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Adam R. Hornbuckle

was born in Laurel, Mississippi, the youngest of ten children born to Peter and Eulalia Boston. His father, who worked as a fireman for the Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio Railroad before losing sight in his right eye, provided for the family by farming, hauling junk, and doing other odd jobs. His mother was a homemaker. As a student at Oak Park High School in Laurel, Boston developed both academic and athletic skills. As quarterback on the football team, he led Oak Park to the African American state high school football championship in 1956. In track and field, Boston excelled in the hurdling, sprinting, and jumping events. As a junior in 1956 he established a national high school record in the 180-yard low hurdles and led Oak Park to the first of two consecutive African American state high school track championships.

After graduating high school in 1957 Boston earned ...

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Sarbjit Singh

Hall of Fame basketball player nicknamed “Clyde” during his professional playing days, was born Walter Frazier Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, the eldest of nine children of Walter Frazier Sr. At his all-black high school in the racially segregated South of the 1950s, he mastered basketball on a dirt playground, the only facility available to him. Frazier exhibited an athletic brilliance early in his life, becoming a three-sport star at David Howard High School. He quarterbacked the football team, played catcher on the baseball team, and was a versatile player on the basketball team.

After his success at David Howard Frazier decided to attend Southern Illinois University SIU at Carbondale Illinois Because of racial segregation it was not possible for Frazier to attend major colleges in Georgia such as Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia or any other major universities in the South Frazier was actually offered more ...

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David Lucander

football player, was born James David Lofton in Fort Ord, California, the son of Michael Lofton and his wife, whose name is unknown. Indeed very little is known about his parents or his early life. James was an all-city quarterback at George Washington High School in Los Angeles before blossoming into an academic All-American at Stanford University, where in 1978 he earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering. Prior to establishing himself as a premier wide receiver under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh during his senior year, Lofton was also a top-notch track-and-field athlete. He won the long jump with a record-setting twenty-seven-foot leap as a senior at the 1978 NCAA Track-and-Field Championships. He had previously won the long jump at the 1974 California State Track and Field Championships Although Lofton s outstanding leaping ability helped him become one of the NFL s top wide ...

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football player, was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the oldest of three children born to Roy Lott Sr., an Air Force master sergeant, and Mary Lott. When Lott was five years old, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where his father drove high-ranking Air Force officials to the Pentagon. During his formative childhood years in the inner city of Washington, Lott played baseball in a parking lot and football in the streets, often emulating professional players with his brother, Roy Jr. The family moved to California when Lott was nine, first to San Bernardino, and then settling in Rialto. After playing Pop Warner football, Lott became a standout multisport athlete at Eisenhower High School, garnering honors in football, baseball, and basketball.

The focus of intense recruiting, Lott attended University of Southern California on a football scholarship following his 1977 graduation At USC he teamed with ...

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Born in Riverside, California, Cheryl Miller was a four-time All-American in high school and scored 105 points in a single high school Basketball game in 1982. Her high school team won 132 games and lost only four during her four years there. In 1982 Miller enrolled at the University of Southern California (USC), where she became a four-time collegiate All-American. For three consecutive years she also won the Naismith Award as the nation's outstanding female basketball player (1984–1986). In 1983 and in 1984 Miller led USC to the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA women s basketball championship and was named most valuable player of the tournament both years She finished her collegiate career with averages of 23 6 points per game and twelve rebounds per game and in her four years USC s win loss record was 112 20 She was the first basketball player ...

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Rita Liberti

basketball player, coach, and sportscaster, was born Cheryl Deanne Miller in Riverside, California, the third of five children of Saul Miller, a computer technician and musician, and Carrie Turner Miller, a registered nurse. At age seven Miller began to learn the game of basketball by competing against her two older brothers on the court her father had built in the family's backyard. She continued to hone her basketball skills playing one-on-one with her younger brother Reggie, who would go on to become a college and NBA star. Miller graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1982 and went on to receive a BA in Communications from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1986.

Miller s intense preparation as a youngster served her well as she earned varsity letters in each of her four years of competition while in high school Her athletic ...

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Eric D. Duke

Cheryl Miller is one of the best known figures, male or female, in American basketball. Her successes as a player, coach, and broadcaster secured her place in basketball lore. Along the way, she helped raise the level of and respect for women in the sports as few others have. On the court, she showed that “women have game, too.” Behind the microphone, she has shown that a woman can bring the knowledge and insight of a player to the profession of sports broadcasting.

Cheryl De Ann Miller (also known as Cheryl DeAnne Miller) was born in Riverside, California. She is the third child and oldest daughter of Saul Miller, who worked on computers in both the military and civilian sectors, and Carrie Miller a nurse Growing up with two older brothers Saul Jr and Darrel a younger brother Reggie and a younger sister Tammy Cheryl had plenty ...

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James Fargo Balliett

professional basketball player, sports commentator, and businessman, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Growing up in a tough neighborhood in South Philadelphia, Monroe loved to play soccer and baseball; but by the age of fourteen, he had reached six feet three inches and began drawing the attention of high school basketball coaches. He struggled at first, especially with his coordination and timing, but soon adjusted to the center position. Playing long hours on outdoor asphalt playgrounds, he developed what were known as “shake and bake” moves, which involved using small hesitation movements followed by launching in the air to avoid being blocked by defenders. This earned Monroe the street nickname of “Thomas Edison as he continued to build a repertoire of flukey duke shots fakes and spins to keep opposing players off balance in the rough world of street ball All my style came from the ...

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Jacob Andrew Freedman

baseball player and television analyst, was born in Bonham, Texas, the oldest of the six children of Leonard Morgan and Ollie-Mae Cook. Bonham was a small town of 7,500 when Joe was born and, as in many rural towns with clearly demarcated racial residences, this community conspired to shield its children from the social and psychological scars of segregation. Rather than remembering Bonham's segregation and discrimination, Joe would later recall his close-knit extended family who lived in Bonham until 1948. During this time Joe received his first exposure to organized baseball as the bat boy for a semi-professional team that included his father and several uncles.

Facing economic hardship in Bonham the Morgan family including aunts and uncles moved to Oakland California There Joe s father and uncles found employment with the Pacific Tire and Rubber Company and just as in Bonham the family attended school church ...

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Gerard Sloan

basketball player, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut. Although Murphy was undersized by his sport's standards at five feet nine inches, his basketball career at Norwalk High School was legendary. He was named to the all-state team three times and was named a high school All-American twice. After receiving hundreds of scholarship offers, he eventually settled on Niagara University, where in addition to basketball duties he would perform as a baton twirler during halftime of the nearby Buffalo Bills football games.

In 1966 as Murphy entered college the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA had a rule in place barring freshmen from playing varsity basketball While playing for the freshman team he averaged forty nine points and nine rebounds a game attracting nationwide attention There was some speculation that he might transfer after he voiced concern over being one of the few blacks and non Catholics at the school but ...

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Danielle Melvin

collegiate and professional basketball head coach and television sports analyst, was born Carolyn Arlene Peck in Jefferson City, Tennessee. She was the middle of three children, between an older brother, Steve, and a younger brother, Michael. Peck attended Jefferson County High School, and was a two-time prep All-American during her high school basketball career. In 1984 she was named Tennessee's Miss Basketball.

After graduating from Jefferson County High School in 1984, Peck attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, on a basketball scholarship. During her four-year career, Peck averaged 10.6 points and 5.8 rebounds. She totaled 1,240 points, 679 rebounds, and 180 blocks, helping the Commodores to a 77–42 record and appearances in the 1986 and 1987 NCAA Tournament Peck was named team captain in her final two years and she earned Second Team All SEC honors her final season Peck earned her B A degree ...

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Jacob Andrew Freedman

professional football and baseball player, was born in Fort Myers, Florida, the only child of Buck Sanders and Connie Knight. Until Sanders was six, he lived with his mother and father, who were not married. His father moved less then a year later because of a drug problem. His mother worked long hours as a janitor at both the hospital and the local school to make sure she could afford luxuries for her son, such as sports equipment. Sanders excelled in all of his athletic undertakings.

At the age of eight he was exposed to organized football through a Pop Warner program Over three years the only game his team lost was the one he missed Sanders was virtually unstoppable due to his incredible speed While the genes for speed may have come from his father whose fleet feet were legendary Sanders attributed his speed to a fear ...

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Douglas Fleming Roosa

Negro League baseball player, was born Louis Santop Loftin in Tyler, Texas, to parents whose names remain unknown. Nothing else is known about Santop's family or personal life.

Santop began his professional career in 1909 when he played for the all-black baseball teams the Fort Worth Wonders and the Oklahoma Monarchs; he then played through the 1910 season with the Philadelphia Giants where he was primarily a catcher Like many of the era s players he played for many teams Most Negro League teams lacked organization and stable finances Player contracts were nonexistent or ignored it was common for players to jump from team to team seeking better money better playing conditions or simply the chance to play every day Teams in large Midwest and East Coast cities attracted the best players because they had the most resources had the largest fan base and through leasing arrangements with ...

Article

Michael Ezra

football player, was born in Wichita, Kansas, one of three children of Roger Winfield Sayers, a car polisher and mechanic for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and Bernice Ross. In 1951 the family moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where Roger Sayers's brother lived. But financial difficulties forced the family to move within the city nine times in eight years. By the time Gale entered high school, his parents were suffering from depression and alcohol abuse, and the family lived in poverty. Because they often had no coal for their furnace, Gale and his two brothers would turn on the kitchen's gas oven for nighttime heat, which often caused them to wake up feeling sick.Despite such adversity Sayers thrived while in Omaha because the city gave him opportunities to compete in sports At the Howard Kennedy grade school Sayers led his teams to city titles in baseball ...

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Vincent A. Shivers

football Hall of Famer, author, and business executive. Gale Eugene Sayers was born in Wichita, Kansas. In 1951, after the death of Gale's grandfather, the family moved to Nebraska. In Nebraska, Sayers began his career as an athlete, joining the Midget Football League and becoming a standout. At Omaha's Central High School he was an exceptional track-and-field athlete, receiving three gold medals. As a senior he set a statewide record in the long jump. Sayers was named to the All-Midwestern and All-American high school football teams. He signed several letters of intent for football scholarships. Institutions such as Iowa State and Notre Dame were interested in Sayers, but he decided on the University of Kansas at Lawrence.

Sayers earned the nickname the Kansas Comet because of his remarkable skills as a running back While a freshman Sayers struggled with his classes fortunately that same year he ...

Article

Adam W. Green

the youngest of three children of Peter Dixon, an airport skycap, and Mary Alice Dixon. Raised in a poor, rural town in southeast Georgia by his grandmother, Sharpe followed in his older brother Sterling’s footsteps to the National Football League, where he became one of the most dominant—and talkative—tight ends in the game.

Just two months after he was born, Sharpe’s young mother, unable to care for three children, sent Shannon, Sterling, and their older sister, Sherra (Libby) to Tison, Georgia to live with their grandparents, Mary Viola Porter and Barney Porter, in a thousand-square-foot house already full of other relatives. The family was poor, and Shannon earned money catching chickens for a chicken farmer, and cutting tobacco during the summers. When grandfather Barney died from a stroke in 1977 the family subsisted largely on Mary s bi weekly $197 check from her job at a nursing home As ...

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O.J. Simpson was born in a poor neighborhood of San Francisco, California, the third of four children. His father left the family when Simpson was a child. At a young age Simpson wore leg braces to correct weakness in his legs, but as a teenager at Galileo High School, he was a star athlete, participating in baseball, track, and football. At the same time Simpson received several suspensions from school for misbehavior. He graduated from Galileo in 1965, but his grades kept him from attending a major university. Instead, he enrolled at City College in San Francisco, where he had a remarkable first season of football and was offered several athletic scholarships. He remained another year at City College before meeting the admissions standards for the University of Southern California (USC), which he entered in 1967. That same year, he married his first wife, Marguerite.

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Steven J. Niven

football player, sportscaster, and actor, was born Orenthal James Simpson in San Francisco, California, to Jimmie Simpson, a cook, and Eunice Durden, a nurse's aide. The child disliked his unusual first name, which was-given to him by an aunt who had heard of a French actor named Orenthal. Sometime during his childhood—accounts differ as to when—he began using his initials “O. J.,” which friends later adapted to “Orange Juice” and, later, to “Juice.” When O. J. was four, Jimmie Simpson abandoned his wife and family, leaving Eunice to raise four children in a two-bedroom apartment in the run-down Potrero Hill public housing projects near San Francisco's Chinatown. Eunice Simpson worked long hours to provide for her children but it was often a hard struggle When O J contracted rickets as an infant for example he was left bowlegged and in need of leg braces that his ...

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Melinda R. Weidman

leading rusher in National Football League (NFL) history, African American hero, and cultural icon. Smith is considered one of the best football players ever to play the game and is a role model to many young African American men. Born into humble surroundings, Smith grew to become a versatile and affluent professional athlete. Smith left the NFL in 2005 after fifteen seasons.

Emmett Smith III was born 15 May 1969 in the public housing projects of Pensacola, Florida. Smith's family included his mother, Mary; his father, Emmit Smith Jr.; two sisters, Marsha and Connie; and three brothers, Erik, Emory, and Emil. From early on, Smith was both a fan and player of football. He grew up playing football for the Salvation Army team, Brownsville Middle School, and later Escambia High School. During his tenure at Escambia, Smith was ranked by Parade magazine as ...

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Michael C. Miller

football player, was born in Pensacola, Florida, the second of five children of Emmitt Sr., a city bus driver, and Mary. Emmitt Jr. watched his father play semiprofessional football for the Pensacola Wings of the Dixie League and knew from an early age that he would be a football player. When he was four, he announced that he would play for the Dallas Cowboys, and by the time he was eight he was playing in and dominating organized football leagues.

Smith attended Escambia High School, leading the football team to a state championship his sophomore year. In his junior year, Escambia won the state title again and was named the top-ranked high school football team in the country. Smith was named the USA Today and Parade magazine high school player of the year He finished his high school career with 8 804 rushing yards second all time ...