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.