CHARLOTTE, NC—An All-Star roster of influential voices representing the past, present and future of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, (CIAA®), the nation’s first African American athletic conference, can be seen and heard on a commemorative video released by the CIAA today as a precursor to the conference’s 75th Anniversary basketball tournament taking place February 25-29, 2020 in Charlotte, NC.
From Hall of Famers and current student-athletes to the conference Commissioner and CIAA’s broadcast voice who are among the featured interviewees, the video provides perspective on the important role the CIAA has played through the decades and how it transitioned from an event pulled together on a shoestring to its current iteration - drawing 150,000 fans, students and alumni each year to a five day long celebration of black culture and community.
“Our 75th Championship Tournament season is a momentous time for us all,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “Major anniversaries like this one allow us to reflect on accomplishments and the impact we’ve made by opening doors and creating opportunity for our community. In Charlotte, as we enter our 15th consecutive year in the city, the tournament has accounted for more than $500 million in economic impact to the region, provided millions of dollars in sponsorships to support scholarships to our member institutions, enhance the student-athlete experience and impact community, fan and alumni through strategic civic engagement in and outside the competition venue. That is truly remarkable. This video tells our story and shares our legacy of leadership, community and tradition.”
The 75th anniversary video includes reflections on the milestone from past and present CIAA athletes, notable alumni, coaches and executives including:
- Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams – The first African American female commissioner of the NCAA, and first femae commissioner of the CIAA; in her 8th year as Commissioner; played on 1988 NCAA Championship Hampton University women’s basketball team; Coached at VUU; Inducted into the Hampton Hall of Fame 2018.
- Coach AnnMarie Gilbert, Virginia Union University, Head WBB Coach, Asst. AD/SWA -A three time CIAA Coach of the Year (2016-2018) now in her 5th season; 3 CIAA Tournament Champs, 2016, 2018, 2019; Coached the last four CIAA Players of the Year; 4 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 2016 Elite Eight and 2017 Championship game; Graduate of Oberlin: two time Kodak First-Team All-American, two-time NCAC Player of Year and Honda D3 Athlete of the Year
- Peggy Davis, Associate Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics, Virginia State University - In her 16th Season at VSU; CIAA Coach of the Year, 2002; led team to CIAA Tournament title and advanced to second round of NCAA DII Regional; Interim CIAA Commissioner, 12/2012-9/2013.
- Robert Vaughan, Sr., Elizabeth City State University– The 91-year old former coach and AD at Elizabeth City State; Started the basketball program at ECSU in 1949 at age of 20; Coached for 33 years at ECSU, reaching national playoffs seven times, winning more than 500 games; 1969 team won its first, of two, CIAA championship and went on to advance to the semi-finals of the NAIA title; Named CIAA Coach of the Year in 1969; Inducted into the NC Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
- Coach Stephen Joyner, Sr., Johnson C. Smith University – In his eighth season as Director of Athletics; and 31st season as Coach of the men’s basketball team; 3 CIAA Tournaments (2001, 2008, 2009); Winston-Salem native; attended JCSU from 1969-73, point guard for the Golden Bulls; son, Stephen Joyner, Jr., is the Head Coach of the JCSU Women’s Basketball Team
- Coach Cleo Hill, Jr., Winston-Salem State University – In his second season as coach of men’s basketball team; previously coached at Shaw University from 2008-15, including a 2011 CIAA Championship and NCAA Regional appearance; Played at North Carolina Central from 1991-94 and still among the school’s all-time leading scorers; father, Cleo Hill played at WSSU and was drafted 8th overall by the St. Louis Hawks in 1961, as only the fifth African American from an HBCU to be taken in the first round of an NBA draft.
- Stan Lewter, Media - the broadcast voice of CIAA for over 25 years.
- Shareka McNeil, Virginia Union, junior - CIAA ‘s reigning basketball Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year the previous season; All-CIAA, All-Tournament, Tournament MVP & All-American in 2018-19; led the conference in scoring last season, top 5 in the country (24.7 ppg); broke CIAA Tournament scoring record for most points in a tournament and tied the record for most points in a game last year; posted 4.0 GPA as a freshman majoring in Criminal Justice; Charlotte native, attended Harding HS.
- Shameka McNeil, Virginia Union, junior – teammate and twin sister to Shareka McNeil; Charlotte native; attended Harding HS where she scored 1,000 points.
- Roger Ray, Livingstone College, senior - CIAA’s top returning scorer at over 20 ppg and also top in assists; 2x All-CIAA, All-American last season; all-time leader in career points and assists at Livingstone.