HBCU Happenings Week of April 21-27

By Elliott Robinson, Esq.
Updated: October 12, 2007

swac swac swac swac swac swac swac swac swac The NFL Takes 5 HBCU Players in Draft Roosevelt Williams, CB (Tuskegee) – Bears 3rd round Dante Wesley, S (Arkansas Pine-Bluff) – Panthers 4th round Ralph Hunter, CB (Virginia U.) – Cowboys 5th round Keyon Nash, S (Albany St.) – Raiders 6 round Gregory Scott, DE (Hampton) – Redskins 7 round Some free agent signings include: Robert Chapman, LB (Southern) – Detroit Lions Zack Grady, LB (Jackson St.) – San Francisco 49ers Quinn Gray, QB (FAMU) – Jacksonville Jaguars Eric Joyce, DB (Tenn. St.) – Arizona Cardinals Stephon Kelly, DB (Winston-Salem St.) – Cincinnati Bengals KaRon Key, FB (Tenn. St.) – Tennessee Titans Michael Landry, DL (Southern) – Kansas City Chiefs Devin Lewis, WR (Southern) – Minnesota Vikings Robert Mackey, DE (Winston-Salem St.) – Houston Texans Lawrence Smith, OL (Tenn. St.) – Baltimore Ravens Lawrence Story, WR (Jackson St.) – Philadelphia Eagles T.C. Taylor, WR (Jackson St.) – New England Patriots Howard’s Andrea Gardner Leads Group of 3 in WNBA Draft The Utah Starzz selected Howard University’s Andrea Gardner with the 27th pick in the WNBA draft. Gardner, a 6-3 center from Washington, DC becomes the second player in school history to be drafted in the league. The Sacramento Monarchs picked former Howard center Denique Graves in the second round in 1997.

“This is something I have dreamed about for a long time,” says Gardner. “Right now, I am a little overwhelmed with excitement. I am proud to represent Howard University and the all the players from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

North Carolina Central University senior Amba Kongolo became the first women’s basketball student-athlete in school and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) history to be drafted when the Phoenix Mercury selected the two-time conference player of the year with the 56th pick.

Just three selections later, Utah drafted Southern University guard and 2001-2002 SWAC player of the Year, Jacklyn Winfield. Winfield, the 59th selection in the fourth round, became the first-ever Southwestern Athletic Conference female player drafted by the WNBA and the fourth ever HBCU product drafted by the league.

Hampton Sweeps MEAC Tennis Title The men and women’s tennis squads for Hampton University captured Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship titles on Saturday afternoon on the courts of Florida A&M University.

Lady Pirates 4, Norfolk State 3 Pirates 4, Florida A&M 3 SIAC Spring Champions Baseball – Albany State 18, Paine 9 Most Valuable Player, Tyner Millner, Albany State University Most Outstanding Coach, Pete Cardenas, Paine College Softball – Kentucky State 5 (24-5), Albany State 3 (30-19) Most Valuable Player-Barbara Wilhelm, Kentucky State Most Outstanding Coach-Oscar Downs, Kentucky State Tennis – MEN: Morehouse College (Champions) Fort Valley State University (2nd), Tuskegee University (3rd) Coach of the Year: Terry Alexander, Morehouse College Tournament Most Valuable Player: Matthew Jones, Morehouse College WOMEN: Clark Atlanta University (Champions) Tuskegee University (2nd), Fort Valley State University (3rd) Coach of the Year: Larry Nolley, Clark Atlanta Tournament Most Valuable Player: Chanel Brown, Clark Atlanta Track & Field MEN: Morehouse College – 245 (Champions) Albany St. – 217 (2nd), Fort Valley St. – 146 (3rd) Top Male Performer (Tie) – Cory Crosby, Albany State and Gary Alman, Morehouse College Robert Cross Men’s Coach of the Year: Willie Hill, Morehouse College WOMEN: Fort Valley St. – 376 (Champions) Albany St. – 236 (2nd), Clark A.U. – 116 (3rd) Cleve Abbott Award – Sharlene Fuller, Fort Valley State – 67 points Alice Coachman Women’s Coach of the Year: Darlene Moore, Fort Valley State Norfolk State Finds a B-Ball Coach University of Miami assistant coach Dwight Freeman will be named head basketball coach at Norfolk State today, the Virginian-Pilot learned Sunday night.

Freeman began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Moberly Junior College in Missouri during the 1983-84 season. He followed that with stints at Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas (1984-85), Delaware State University (1985-88), Colgate University (1988-89) and one year as an assistant to Dana Altman at Marshall (1989-90) before replacing him as head coach when Altman left to take the head coaching job at Kansas State.

Freeman brings a wealth of experience with him to Coral Gables. The Washington, D.C. native is beginning his 18th season in the collegiate coaching ranks. In addition to 14 seasons as an assistant, Freeman served as the head coach at Marshall University from 1990-94 where his teams recorded a 46-65 overall record. Freeman was Marshall’s youngest head coach and the youngest head coach in the Southern Conference when he was appointed to the position at the age of 31.

He posted one winning season (16-11 in 1992-93) and one .500 season (14-14 in 1990-91) while guiding the Thundering Herd. In his first season at the helm, he led Marshall to an upset victory over 13th-ranked East Tennessee State and an emotional triumph over state rival West Virginia. Two years later he guided the Thundering Herd to a 16-11 record, the school’s best finish in five years.

Former Coach Wil Jones had losing records in each of his three seasons. The Spartans, who some observers predicted would compete for the MEAC title, finished last season 10-18 overall and 9-9 in the conference. Jones’ overall record was 34-52.

Virginia Union Grad, Ben Wallace Named NBA Defensive Player of the Year (Courtesy of NBA.com) Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons was named the 2001-02 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the NBA announced Saturday.

Wallace, a 6-foot-9, 240 pound center/forward, averaged 13 rebounds per game and 3.48 blocks per game joining Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton and 12-time NBA All-Star Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in NBA history to lead the league in rebounds and blocks in the same season.

In the most convincing Defensive Player of the Year vote ever, Wallace received 96.7 percent of the votes (116 out of a possible 120). Wallace also led the club’s defensive surge as Detroit held its opponents to 92.2 ppg (sixth in the NBA) this season as compared to 97.3 just a year ago. The Pistons also finished best in the NBA in blocks (565).

Wallace grabbed an NBA season-high 28 rebounds in a 109-101 win versus Boston on March 24 and blocked an NBA season-high 10 shots on Feb. 24 at Milwaukee.

The six-year NBA veteran, who went undrafted out of Virginia Union ’96, also averaged 7.6 points on .531 (255-for-480) shooting with 1.73 steals per game over 36.5 mpg in 80 games (80 starts). He ranked second in offensive rebounds (318), third in defensive rebounds (721) and 14th in steals (138).

Penn Relays Will have some HBCU Flava (Courtesy Ivan of Onnidan.com) HBCU teams of note: Jason Cornelius (Morehouse), who just cleared 7’4″ at the SIAC championships this past weekend, should contend for the high jump championship as well as defending Division II champion, Jesse Lipscomb (Morehouse).

St. Augustine’s Men’s 4×400 relay has already run 3:05 and should be in the hunt in the 4×4 relay championship.

St. Aug’s Women have run 3:37 in the 4X400 relay and should be right in the thick of things with LSU, Texas, etc. in the 4×4 championship.

Jason Smoots (NC Central) just ran 10.3 and should be in contention in the men’s 100m dash.

Grambling Athletics Gets $1 Million Gift (Courtesy of the Tampa Tribune) Doug Williams has a good idea how much Hugh Culverhouse Jr. respects his work. During each of Williams’ tenures as a high school and college coach, Culverhouse Jr. has given him donations. But this time, the donation was quite large. It was for $1 million to the football program at Grambling State University, where Williams is head coach.

“This isn’t the first time he’s done something for a program I’ve worked in,” Williams, 46, said Saturday. “He sent a donation every year that I’ve been here at Grambling. It just so happens it got a little larger this year. It’s not like he hasn’t been supporting what I’ve done.” Williams was the quarterback for the Buccaneers from 1978 to 82 when the late Hugh Culverhouse Sr. owned the team. The son reportedly makes the donations to make amends for the way his father let the highly successful Williams leave the Bucs for the United States Football League by not meeting his contract demands.

Hugh Culverhouse Jr., a Miami lawyer, could not be reached for comment.

The money will in part go to a scholarship for students working with the Louisiana school’s athletic program and travel uniforms for players.

US Basketball League (USBL) features some HBCU Players Adirondack Wildcats – C Todd Cetnar – Albany State, F Mohamed Woni – Hampton Brevard Blue Ducks – PF Steve Bynes – Shaw, F Darrell Hardy – Winston-Salem State Dodge Clty Legend – SF Fred Warrick – Coppin State