60 loss to Notre Dame on Thursday night. Villanova will host Providence on Sunday at noon.
Keith Clinkscales launches sports culture digital property
Keith Clinkscales, award winning content producer, recently announced the launch of a new online destination dedicated to serving sports fans as well as providing in depth articles on topical issues of the day. The ShadowLeague.com delivers engaging, insightful and entertaining coverage of the intersection of sports, pop culture and race.
ESPN announced a relationship with The Shadow League that consists of funding as well as the potential to develop various content opportunities. The Shadow League remains an independent company with its own editorial voice.
Urban Invitational to exclusively feature Black colleges and universities
The Urban Invitational, which is returning to Houston for the second consecutive year, will exclusively feature historically Black colleges and universities (HCBUs) for the first time in the event’s history. The four participating college baseball programs are Alabama State, Southern, Prairie View and Texas Southern. The Urban Invitational is the annual, round-robin collegiate baseball tournament designed by Major League Baseball to give HBCUs and their baseball programs some exposure.
All Urban Invitational games will be played at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, from Friday, Feb. 22nd through Sunday, Feb. 24. The games on Saturday, Feb. 23 will air live on MLB Network and MLB.com, beginning at 4 p.m.
Maurice Watson Jr. earns second America East Rookie of the Week award
Maurice Watston Jr., former Boys’ Latin star, has been named America East Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive time this season. Watson is a freshman point guard for Boston University.
The 5-foot-10 playmaker had a pair of impressive performances to help the Terriers earn wins over Albany (85-80 OT) and UMBC (81-75). Facing the Great Danes, Watson recorded a personal best with 21 points and seven assists.
Watson is averaging 10.6 points a game this season. He currently ranks second in the conference in assists averaging 4.8 a game.
Maurice Watson Jr. had the ability to break his man down and score with no trouble at all during his scholastic career at Boys’ Latin. Watson seems to be doing the same thing in college. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound sophomore, is playing some outstanding basketball for Boston University. He leads the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) and assists (6.9 apg). The former Public League star spent plenty of time working on his game.
“I think by staying in the gym and watching a lot of film has really helped me,” Watson said. “I also think talking to the coaches. They told me about my weaknesses. So, I went to the gym to work on them. I’ve learned to trust my teammates more. I’m on a team now where I have a bunch of talented players. The hardest transition coming out of high school was to sit back and let somebody else make plays.”
Watson has a number of local teammates to help make his job easier. The Terriers have Archbishop Carroll’s D.J. Irving from Chester and Travis Robinson and Dom Morris from Friends’ Central.
“It feels like AAU some times,” Watson said. “You never really hear about a team like this. They’re so many people from the [Philadelphia] area. Travis and Dom’s last year of AAU I was actually on their AAU team. I don’t think a lot of people knew that. I had an opportunity to play with that team. D.J. was a rival with [Youth] Interlock. We used to play against each other time in and time out. It’s just another level of comfort because you know these guys have your back and they’re not strangers. You can build a relationship with them.”
Watson had a chance to play a college game in Philly during the Christmas holidays. Boston University faced Saint Joseph’s at the Hagan Arena. The Hawks nipped the Terriers, 73-67 in contest that saw Watson score 21 points and hand out seven assists. He put on quite show for the hometown fans.
“It was a great experience,” Watson said. “I had a lot of family and friends there. It was a packed house. It was during Christmas break, but it was still a packed house. For me in particular to be able to come back and receive that kind of welcome back home. It just sat well with me.”
Watston was a big time player in high school. In 2012, he led Boys’ Latin to the Public League finals. He compiled 2,356 career points. He averaged 21.8 points and 7.5 assists his senior year. Watson is on the verge of guiding Boston University to a big season. The Terriers (11-6 overall, 4-0 Patriot League) could be headed for postseason play in March.
“We’re focused and playing a lot harder than we ver did before,” Watson said. “Everyone is understanding their roles. It’s making us play better collectively as a unit. We have a chance to make it to the [NCAA] tournament this year.”