(ATLANTA)- Once more, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will have some presence in another Super Bowl.
Richardo Lockette is a 28-year-old wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. The native of Albany, Georgia played for the Wildcats of Fort Valley State University. In 2011, he signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. For three of his first four years with Seattle, he played on the practice squad until being moved up to the active roster in 2013. It’s Lockette’s second trip to the big dance. He was on the squad last year that defeated Denver 43-8. While at Fort Valley, Lockette also distinguished himself in track and field by winning the 200-meter event at the NCAA Division II National Championships in 2008.
Lockette will be joined in Glendale Arizona by other HBCU athletes that include teammates Nate Isles (North Carolina A&T ), a guard who is currently on injured reserve, and Tarvaris Jackson (Alabama State) a quarterback who plays behind Russell Wilson (and actually makes more money). Another HBCU “brother” in Glendale this Sunday is New England’s Brian Tyms, a second-year wide receiver from Florida A&M.Lockette
This short bit of research on Seattle and New England’s HBCU players and especially those from the SIAC got my appetite wet about other players who are sporting first or second place Super Bowl rings. Thanks to some web sites, I dug in to see and found this:
In the last 11 super bowls, 15 HBCU players made it to the big game. Five of those, namely, Lockette of Seattle (Ft. Valley), Jacoby Jones of Lane (Baltimore) , Ramon Harewood of Morehouse ( Baltimore), Junior Gallette of New Orleans (Stillman) and Tyrone Poole of New England (Fort Valley) are from the SIAC.
Others from the HBCU fraternity include Jackson (Alabama State), Anthony Levine (Tennessee State), Antoine Bethea (Howard) who also played on two other super bowl teams as well, Nick Collins (Bethune-Cookman) ,Donald Driver (Alcorn), Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State), Greg Toler (St Paul’s), Michael Coe (Alabama State), Oliver Celestinn (Texas Southern), Chartric Darby (South Carolina State) and D arnerien McCants (Delaware State).
There are others…....many others who played in other super bowls. I am currently researching those, starting from the first AFL-NFL mix from 1967.
SIAC HOOPS: Clark-AU head basketball coach Tony Lamarr, in his first full season at the helm, faces perhaps his first challenge in attempting to get the Panthers back in the winner’s circle. Since their 92-72 loss to Kentucky State on January 10, the Panther men have dropped six straight. including a 125-120 heartbreaking overtime loss to conference leading Paine on January 26. Four of their next five games will be at home which should be encouraging except that the Panthers are 1-7 at home. They are scheduled to take on Benedict Thursday, host cross-campus rival Morehouse Saturday, go to Albany State , then are home again to Fort Valley and Claflin Saturday, February 7.
Meanwhile, the Lady Panthers , 2-2 since the 15th of the month, face Benedict on the 29th, enjoy a three day break before facing Albany State on the road, then return home to Fort Valley and Claflin.Dillingham
Meanwhile, the long awaited showdown game between the red –hot Paine Lions and Morehouse is scheduled for Thursday night .Morehouse has won seven of its nine contests since their January 15th loss to Stillman. Their last loss was a 69-60 decision to Benedict. Morehouse’s big challenge against visiting Paine will be stopping their leading scorer Denzel Dillingham. The junior transfer from North Carolina’s Lenoir-Rhyne is averaging 19.8 points a game. Paine is currently undefeated in conference play at 10-0
Elsewhere in the conference, it looks like fans of both west division leading Lane College and second place LeMoyne-Owen will have until next month for a showdown between the two schools. Their first scheduled meet of the 2014-15 season is February 7 in Jackson Tennessee……..
WardXTRA POINTS: The SIAC will be broadcasting its entire 2015 basketball tournament on-line March 2-7. Handling play-by-play chores will be award winning sportscaster Charles Ward.
Final Rites for Leon Jamison-Tennessee State All-American
ATLANTA-Those of us who got to know former Tennessee State All American grid star Leon Jamison, we can’t recall a time we ever saw him angry. Even former high school student-athletes here in Atlanta who came under his wing in the late 50s through the 90s are hard to remember when they didn’t see him with a big smile on his face and an a word of encouragement.
Saturday, January 3, hundreds of former athletes, teachers, fraternity members, students and friends packed out southwest Atlanta’s Ben Hill United Methodist church to say a final goodbye to brother Jamison, who transitioned Christmas day after a lengthy illness.Jamison at Tennessee State
His fraternity members from Kappa Alpha Psi joined church officers and former coaching colleagues lining the entrance to the church sanctuary as mourners entered to pass Jamison’s casket and pay final respects. Included among family mourners was his brother Silas Jamison, also a celebrated athlete at Atlanta’s Booker T Washington High school. Both Jamison’s were four letter athletes at the historic high school and both got shots in professional football and baseball. In 1960, Silas signed a bonus contract with the Philadelphih Phillies. Later, he attended Morehouse College.
Surprising to some, Jamison is actually a native Mississippian. Born April 2, 1935, he hailed from Pheba, in northwest Mississippi’s Clay County not far from West Point. The third of eight siblings, his family moved early-on to Atlanta. In 1947, he was enrolled in Atlanta’s historic Booker T Washington High School and became one of its most celebrated athletes under legendary Georgia Hall of Fame head coach Leslie Cornelius (LC) Baker. He became a virtual master in four sports, namely football, basketball, track and field and baseball. His focus, however, was on football. After graduating in the class of 1952, he matriculated to Tennessee State University. In four years, he excelled, becoming the team’s co-captain in 1956, the same year the “Big Blue” Tigers captured the national black college football championship. Forty years later, he and his teammates were inducted into the TSU Football Hall of Fame. Jamison’s play was so stellar it earned him a ton of accolades including prestigious placement on the Pittsburgh Courier (weekly national newspaper) All-American team of 1957. In those days, making the Courier All-American team meant you had arrived!
Upon graduation in 1957, he tried out with two professional grid teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and then the Chicago Cardinals. With the latter team (now the Arizona Cardinals), he survived the final cut.
He returned to Atlanta in 1959 and began a 30 year love affair with the Atlanta Public School system, as teacher, assistant and head football and baseball coach at Luther Judson Price High School, Washington High School and eventually becoming a vice- principal before officially retiring in 1998. He spent the evening of his years remaining the devoted husband of 56 years to the former Annie Pearl Benton of Atlanta, father to his four children, granddad to their children and an employee on the staff of the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
Many of the testaments to his on-line obituary had the affectionate flavor and memories like these: “Coach Jamison was my football coach in 1967-68. He gave me encouragement and taught me much”….“ Coach Jamison, you were truly a gem”…”So kind and wonderful. Glad I met him along the way”….“You were one of the greatest coaches to grace the playing field”(see more condolences by visiting www.legacy.com/guestbooks/leon-jamison-condolences)
SIAC HOOPS: Both Tony Lamarr’s Clark-AU Panthers and Grady Brewer’s Morehouse 5 posted significant conference wins Monday, January 5 in separate home games .CAU Coach Lamarr
For the “House” it was their second conference victory since the push toward SIAC tournament time commenced on January 3. The first day back from the holidays, the Marooners knocked off defending conference tourney champ Tuskegee 79-66 largely behind the play of freshman Tyrus Walker, junior Robert Askew and senior Austin Anderson who combined to score 47 of the school’s 79 winning points.
Monday, Morehouse took on the Spring Hill College Badgers of Mobile, Alabama, newest member of the SIAC and defeated them 59-32. It gave Brewer another peak at his bench strength. Junior Bryan Thomas, a junior college transfer, bucketed 16 points in the win. Junior Tyrone Brown also snatched 12 rebounds. In fact, 43 of Morehouse’s 59 winning points came off the bench.
Across the Atlanta University Center campus, CAU captured its first conference win of the season 79-70 over Stillman January 5 at LS Epps Gym. It also allowed the Panther cagers to break their four game losing streak. The Panthers placed four in double figures led by junior Najee Whitehead’s 23 points, senior Earl Lawrence’s 12, sophomore Derek Harper’s 18 and up bench strength from senior Jonell Youngblood’s 11.
Both CAU and Morehouse take to the road the rest of this week. The Tigers take on Lane January 8, Miles on Saturday and visit LeMoyne-Owen next Monday before returning home January 15 to take on Stillman.
CAU will take on Miles January 8, then travel to Frankfort Kentucky to battle Kentucky State Saturday and then journey to Jackson Tennessee to take on Lane before returning to Atlanta January 15 against Tuskegee.
Meanwhile, the Lady Panthers of CAU split a conference twin-bill to open the SIAC’s second season. They dropped a 60-57 decision to the Magicians of Lemoyne-Owen College January 3 but rebounded the following Monday to defeat Stillman 84-76. Three lady Panthers finished in double figures, led by junior Mykala Jones’ 32 points, followed by junior Siera Bubb’s 11 and senior Ivana Spather’s 10. Like their male counterparts, the lady Panthers under 13-year head coach Vanessa Moore , now hit the road for three games before returning home January 15 against Tuskegee.
In the rest of the conference, men’s eastern division leader Paine with their leading scorer Denzel Dillingham visits Tuskeegee Jan 8, Lemoyne-Owen the 10th, and Kentucky State the 12th. West leading LeMoyne-Owen with leading scorer Daeq Mitchell-Fields, hosts Benedict the 8th, Paine the 10th, then Morehouse on the 12th. I
In women’s action, west leading Kentucky State with their leading scorer Shanquanda Wiggins host Claflin the 8th, Clark-AU the 10th, then travel to Paine the 12th. East leading Benedict and leading scorer and rebounder London Richardson visits LeMoyne the 8th, Spring Hill the 10th, then Paine on the 12th.
XTRA POINTS: At some point, I will have to call James “Iron Mike” White formerly of Albany State to ask why he retired from one D-2 school to travel north to Columbia South Carolina to jump right back into the head coaching fire at Benedict. I could speculate but I want to talk to him first…
…Former FAMU players I’ve talked to tell me their alma mater’s new head coach, Alex Wood is “the bomb” and is expected to turn the fortunes of the orange and green….
Buck and HalSpeaking of bombs, over-the-road truckers, which include my stepson Huey “Buck” Collier, are finding Quik Trip (QT) service stations on their extensive travels. “They are the best and have the lowest diesel fuel prices in the country,” said Huey, who is 38 and a 15 year veteran of the 18-wheelers. This writer has also taken to more car travel to get to HBCU sporting events and echo my son’s comments about QT. I am a stickler about clean toilets, abundant items and friendly service and I have gotten that (so far) at every QT I’ve stopped. The 56 year old company has 690 stores in 11 states. Buck says the company needs even more outlets. To find one, visit www.quiktrip.com .
Stuart Scott helped take sports from pasttime to obsession
by Lut Williams
Want to know how special ESPN broadcaster and host Stuart Scott, who died this week after a long bout with cancer, was? Think about it. There are not and have not been many like him.
He was given a platform on ESPN and he carried it. Who else can you say that about? Not many.
In the days before ESPN, late sportscaster Glenn Brenner of WTOP (and whatever other call letters it goes by today) in Washington was a comic genius. I (while sometimes attending Howard University in the late 1970s) tuned in to his daily broadcasts and just waited for the jokes. There was never a broadcast that he didn‘t make you laugh, at least once, while still delivering the sports news of the day. The atmosphere was of pure entertainment with a bit of sports thrown in.
Brenner commanded your attention. From my perspective, there‘s not enough good stuff on YouTube to let you know how good and funny Brenner was.
Then there‘s Howard Cosell, the late great former ABC host and commentator. Cosell was bombastic for sure, but he was more like a set-up man or a foil for the likes of showmen “Dandy“ Don Meredith of Monday Night Football fame and boxing great Muhammad Ali.
Cosell would deliver his pompous, verbose high-minded questions or commentary and Meredith and Ali would unceremoniously shoot them right down to earth.
You hated to hear almost anything Cosell had to say but loved the comeuppance. More than anything else, that is why he was compelling.
You could certainly say Chris Berman carries ESPN. He‘s become like the face of the network.
Berman, called “Boomer“, “Boom“ or “The Swami“ by his colleagues on the various platforms he helms, is a real personality with his funny nicknames and plays on the names of the coaches and players he covers. He‘s toned that down though in recent years as he‘s become the Walter Cronkite of ESPN.
But Scott took ESPN to another level. He made sportscasting cool - combining professionalism with verve and telling the stories in a way that even the most rabid fan could identify with. And he brought all the homies, including “Pookie“, “Ray Ray and em,“ into the conversation.
He was unique and he was good. He had his own style and gave less than a damn if you liked it.
He was one of the icons that took sports from a weekend pasttime to a 24-7 obsession. ESPN needed people like Stuart Scott to make that happen.
In that sense, Stuart Scott did for sports what Miles Davis did for jazz. They brought something different and innovative to the table. You may not like sports and you may not like jazz, but those who do know that Stu and Miles are cool.
So the next time, sports fans, when you flip the pillow looking for something cool and different on the other side, think of Stu.