North/Lincoln Alumni 35 years and Counting

Written by admin   // April 26, 2010   // 0 Comments

The North/Lincoln Alumni strikes again! The annual North/Lincoln Alumni 2010 “All Star” Scholarship Basketball game was held recently at the North Division Field House.

For decades there has been “the rivalry” of which high school had the best basketball team. Back in the day, the only two high schools Black People attended to play sports and go to school before desegregation were Lincoln and North Division.

In the past, many of the basketball players from both North Division and Lincoln would return annually to North Division High School to play and raise money for the scholarship fund which provides students with financial support in pursuit of higher education.

As they aged and could no longer run up and down the court and fly through the air like Michael Jordan, Ray Allen, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, they canceled the games and held other activties to raise money for their scholarship fund, such as an Old School Dance, golf tournement etc. Even though they still raised money through these activities, it didn’t fill the belly of what North Division and Lincoln High School was known for besides academics.

So the alumni got together and decided bring the game back. Instead of aging former players trying to relive their glory days, the alumni recruited the top high school seniors from the Milwaukee Basketball Conference.

The teams that mak up the conference are: Rufus King School for the College Bound, Madison University High School, Marshall High School, North Division High School, Northwest High, Riverside University High School, South Division High School, Vincent High School and Washington High School.

Joel Johnson, a 1968 graduate of Lincoln, stated they felt they needed to recognize all the senior players in the conference so they under took a huge recruitment drive through all the high schools in the city. “We are also looking into the future for private schools and girls basketball teams to continue our tradition,” Johnson said.

At the game, North/Lincoln Chairman Myron Hood and former Mayor Marvin Pratt welcomed fans and alumni from both schools. Milwaukee’s own Tempters led the National Black Anthem and Max Walker conducted a special ceremony that enjoined the old schools and the new schools.

It’s game time and all the players were introduced. The coaches were Percy Eddie, Dick Garrett, Greg Lewis, Elliott Torrance, Ellis Turentine, and Kenneth Wyatt. The officials were Dave Baker, Talandra Ford, Joe Lawrence and the game announcers were Mr. Kern and Ms. McNeil.

A future player for the game, Donnell Cegers a junior at Marquette High School plays on the varsity football team and has been advanced to the varsity basketball team, say he’s waiting for his turn to contribute to the history of the North/Lincoln tradition of contributing to the school.

Look out Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls (for that matter the entire NBA), these young men were giving us our monies worth with some exciting basketball.

The game was tight at times with Lincoln leading often.

At half time, Mark Wade, President of African World Festival, gave remarks on the progress of African World Festival and thanked the alumni and players for all their hard work and contributions to the 2010 All-Star game.

James Smith, who was representing the North Division Hall of Fame, which is housed in North Division, talked about the Hall of Fame and the upcoming 2010 fundraising Gold Outing.  Smith stated it’s “our way of giving back to a school that gave so much to us. Not only giving us an opportunity to be good athletes, but to be good academically and artistically as well.

A few folks raised the issue of why no women athletics have been inducted. Smith said women will be inducted in the future.

North Division is inducted former great athletes of the school every two years and will extend the inductions for another decade. “We haven’t reached the period in which women athletics were recorded and recognized by the Wisconsin Conference United until 1974,” Smith explained.

Another issue many of those who attended the game complained about was the condition and cleanliness of the school and bathrooms. They stated the school was falling apart and they can’t see how children can truly learn in such an environment. They suggested the alumni look into the situation and help create a clean and healthy learning environment within the school.

Many were on hand for the game. Congresswoman, Gwen Moore, Common Council President Willie Hines, Oshi Adelabu, MCJ Associate Publisher, Mikel Holt, Alderman Willie Wade and Julia Truly an alumnus and BBQ sauce queen, Holla!

Okay, back to the game. Lincoln led in the game, but North stormed back, closing within four points with about two minutes to go. These young men are playing this game. North then tied the game and took the lead. Folks are cheering and you know the Blue Devils were the loudest. Even Congresswoman Moore was getting into the game with her daughter, Jeslyn—herself a North Division graduate—and her daughter, the congresswoman’s granddaughter.

North won again, 108-106. It was a fantastic game. The outstanding player for the Blue Team (which was North, of course) was Robert Littleton of Bayview. For the White Team (Lincoln) the outstnading player was Silas Mills of Rufus King. The seniors from the various high schools should be commended for their contribution to keeping this great community tradition alive.

Hey North/Lincoln Alumni, great job! As the oldest alumni, ya’ll lead the way in giving back in this community as it should be. Ya’ll continuing to care about the children at North Division, cherishing history by example with the Hall of Fame and your strong belief in advancing future generations through your fundraising and scholarship awards. Well ya’ll coulda been doing anything that you wanta to do, but I can tell your loving and giving back to the children. You really swept them off their feet and I love the way you do the things you do! Yea baby. Holla! Keep advancing future generations.

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