Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Delaware State Hornets Earn #5 Ranking In National Collegiate Equestrian Association Poll

WACO, Texas -- The Delaware State equestrian Flat riders are No. 5 in the country, according to a National Collegiate Equestrian Association poll released today. The NCEA has announced the first set of Event Rankings for 2017-18 collegiate season, as determined by the group’s selection committee.

Delaware State ranks fifth in Equitation on the Flat poll. Among the Hornets’ highlights on the Flat this season was an upset in the event of No. 1 Georgia on Nov. 17. The Hornets won three of the five rides, led by freshman Erin Gordon (Highlands Ranch, Co.) who topped the team with a winning score of 78. Hayley Anderson (sr.; Ne Boston, N.H.) also earned a point on the Flat for the Hornets with a score of 75 vs. UGA. Molly Gara (so.; Chicago, Ill.) captured Delaware State’s third point on the Flat with 73, while DSU’s Zoe Kirsch (fr.; Pittstown, N.J.) posted a solid mark of 76 in the Georgia contest.

Also this season, Anderson was selected as the United Equestrian Conference Flat Rider of the Month for Oct. 2017 after posting a 2-1 record and earning two Most Outstanding Performer awards. She had an average score of 84.33 in the month, including two 90-plus marks. The average victory margin was 10.5 in her two October wins.

In the summer of 2017, the NCEA Board of Directors approved a change to the National Championship format which includes four Event titles that will be included in the April 2018 NCEA National Championship. The Event titles will be determined through a head-to-head bracket format in each of the four events that comprise a head-to-head in-season meet. The Event rankings are determined by the NCEA Selection Committee and are released to the National Championship. The final set of rankings will be used to seed teams for the Event title competitions in Waco, Texas.

The Delaware State equestrian team will begin the 2018 portion of its schedule on Feb. 9 at South Dakota State. The next home competition is scheduled for March 2-3 against South Carolina and Baylor.


1. SMU


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Connell Maynor Named Alabama A&M’s Head Football Coach

Head Coach Connell Maynor makes major step-up in Division I football with AAMU Bulldogs --  great facilities, SWAC tradition, Magic City Classic and a real band  -- the AAMU Marching Maroon and White Band! 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Director of Athletics, Bryan Hicks, has announced the hiring of Connell Maynor as the next head football coach at Alabama A&M University.

Maynor brings an extensive resume to Alabama A&M, with more than two decades of experience, both as a coach and as a player in the intercollegiate and professional ranks. He has been part of 10 championship teams, six as a player and four as a coach.

Maynor comes to "The Hill" after spending four seasons as the head football coach at Hampton University. While at HU, Maynor led the Pirates to a 20-25 record. He guided the Pirates to two winning seasons, including a 6-5 record and a 5-3 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this past season.

Prior to his stint at HU, he posted a 45-6 overall record and a 29-2 mark in the CIAA as head coach at Winston-Salem State University from 2010-13. After inheriting a program that went 1-10, he led the Rams to three straight CIAA championships in four seasons; three straight appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs; two Super Region One titles; an NCAA Semifinal appearance in 2011; and an NCAA Division II National Championship appearance and runner-up title.

The Rams also captured the 2011 and 2012 HBCU National Football Championships.

Prior to his time at WSSU, Maynor spent 10 seasons at Fayetteville State University as both the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. He helped lead Fayetteville State to four CIAA title game appearances and three CIAA championships (2002, 2003, and 2009).

In addition to his collegiate coaching responsibilities, Maynor is a veteran of 12 years in the Arena Football League (AFL) and he served as the Offensive Coordinator for the AFL's Philadelphia Soul from 2006-2008 and helped lead the Soul to the 2008 Arena Bowl XXII World Championship.

"I am really excited about the hiring of Coach Maynor. He is a proven winner and excellent coach, but more importantly, he is a great developer of young men," Hicks said. "I would like to thank Dr. Andrew Hugine Jr., Dr. Daniel Wims, the search committee and the Board of Trustees for their continued support of Alabama A&M Athletics."

Maynor received a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Administration from North Carolina A&T State in 1995.

A press conference to introduce Coach Maynor will be held on Monday, January 22nd at 10:00 am in the Ernest L. Knight Complex on the campus of Alabama A&M University.


XULA earns first top-25 national ranking of 2017-18

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball returned to the national spotlight Tuesday when it was ranked 22nd in the NAIA Division I Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

The top-25 appearance is the first for the XULA men since the preseason poll of Oct. 25, 2016, when they were 25th. It is the first time since Jan. 19, 2016, that the Gold Rush have been ranked in January.

XULA is 14-4 overall and in first place in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference at 3-0 after its 69-55 victory Monday at Talladega. The victory was the eighth in a row for the Gold Rush and the program's longest winning streak since eight in a row Jan. 10-Feb. 5, 2015.

The Gold Rush will play 19th-ranked William Carey at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at XULA's Convocation Center, then visit GCAC and city rival Dillard at 5 p.m. Saturday at Dent Hall.

NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Jan. 14)

1 3 William Penn (Iowa) (4) 16-1 215
2 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (4) 17-0 211
3 4 LSU Shreveport (La.) (1) 16-1 205
4 5 The Master's (Calif.) 18-1 201
T5 7 Columbia (Mo.) 18-1 186
T5 1 Georgetown (Ky.) 17-1 186
7 9 Hope International (Calif.) 18-1 176
8 10 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 16-2 167
9 T12 Central Methodist (Mo.) 17-1 163
10 2 Carroll (Mont.) 16-2 155
11 21 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 12-3 146
12 6 Pikeville (Ky.) 16-2 143
T13 18 Dalton State (Ga.) 13-4 132
T13 17 LSU Alexandria (La.) 14-4 132
15 20 Science & Arts (Okla.) 13-3 123
16 16 Montana Western 14-3 111
17 19 Missouri Baptist 15-3 102
18 T24 Cumberlands (Ky.) 14-3 95
19 T24 William Carey (Miss.) 12-4 88
20 NR Westmont (Calif.) 14-3 86
21 14 Oklahoma City 11-4 81
22 RV Xavier (La.) 13-4 76
23 RV Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 12-6 65
24 11 Faulkner (Ala.) 13-4 55
25 RV Life (Ga.) 13-5 50
Others Receiving Votes: SAGU (Texas) 33; Vanguard (Calif.) 33; Peru State (Neb.) 24; Langston (Okla.) 17; Montana State-Northern 14; Campbellsville (Ky.) 10; Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) 10; Talladega (Ala.) 3; Texas Wesleyan 3.

Dropped Out: No. 12 (tie) Mid-America Christian (Okla.); No. 15 Campbellsville (Ky.); No. 22 William Jessup (Calif.); No. 23 Arizona Christian

Ed Cassiere, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

Gold Rush take sole possession of first place in GCAC

TALLADEGA, Alabama — Jalen David scored a season-high 21 points Monday to lead Xavier University of Louisiana to a 69-55 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory against Talladega.

The Gold Rush (14-4, 3-0) grabbed sole possession of first place in the GCAC. XULA has won eight straight, its longest streak since since winning eight in a row Jan. 10-Feb. 5, 2015.

David — a 6-foot-4 senior who was second-team all-conference last season — was 8-of-12 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the line. He led the Gold Rush with six rebounds.

"Jalen has played really well these last three games," XULA coach Alfred Williams said. "He has given us leadership as a senior. He settled in tonight and made timely baskets. He was in a good groove and put the team on his back."

Jeff Dixon scored 13 points, 11 in the second half, and had six assists with no turnovers for XULA. Elex Carter blocked three shots.

Arcuas McGhee scored 13 points, all in the second half, and Devonte Dixon had 10 for the Tornadoes (12-6, 3-1), who entered the game with a half-game lead over XULA. Myles Howard had eight assists.

XULA limited Talladega to its second-fewest points at home since Talladega rejoined the NAIA in the summer of 2010. XULA won at Talladega for the first time in five years.

"Elex and Joe (Joseph Williams) played really well. They controlled the boards, didn't foul around the basket, and they finished well around the rim," Williams said. "All the guys were locked in and up for the challenge. Talladega is a very good team. We just wanted them to work for everything that they got. Keep pressure on shooters, making them shoot with a hand up and try to contain off the bounce."

The Gold Rush will play NAIA No. 24 William Carey in a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at XULA's Convocation Center. The next NAIA coaches poll will be revealed Tuesday afternoon.


Ed Cassiere, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

Talladega surge sends Nuggets to 3rd straight loss

TALLADEGA, Alabama — Nautica Smith and Ja'Nyia McNealy made 3-pointers during a late third-quarter run Monday that helped Talladega earn a 53-45 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's basketball victory against Xavier University of Louisiana.

The Lady Tornadoes (12-8, 3-1) scored 10 points in 1 minute, 42 seconds to increase their lead from 33-31 to 43-33. McNealy's trey capped the run at 1:19 of the third period.

Essence Wells scored 14 points, Gina Smith grabbed nine rebounds and DeDe Martinez blocked four shots for the Gold Nuggets (7-8, 0-3), who have lost six of their last eight games.

Courtnee Williams scored 12 points, and Sydnee Clark and McNealy had 10 apiece for Talladega, the defending GCAC regular-season and tournament champion. Talladega took sole possession of first place after Tougaloo lost 81-63 at home to Philander Smith.

XULA led 26-24 at halftime.

The Gold Nuggets will play William Carey in a non-conference game at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at XULA's Convocation Center.


Ed Cassiere, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

Claflin, Virginia State and Morehouse Ranked in Top 20, NABC Division II Men's Basketball Poll

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina -- For the first time this season, the Claflin University men's basketball team has broken into the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) NCAA Division II Top 25 Rankings. The Panthers debuted at the #20 spot in the nation in the poll released Tuesday, Jan. 16.

The Virginia State University men's basketball team has secured the 12th spot in the poll with a 15-1 season record. The Trojans (15-1, 5-1 CIAA) have currently secured three Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association victories over Winston-Salem State University (78-73), Livingstone College (72-65), and Virginia Union University (82-72).

The undefeated Morehouse College Maroon Tigers (15-0) continue to rise in regional and national polls and in conference standings. With the 75-70 win over Albany State, Saturday, the Maroon Tigers broke the previous mark of 14 consecutive wins, which was last achieved in the 2012-13 season. Morehouse rose to #14 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches poll – up six spots from #20 last week. This is the first time the Maroon Tigers have cracked the NABC TOP 25 since the 1994-95 Morehouse team climbed to #15.

"This is a testament to the work the guys have put in all season," Claflin head coach Ricky Jackson said. "We appreciate the voters' confidence in us, but there is still a lot of basketball left. I would like to thank our President, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, the Claflin University family -- especially the student body -- and the community for their continued support."

Claflin is ranked 5th in the South Region of the Men's Basketball Division II Media Regional Poll, sponsored by D2SIDA.

In addition, the Panthers are ranked third in NCAA Division II in field goal percentage defense, holding their opponents to 37% shooting, fourth in scoring defense, allowing just 62.3 points per outing and 5th in win-loss percentage at 94.4%.

Claflin will face Morehouse College, who is ranked 14th in the NABC NCAA Division II Top 25 Rankings, this Saturday at 3 p.m. in Atlanta, Ga.

The Maroon Tigers also moved up in both poll conducted by D2SIDA. In the NCAA Division II sports information directors association's poll, Morehouse is ranked at #18, in the national poll, and at #2, in the South Region poll.

The Virginia State University men's basketball team has secured the 2nd place spot in the D2SIDA Atlantic Men's Basketball Poll released yesterday.


Alabama A&M grabs a winner in Coach Connell Maynor; Major upgrade for SWAC

COLLEGE                        NEW COACH          FORMER COACH

Alabama State                   Donald Hill-Eley        Brian Jenkins
Alabama A&M                Connell Maynor        James Spady
Arkansas - Pine Bluff       Cedric Thomas             Monte Coleman
Florida A&M                    Willie Simmons           Alex Wood
Delaware State                                                       Kenny Carter             
Hampton                             Robert Prunty            Connell Maynor
Mississippi Valley State     Vincent Dancy           Rick Comegy

Morgan State                    Ernest T. Jones$          Fred T. Farrier
North Carolina A&T      Sam Washington     Rod Broadway (Retired)
North Carolina Central      Granville Eastman$   Jerry Mack
Prairie View A&M             Eric Dooley              Willie Simmons
Lincoln (Pa.)                                                         Reginald Byarse Jr.
Edward Waters                 Greg Ruffin                 Alvin Wyatt
Virginia Union                  Dr. Alvin Parker         Mark James
Va. U. of Lynchburg         Bobby Rome              Jimmy Joe

 Interim for 2018

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC)

COLLEGE                          NEW AD                    OLD AD     
1. Florida A&M                   John Eason                   Milton Overton
2. Delaware State                 Mary Hill*                   Louis 'Skip' Perkins                 

  1. Morgan State University, Probation Period End Dec. 18, 2021
  2. Southern University and A&M College, Probation End Nov. 15, 2021
  3. Howard University, Probation End May 19, 2018
  4. Grambling State University, Probation End July 27, 2019
  5. Morehouse College, Entire Program, Probation End July 14, 2018
  6. Norfolk State University, Probation End June 15, 2018
  7. Prairie View A&M University Men's Basketball, Probation End Nov. 20, 2019
  8. Fayetteville State University Women's Basketball, Probation End Nov. 13, 2019
  9. Mississippi Valley State University, Probation End March 23, 2019
  10. Alabama State University Softball, Probation End Oct. 19, 2018
  11. Alcorn State UniversityProbation End Oct. 18, 2018
  12. Florida A&M UniversityProbation End Nov. 19, 2019
  13. Central State University (Ohio), Probation End March 3, 2019 
  14. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Probation End Aug. 20, 2019                                                  
COLLEGES                NEW CONFERENCE         OLD CONF.

Hampton                       Big South                                 MEAC
Savannah State             SIAC                                        MEAC
Langston                        SAC                                         RRAC
Texas College                SAC                                         RRAC

Jackson State Men's Basketball Cruise To 6-0 In SWAC

JACKSON, Mississippi — Jeremiah Jefferson poured in nine 3-pointers and finished with 28 points, both career highs, to lead Jackson State to a 79-71 win over Prairie View A&M on Monday night. JSU and Arkansas Pine Bluff remain as the only two undefeated team in SWAC play.

Jefferson, a 6-foot-2 junior, was 9 for 15 from the field and went 1 of 2 at the line. Darius Austin and Julian Daughtry added 13 points apiece for Jackson State (9-10, 6-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) and Treshawn Bolden had 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Prairie View A&M (5-14, 2-3) won the rebounding battle 42-33, but hit just 3 of 22 from 3-point range while Jackson State made 14 of 25 (56 percent).

The Tigers started strong and hung on, scoring the first seven points of the game en route to a 40-33 halftime advantage, then protecting it over the final 20 minutes to remain in sole possession of first place in the SWAC standings.

JD Wallace led Prairie View A&M with 17 points and 12 rebounds, Gary Blackston had 16 points and Dennis Jones 15. The Panthers have lost three straight.

Next Up: The Tigers return to action Saturday, Jan. 20 when JSU hosts Grambling State in SWAC action at the Lee E. Williams Athletic and Assembly Center. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.


Former Mississippi Valley WR Julian Stafford Moves From Nebraska Danger To Salina Liberty, Champions Indoor Football League.

SALINA, Kansas -- The Salina Liberty are excited to announce a new addition to their 2018 roster. The Liberty would like to welcome wide receiver Julian Stafford.

Julian Stafford is a 5”10 181LB wide receiver from Memphis, Tennessee. Stafford attended Sheffield High School before going to college where he had an amazing football career while at Mississippi Valley State University. Stafford’s Senior year he was the leading receiver in the SWAC with 6.1 receptions per game and 94.3 receiving yards per game. Stafford finished an impressive season with 67 receptions for 1037 yards and 9 touchdowns. Stafford was also named First Team All-SWAC.

Last year Stafford player for the Nebraska Danger, and is excited to be continuing his indoor football career with the Salina Liberty. Coach Heron O’Neal said, “Stafford is a guy who simply makes plays. He put up good numbers in College and we’re looking for him to be a playmaker for the Liberty this season”.

The Salina Liberty is celebrating its 3rd season in the Champions Indoor Football League. Reserve your Tickets now through the Tony’s Pizza Event Center Box Office open Monday through Friday 8 am till 5 pm or by calling 785-826-7200. Tickets Start at just $9. Get more info at

Monday, January 15, 2018

Around Our Nation -- 2018 MLK Celebrations & Parades

Ram Ramblings: Maynor heading to the SWAC and Alabama A&M

Coach Maynor eight year overall record is 65-31 as a head coach
Photo courtesy: Hampton University Athletics
NORMAL, Alabama -- Connell Maynor dominated the CIAA when he was head coach of Winston-Salem State, then he had mild success in the MEAC the last four seasons as head coach at Hampton.

Now, Maynor will try another conference, the SWAC.

According to multiple sources Maynor, 48, will be named the head coach at Alabama A&M later today.

Maynor was also in the running for the vacant Delaware State job but going to a new conference could be beneficial.

Maynor and his wife, Meryl, along with their daughter, Nicole, have been living in Kernersville. Nicole, who is a senior in high school, is going to N.C. A&T this fall.

According to sources, Jason Mai and Duane Taylor, who were both on WSSU’s staff when Maynor was coach here, could likely land on Maynor’s staff at Alabama A&M. Both were also on his staff at Hampton.


No. 16 Virginia State Claims 82-72 Victory Over the Panthers of Virginia Union University

RICHMOND, Virginia -- The Virginia State University men's basketball team (15-1, 5-1 CIAA) claimed an 82-72 victory over the Panthers of Virginia Union to win the 23rd Annual Richmond Freedom Classic tonight at the Richmond Coliseum.

Trey Brown finished with a game-high 25 points on 7-of-16 shots from the field to go along with five rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Philip Owens posted a 13-point performance, to go with three rebound and one assist. Cyonte Melvin finished the contest with contributing 12 points.

The Trojans forced 18 Virginia Union turnovers in the contest. The win was also Virginia State's second over Virginia Union in Richmond where the Trojans secured a 74-59 victory last year at the Freedom Classic. Virginia State led by as many as 21 at 42-21 at the half, but Virginia Union (9-9, 4-2 CIAA) continued to fight by adding 51 points in the second half to cut the lead to 11 with 3:08 to go. From there, the Trojans continued to add points to the board ending the game 82-72.

James Paige paced Virginia Union with 21 points on 6-of-18 shooting, while William Jenkins and Todd Hughes added 16 points each. The Trojans started the game strong securing a 21-point advantage over the Panthers, a lead that they held the lead the entire contest.

The Trojans collected a 42-21 halftime advantage, with seven different Trojans scoring in the opening period.

Despite their turnovers, the Panthers managed to stay in the game in the second half due to their free throw shooting, as they connected on 27 of 34 shots in the second half. Virginia Union finished the contest shooting 73 percent from the free throw line. The Trojans finished the contest shooting 83 percent from the free throw line.

FIRST HALF DOMINANCE: Virginia State has scored 25 or more points in the first half of majority
of the games this season, scoring 42 in the first half tonight.

POINTS OFF TURNOVERS: The Trojans made it their 11th game this season with 15 or more points off turnovers, scoring 19 points off the Panthers' 18 turnovers.

UP NEXT: The Trojans will hit the road as they head to Murfreesboro, N.C. to face the Hawks of Chowan University on Saturday, January 20. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.

For the most up-to-date information on VSU men's basketball please visit and follow Trojans Athletics on Twitter @VSUsports.



Kerrick Jackson Looks to Bring Southern Baseball Back to Prominence

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Before there was Bethune-Cookman, their dominance in the MEAC, and their ability to punch above their weight against the big boys of college baseball in postseason play, there was Southern University doing the same in the SWAC.

Before there was Mervyl Melendez, a wizard of a coach in not one, but two HBCU conferences as the head coach of Bethune-Cookman and Alabama State, there was Roger Cador as the head coach at Southern.

And before more recent HBCU players such as Hiram Burgos and Peter O’Brien (albeit with a stop at Miami along the way) made their debuts in the major leagues, there was Southern’s Rickie Weeks, who a hit a cool .500/.619/.987 as a junior for Southern and became the first player from an HBCU school to win the Golden Spikes Award. And prior to that, there was Southern’s Fred Lewis, who carved out a nice seven-year major league career, most of which was spent with the San Francisco Giants. And before him, there was Southern’s Trenidad Hubbard, a ten-year MLB veteran. Anyway, you get the idea.

“In that time frame, every black kid wanted to go to Southern,” Michael Coker, Contemporary Reporter for, a leading site covering HBCU baseball, told College Baseball Central. “He was getting the cream of the crop…He had a bunch of 30-win seasons and a couple of 40-win seasons. That’s unheard of in HBCU baseball.”

Under Cador’s leadership alone, a period of time that stretched from 1985 to 2017, the Jaguars collected 14 SWAC championships and made 11 trips to the NCAA Tournament.


Brent reflects on Jackson State's 5-0 SWAC start

JACKSON, Mississippi -- After a grueling start against Texas Southern, coach Wayne Brent and the Jackson State Tigers are 5-0 in the SWAC. Even though the Tigers are missing a few key starters, they are still getting the job done.

"I think the biggest thing for us is anytime you come into a game and you got Paris Collins out of the game, you got Chace Franklin out of the game, you got Dontellus Ross out of the game, the character that our guys showed," Brent said. "You talking about guys at the beginning of the season were not counted in the scouting report, were not counted to give very much. They're just showing so much character and so much heart and will to win, I'm just so proud of them."

So why the sudden burst in wins? Well Coach Brent says the X factor in the past couple of games has been one player.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Kentucky State football: Thorobreds to play Central State at home this year

FRANKFORT, Kentucky -- Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II held several call-ins with university stakeholders informing them of the decision to exercise the Thorobreds’ home game status for this year’s football contest against Central State University.

The regularly scheduled SIAC game between Kentucky State University and Central State University will be played Sept. 22 in Alumni Stadium.

In years past, the two teams met in the Circle City Classic in Indianapolis.

“As an HBCU alum and now administrator, I know firsthand the importance of hosting prospective students and high school athletes on campus to allow them to see the quality of the facilities,” Brown said.

“Kentucky State has a beautiful campus with a lot of capital improvements that never get showcased by playing annually in Indianapolis. It is time for this game to come home. It is more beneficial to player morale, fan support and finances to rotate the game between the two campuses.”

Brown detailed the two-year process that led to his prior decision to discontinue the Circle City Classic.

“The City of Indianapolis and the Indiana Black Expo provide important cultural benefit to the residents by bringing in HBCU gridiron matches,” he said. “Recent records show a clear decline in both ticket sales and turnstile attendance.


Morgan State alum 'fixed' H&M ad — just one example of his uplifting works

"I felt like I could say something with my artwork that would shift the narrative from negative to positive." -- Kyle Kow Yearwood

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- Freelance visual artist Kyle Yearwood grew up fixated on magic.

He was entranced with the Harry Potter novels and inspired by mystical and adventurous films like “Forrest Gump,” “ Big Fish” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” that challenged the depths of reality and imagination. But when it came to cultural figures that looked like him — an African-American male in Baltimore — the images weren’t as endearing, he said. It affected his self-esteem, he said.

“When we grow up, we're fed so many visions of what happiness is, and I think a lot of people when they become an adult, they wake up one day and it's not how they envisioned as a kid, especially being African-American. You get to a point where you live out all the things you heard about in terms of discrimination, lack of resources in your community, or just not feeling equal,” he said.

“The music I was listening to, the images of black people that I was shown, it wasn't empowering. It wasn't anything that made me feel good about myself, so I was really conditioned to not love myself.”

The Morgan State University alumnus has gone on to make a career of uplifting imagery, some of which has made a significant impact in social media: Last month, his piece “I heard the Black girls in Baltimore can fly,” which pictures three young African-American girls holding hands as they slowly propel higher and higher in the air within a Northeast Baltimore neighborhood, went viral.

This week, Yearwood went viral again after transforming a controversial H&M ad that depicted a young black boy in a sweatshirt that said “coolest monkey in the jungle.


UAPB comeback complete with 78-76 OT victory over Southern to advance to a perfect 4-0 in SWAC play

PINE BLUFF, Arkansas -- After trailing nearly the entire game, junior guard Martaveous McKnight missed a jump shot that would have tied the game as his team trailed by just two points at home in overtime; subsequently, after a Travon Harper rebound and a quick pass from Joe'Randle Toliver, McKnight hit the biggest shot of his short-lived Golden Lion career, a game-winning 3-pointer with just 12 seconds remaining in overtime as he catapulted his team to a 78-76 (OT) victory over Southern University on Greek Night in Southwestern Athletic Conference action at H.O. Clemmons Arena. The mighty Golden Lions advance to a perfect 4-0 in SWAC play for the first time in Coach Ivory's tenure.

"I remained focused and locked in," said McKnight. "I had to forget about all of the easy shots I missed earlier in the game. After I shot the first jumper, my teammates hustled for the rebound and dished it back out to me, so I had to reward them by sticking the shot," said McKnight, who was just named two-time SWAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week following his sensational performances in a two-game road trip in Alabama which resulted in two victories for UAPB.

The Golden Lions (4-14, 4-0 SWAC) scored the first bucket of the game which was a 3-pointer from McKnight. That was the only time that UAPB led all game until overtime. Toliver finished with a team-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field to go along with 5-of-8 three pointers, but none bigger than the 3-pointer he drilled with just over one minute in regulation to bring his team within two points right after Southern (5-13, 1-4 SWAC) big man Sidney Umude dunked the ball to give his team a five point lead which at the time seemed to be the dagger.

McKnight scored 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from downtown. He also dished out 11 assists and grabbed four steals in the victory while fellow Golden Lion Trent Steen also scored 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and grabbed nine rebounds to go along with three blocks. Travon Harper and Terrance Banyard both chipped in with 11 points apiece.

Umude finished with a game-high 21 points and grabbed 12 boards in the loss for Southern while Jared Sam produced 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jamar Sandifer chipped in with 11 points on just 2-of-11 shooting from the field. With the loss, the Jaguars drop to 1-4 in conference play.

As a team the Golden Lions were outrebounded 46-38 but distributed 23 assists to just 13 for Southern. UAPB trailed 40-33 at the half but outscored the Jaguars 35-28 in the second half to force overtime. In the extra period, UAPB outscored Southern 10-8.

The Golden Lions basketball team returns to action on Monday, January 15 for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Special as it hosts Alcorn State University in SWAC play. The theme is "Take a Kid to the Game" Day as kids are allowed free entrance to the doubleheader if accompanied with an adult. Due to the possibility of inclement weather, tip-off for the doubleheader has been moved up to 2 p.m. for the Lady Lions and 4 p.m. for the Golden Lions.


Gold Rush roll at Tougaloo for 7th straight victory

TOUGALOO, Mississippi — Jalen David, one of six from Xavier University of Louisiana in double figures, scored a season-high-tying 15 points Saturday in an 83-72 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory against Tougaloo.

The Gold Rush (13-4, 2-0) have won seven straight, the GCAC's longest streak this season. XULA will visit Talladega at 7:30 p.m. Monday, with the winner taking sole possession of first place in the conference.

All five XULA starters scored in double figures. Joseph Williams, Rayshawn Mart and Jeff Dixon had 13 points apiece and Khalil McCoy scored 11. Reserve Mike Williams had 10 points. Mart and Dixon scored 11 points apiece in the second half, and Dixon had a game-high seven assists.

Anferee Parker scored 18 points, Carlo McDonald 14 and Tonzell Handy 11 for the Bulldogs (8-4, 1-1). Handy grabbed nine rebounds, and Parker had six assists.

McCoy made three 3-pointers to lead XULA to a 41-25 halftime advantage. It was the fourth straight game and the sixth time in the last seven games that the Gold Rush held a double-digit lead at the break.

Tougaloo cut XULA's lead to 55-53 on a Courey Davis 3-pointer with 8:39 remaining, but two McCoy free throws capped a 16-5 run that gave the Gold Rush a 71-58 advantage with 3:30 remaining.

XULA outshot the Bulldogs 50.8 to 41 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 35-29. Williams and Mart grabbed eight rebounds apiece.

The win streak is XULA's longest since winning eight in a row Jan. 10-Feb. 5, 2015.

Talladega improved to 3-0 in the GCAC with an 82-80 home victory against Philander Smith. The Panthers tied the score at 76 after trailing by 18, but Devonte Dixon's 3-pointer with 1:54 remaining put Talladega ahead to stay, 79-76.


Ed Cassiere, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

Late run carries Tougaloo to double-OT win vs. Nuggets

TOUGALOO, Mississippi — Montoria Atkinson scored a career-high 26 points Saturday, and Chesha Lewis led a rally in the second overtime that carried Tougaloo to an 81-76 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's basketball victory against Xavier University of Louisiana.

The Gold Nuggets (7-7, 0-2) got career highs from Maya Trench with 23 points, Essence Wells with 20 points and nine rebounds and Mikayla Bates with 11 rebounds and eight steals.

Trench's 3-pointer gave XULA its largest lead of the game, 74-69, at 3:25 of the second overtime. But the Lady Bulldogs (7-7, 2-0) answered with 12 straight points, six by Lewis, to snap their 14-game losing streak against XULA.

The Gold Nuggets outscored Tougaloo 12-1 in the final 3:49 of regulation to tie the score at 63 and send the game into overtime. But XULA missed 17 free throws for the second straight game — four in a row to open the first overtime.

Tougaloo did not attempt a 3-pointer but went to the line 45 times and made 31. The Lady Bulldogs outshot XULA 42.4 to 30.3 percent from the floor. XULA was plus-11 in turnovers, committing 24 and gaining a season-high 35.

Atkinson, 8-of-12 from the floor and 10-of-13 from the line, also grabbed a season-best 17 rebounds. Debraia Bell had 21 points, a season high, and 10 rebounds, and Rashonae Rice had 10 points and eight rebounds.

It was the fifth time the Nuggets played multiple overtimes and the first time in five years.

Tougaloo is the lone unbeaten team in the GCAC after eight league games. XULA will stay on the road and play Talladega, last season's GCAC regular-season and tournament champion, at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Talladega, Ala.


Ed Cassiere, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

Legendary baseball coach Billy Reed (FAMU) lived a life of courage, integrity

"He was a granddaddy first, and not a baseball coach, to his grandson," said Blanc, referring to her son, Eric Blanc II (a FAMU baseball player).

TAMPA, Florida -- As a teenager in the late 1940s, when Jim Crow remained the South’s two most notorious syllables, Billy Reed had to walk past Hillsborough High’s baseball field to get to all-black Middleton.

"Those (Hillsborough) students would hurl racial slurs, throw rocks and spit at him," recalled Dori Reed Blanc, one of Mr. Reed’s two daughters. "My father could have easily been bitter and harbored ill will. Instead, he persevered and focused on his goals."

Today, that same field is named in his honor.

"So the lesson here is if something bad happens to you … learn from it," Blanc said told a congregation of roughly 350 on Saturday at St. Lawrence Catholic Church. "Find strength from it, and one day in God’s time, there will be a positive outcome."

Blanc’s story highlighted a 90-minute "Home Run Celebration" for Mr. Reed, who died in a Tampa rehabilitation facility Dec. 30 at 86. A multisport athlete at Middleton and Florida A&M, Mr. Reed returned to his hometown and evolved into one of the most revered high school baseball coaches in bay area history.

In addition to coaching at Middleton and Hillsborough, Mr. Reed co-founded Belmont Heights Little League, which produced four World Series teams from 1973-81 and a handful of future big-league players.

Saturday’s mourners included former major-leaguers Gary Sheffield, Carl Everett and Jason Romano, all of whom played for Mr. Reed at Hillsborough, where he coached for roughly a quarter-century before retiring in 1997. Tony Saladino, whose 38-year-old Hills­borough County prep baseball tournament has earned national acclaim, also attended, as did Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.