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Thomas A. Mogan

basketball coach and educator, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, to Earley Chaney (whose maiden name is not now known) and a father he never knew. The oldest of three children, Chaney grew up in a poor section of Jacksonville called Black Bottom. Chaney's mother was a domestic worker for a white lawyer's family in the Riverside section of the city. Although Chaney never met his biological father, his stepfather, Sylvester Chaney, was a major influence in his life. Chaney's experience of childhood poverty would play a major role in his lifelong commitment to improving the lives of the student-athletes under his charge.

Chaney moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the age of fourteen when his stepfather got a job at the Veteran's Hospital. Chaney emerged as a basketball star at Ben Franklin High School in Philadelphia. Despite being named the MVP of the Philadelphia Public League in 1951 he ...

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Samuel W. Black

athlete and physical director, was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, one of eight children of Allen Dorsey, a shipping clerk, and Mary C. Sparksman. Allegheny City was later incorporated as part of Pittsburgh's north side. The five Dorsey brothers would all earn reputations as accomplished athletes in Pittsburgh's sporting community in the early twentieth century.

As a child Dorsey showed an interest in sports while watching students play basketball in the basement gym of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. After the death of his father in 1905, he went to work to help support his family. The following year, while working as a janitor on a north side estate, he secretly opened the estate gymnasium for pickup basketball games and soon organized a team with practices held on Sundays. Two of the players who attended were the future Homestead Grays baseball legends Cum Posey and Sellers ...

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Susan J. Rayl

professional basketball player and team owner, was born in St. Kitts, British West Indies. No information is available concerning Douglas's parents or his early education. He observed his first basketball game shortly after arriving in New York City in 1902. In around 1919 Douglas and some friends organized the Spartan Field Club, which offered black New York City youths the opportunity to participate in amateur cricket, soccer, track, and basketball. Coach Douglas's basketball team, the Spartan Braves, were successful, and at times he joined them on the court.

In 1922 Douglas ran into problems with the Metropolitan Basketball Association an amateur organization over the status of a couple of his players Because of this controversy Douglas organized the New York Renaissance a professional basketball team He approached the owner of the Renaissance Ballroom in Harlem agreeing to use the name Renaissance in return for practice and playing ...

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Patrick Ewing became one of the stars of American Basketball. He was a center for the New York Knicks for fifteen years, and he played on gold-medal-winning teams in two Olympic Games.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Ewing played cricket and soccer as a youngster. In 1975 he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he first played basketball. His first organized games took place at the Achievement School, a remedial center for junior-high students where Ewing worked on his language skills. At Rindge and Latin High School, where Ewing reached his full height of 7 feet, he starred as the basketball team's center, leading the team to three consecutive state championships. By his senior year Ewing's basketball record had made him the most sought-after college recruit in the country. He chose to attend Georgetown University in part because of the good reputation of its basketball coach, John Thompson ...

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Andrew Patrick Nelson

professional basketball player and coach, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, the fifth of the seven children of Carl Ewing, a mechanic, and Dorothy Ewing, a homemaker. Carl and Dorothy relocated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1972, and worked to bring their children to America one by one. Patrick arrived in Cambridge at the age of twelve, and soon learned to play basketball with friends on a neighborhood court.

Nearing seven feet tall by his teens, Ewing led Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School to three consecutive state championships, establishing himself as the most sought‐after prospect in the nation. In his senior year, Ewing announced he would attend Georgetown University—to the disappointment of many in the Boston area who hoped he would choose a local college. Ewing's on‐court success often brought out the worst in opposing fans, who taunted the young player using racist epithets. After the Boston Globe ...

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Born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky, Clarence Gaines attended Morgan State College near Baltimore, Maryland, where he played football and basketball. He graduated in 1945 with a B.S. degree in chemistry. Intent on becoming a dentist, he accepted a position as a teacher and assistant coach at Winston-Salem State University (then Winston-Salem Teachers College) in North Carolina, planning to stay only one year.

The athletic director left the following year, and Gaines took over the job. He coached football, basketball, boxing, and tennis. As Gaines told an interviewer for The New York Times in 1983, coaching at Winston-Salem, with its tiny budget, forced him to take on many tasks. “I was the coach, the manager, statistician, the janitor and everything else.” In addition, he earned a master's degree in physical education in 1950 by attending Columbia University in New York City during the summers.

Gaines decided to ...

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basketball coach, was born in Paducah, Kentucky, the only child of Lester Gaines, a cook, and Olivia Bolen, a domestic worker. By the time he entered Lincoln High School in rural Paducah, he was already six feet, five inches tall and weighed 265 pounds. He became a powerhouse on the football team and made All-Conference. In 1941 Gaines graduated third in his class of thirty-five.

Education was very important to his parents, so it was understood that he would go to college. While visiting Morgan State College in Baltimore, where he ultimately enrolled in 1941, the business manager, James “Stump” Carter, spotted Gaines walking across campus and exclaimed, “Man! The only thing I've ever seen bigger than you is a house!” (Gaines, 2004). From that day forward Gaines became known as “Big House.”

Gaines excelled in college athletics He made All American for two years and ...

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Rachel Cody

basketball player who broke the color line in the Big Ten basketball, was born in Shelbyville, Indiana, the eldest son of Laura and Leon Garrett, a clerk and a laborer, respectively. At the time Indiana was segregated by a patchwork of law and unspoken custom, and Shelbyville had segregated grade schools but an integrated high school.

Garrett grew up playing basketball on the dirt court behind Booker T. Washington, Shelbyville's black elementary school. Fast, agile, and dominant, Garrett was a natural center though only six feet, two inches tall. He honed his skills by competing in pick-up games against grown men, some of them semiprofessionals barnstorming around Indiana.

On 22 March 1947 Garrett led Shelbyville High School s basketball team to the Indiana state championship before a live audience of fifteen thousand and a radio audience of over two million Garrett s Shelbyville basketball team was the first ...

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Charles Rosenberg

the first African American to play college varsity basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference, was born in Towson, Maryland, and raised by his mother, Ruth Jones, after her husband Ernest Jones was killed by the collapse of a trench he was working in. Jones, who always found the name William “so aristocratic and formal,” grew up on the east side of Towson, near Baltimore, where his family had lived since 1903. While east Towson was overwhelmingly African American, the Towson Theater, six blocks from home, refused admission to anyone of dark skin color until 1969. Ruth Jones worked as a maid on the west side of Towson to support her four daughters and son. Towson High School, where Jones graduated, was described as “predominantly white” (Martin, p. 156).

The first African American signed to an Atlantic Coast Conference ACC team Jones was little noticed in the media ...

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Dolph H. Grundman

basketball player and coach, was born K. C. Jones in Taylor, Texas, the son of K. C. Jones, a laborer, and Eula (maiden name unknown), a maid. In 1941 his parents separated and his mother took her five children to San Francisco, in search of new opportunities. The segregation of 1930s Texas was suffocating, and Jones left Texas with few expectations for his future. His family lived in a public-housing project and relied on welfare. Lacking confidence in his academic skills, Jones found sports one arena in which he was comfortable and successful. As a senior in 1951, Jones, who played at Commerce High, made the All-Northern California All-Star basketball and football teams. After the season Phil Woolpert, the coach of the University of San Francisco (USF) Dons, gave him a basketball scholarship.

In the summer before he started college Jones grew four inches to stand six ...

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Boyd Childress

professional basketball player and coach. K. C. Jones—his full name—was born in Taylor, Texas, where his father, Casey, worked as a cook and autoworker. His mother, Eula, raised five children and worked as a domestic. Jones, the oldest child in his family, was nine when his parents separated. The children moved with their mother to San Francisco where K. C. became a star football and basketball player—a playground legend who starred at Commerce High School. Never a strong student, Jones did not contemplate college until the University of San Francisco (USF) coach Phil Woolpert offered him a basketball scholarship. When he was a sophomore Jones roomed with a tall, gangly freshman and fellow basketball player named Bill Russell—and the rest is basketball history.

Both Russell and Jones were dogged defenders on the court whose offensive game stemmed from playing hard defense. In 1955 and 1956 Russell and Jones ...

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Peter C. Holloran

professional basketball player, was born in Wilmington, North Carolina. He attended high school at Laurinburg Institute from 1947 to 1951, where he was a four-year letter winner and an outstanding all-conference and all-state player in 1951. After he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956, he graduated from North Carolina Central College in 1957, a historically black college in Durham. In college, Jones was again a four-year letter winner and was named all-conference three times. Jones was one of the few African American players on the National Collegiate Athletic Association list of outstanding players. After seven National Basketball Association (NBA) teams overlooked Jones, he was drafted by legendary Boston Celtics coach Arnold “Red” Auerbach in 1957 The Celtics had the last pick in the first round of the draft and Auerbach chose Jones solely on the recommendation of Wake ...

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Dolph H. Grundman

basketball player, was born in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of Theodore Lloyd, a laborer, and Daisy (Mitchell) Lloyd, a domestic. The Virginia of Lloyd's youth was deeply segregated. In 1942 he entered Parker-Gray High School in Alexandria, where he played basketball, baseball, and football. At Parker-Gray, Lloyd was profoundly influenced by Lewis Randolph Johnson, who coached all of the school's sports. By 1946, when Lloyd graduated from high school, he had scholarship offers from all of the black colleges and universities along the Atlantic coast. Since Coach Johnson was a graduate of West Virginia State College in Institute just outside Charleston, Lloyd took his mentor's advice and entered the black college in West Virginia. He was the first member of his family to attend college.

At West Virginia State, Lloyd found a caring faculty and another skilled coach, Mark Cardwell The Yellow Jackets played ...

Article

David F. Smydra

basketball coach, was born John B. McLendon Jr. in Hiawatha, Kansas. McLendon obtained a piecemeal education, steadily taking advantage of each opportunity that he was offered. He graduated from Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1932 and entered Kansas City Junior College. He finished his BS in Physical Education at the University of Kansas in 1936 and earned a master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1937. One of McLendon's professors in the physical education program at Kansas was Dr. James Naismith, who had invented the game of basketball in 1891, while he was a student at the International YMCA Training School (now Springfield College), in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In his undergraduate years, McLendon took a couple of high school coaching jobs in Lawrence and Topeka Following his graduate studies he was hired as an assistant basketball coach at the North Carolina College ...

Article

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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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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Keith Whitescarver

basketball player, coach, and executive, was born in Hico, Louisiana, the only child of Inell Ross Reed, a domestic, and Willis Reed Sr. At the time of Reed's birth, his father served in the U.S. Army, a position he held for the duration of World War II. Back in civilian life, Reed's six-foot-four-inch-tall father made his living as an agricultural worker and eventually as a warehouse foreman in the small town of Bernice in northern Louisiana.

Growing up during the Jim Crow era, Reed attended one of the segregated, underfunded rural schools of Louisiana. As a six-foot-six-inch-tall 14-year-old at Westside Consolidated School, Reed, with the guidance of his coach, practiced relentlessly on the dirt basketball courts of his neighborhood. His game improved along with his height, which reached nearly six feet ten inches during his senior year in 1960 He led his school to the ...

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David F. Smydra

basketball player and coach, was born William Fenton Russell in Monroe, Louisiana, the son of Charles and Katie Russell, both laborers. Mister Charlie, as his two sons called him, worked in a paper-bag factory, while his wife worked odd jobs on a stopgap basis. She took jobs as a maid in white households only when money was especially scarce or when she particularly wished to spoil Bill, whom she openly considered her favorite child. Both Mister Charlie and Russell's paternal grandfather, usually called simply “the Old Man,” set a high bar for their male progeny in Monroe. Before his ninth birthday, Russell had witnessed his father ward off an armed white man with only a tire iron and his grandfather punch a mule to its knees with just one blow.

In 1943, unable to tolerate the pressures of Jim Crow any longer Mister Charlie left ...