by Hal Lamar
Atlanta Metro College revives its basketball program
Atlanta Metropolitan College, one of only a handful of historically black two-year schools, has returned basketball to its campus after a season’s absence and it seems no one is happier about it than interim president Gary McGaha ( Mississippi Valley,’72).
“Basketball is back at AMC,” he says.
The program was scrapped last season by outgoing president Harold Wade (Stillman) because of budget concerns. But McGaha revisited those challenges and determined they could be remedied. He then applied for funding from the University System board of Regents and got it.
Bobby Pritchett (Albany State), the only coach AMC has known since it introduced basketball to the campus in the early 1990s, is back at the helm again. Pritchett led the “Red Eye Panthers” to the national junior college tournament in only the second year of the program and has graduated sensational hoops-men to include New Jersey Nets center Jabari Smith (1996-1998). McGaha said Pritchett has already recruited the athletes he needs and is ready to hit the hardwood again for the 2007-2008 season
Clark-AU head football coach Ted Bahhur is as excited about the future as he is about the present crop of talent on the campus of the cardinal and black. Over lunch in the school cafeteria recently, he told INSIDE that if his 2008 recruiting plans hold together, CAU could find itself with one of its strongest contingents ever.
The 2007 campaign also holds out possibilities for the Panthers who will kick off their season by visiting the SIAC’s number three ranked (pre-season) Fort Valley State Wildcats. Their home opener the Labor Day weekend is against the State University of West Georgia (Carrollton), which incidentally is elevating itself to the Division I level this year.
Hotlanta was the recent host to the 2007 championship game of
the Independent Women’s Football League between the Atlanta Xplosion and the Detroit Demolition. Detroit came to Atlanta hoping to avenge a loss to the Xplosion 22-14 in the 2006 title tilt and achieved same by scoring an insurance touchdown in the third quarter to give them a 17-7 victory.
The loss was naturally disappointing for the Xplosion which wanted to retain the crown and win it in their own backyard. In fact, Detroit handed Atlanta only its third loss in the last three seasons. But to quote Xplosion general manager Mashonda Gilmore (North Carolina A&T), “ there are really no losers in a championship game.”
OVERHEARD: The scuttlebutt around Hotlanta is that arrangements are being quietly made between Morris Brown College and CAU to bring the latter’s scheduled non-conference game against Albany State to MBC’s state-of-the-art Herndon Memorial Stadium as part of Morris Brown’s homecoming celebration. Interesting.
A new media outlet for HBCU sports has been created courtesy of former Delaware State assistant sports information director Omarr Bashir. It’s called the Heritage Sports Radio Network and will be carried worldwide via the web and nationwide over XM Satellite Radio.
Their first scheduled foray will be October 6 when they carry the Circle City Classic game in Indianapolis. Omar has also recruited one of the sharpest play-by-play persons around in Lamont Germany, the voice of Morgan State football and basketball (special thanks to my pal LaCounte Conaway of DSU for the tip).
Incidentally, Charles Ward (FAMU), the erudite play-b-play announcer who holds forth currently as Director of Sports Information for CAU, says he hasn’t heard a peep from any of the TV network and cable outlets who have suddenly discovered the profitability of HBCU sports. Why haven’t ESPN-U, FSN, Sports South and the others reached out more to our talented brothers like Ward, Sheridan’s Ty Miller, Germany or others?
I’ve worked alongside these men and know they can handle any PBP challenge put before them. I am compelled as a veteran of nearly 40 years in his business to say that if whites can be assigned to do black college sporting events, why can’t my people grab some of these major college plums ! We need to level the playing field immediately!
Fred Jones, the 38-year promoter and creator of the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis, has assembled an “old school” concert during the weekend of September 8 to die for! On the bill are the Delfonics (Hart Brothers), the Stylistics and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
Find out more about the concert and the game by visiting southernheritageclassic.com.
I read with interest the resignation of former CAU head basketball coach Angelyne Brown as head coach at Stillman College. The official release said Sister Brown was stepping aside to further her education. But a source tells INSIDE that Angelyne was not happy on the Alabama campus. I really don’t think the talented hoop pilot will be absent from the hardwood long….
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