Welcome to the Official Website of

Coach Cleo Hill Jr.

Welcome to the Official Website of

Coach Cleo Hill Jr.

Winston Salem State University 2018-Present

Winston Salem State University 2018-Present

Cleo Hill, Jr. Named Winston-Salem State University Men's Basketball Head Coach

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) men's basketball program will look to its past to forge its future with the announcement of Cleo Hill Jr. as the head coach of the Rams men's basketball program.

"There were 104 applicants for the position, which speaks to the excitement around Winston-Salem State University basketball," said WSSU Director of Athletics Tonia Walker. "After a thorough search process, there was no doubt that we have found the best candidate to usher in a new era for men's basketball. Cleo Hill Jr. has been successful at nearly all levels of college basketball—as a player, assistant coach, and head coach."

Hill was introduced as WSSU's ninth coach during an introductory press conference on Monday, May 21.

"We are thrilled to have Cleo Hill Jr. on board," said WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. "He is uniquely qualified to lead our men's basketball program. He understands WSSU's legacy as a basketball powerhouse, and possesses the leadership, skill, and experience to take our men's basketball program to the next level."

Hill had a successful run as the head coach at Shaw University from 2008-15, where he led the Bears to a 116-67 record in seven seasons. In 2011, he guided the Bears to their second Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championship and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament.

Read full article

Coach, what does this position mean to you?
Its difficult to put into words but it really means a lot to occupy the seat that a legend and my mentor sat in. There is a strong sense of obligation to excellence, history, and legacy.

What has been the biggest surprise early on?
“The support of the Alumni”! The pride of the RAMS support has been absolutely mind blowing! There has been so much support from every Era going back to the 50’s! I love it!

Are there selling points that are different for recruiting than schools you have coached in the past?
Definitely! WSSU is like the who’s who of positive history. So much inspiration for students and student/athletes. We have Clarence Big House Gaines, Earl Monroe, Ted Blunt, Dee Todd, Stephen A. Smith, Cleo Hill Sr, Louis Farrakhan, Louise Smith, Newsome and Yancy Thigpen and a host of other inspirational people who have walked this path at WSSU.

Is there anything specific that you are looking forward to?
Besides competing & Winning it would be getting to know my support System. Getting know the players, faculty/staff, student body, alumni, and the community. We are one big Ramiy!

What kind of atmosphere is it playing in THE GAINES center?
Wild and exciting. Organized chaos I call it. It was always very tough playing in THE GAINES center. Now, it’s on MY side. My team and I have an army behind us! Powerful!!!

What helped your decision to accept the offer?
1) Well, it was a few different things but high on the list would be the alumni support, history of the school and great leadership. Meeting with Chancellor Robinson I immediately saw his vision. Immediately. Also, Athletic Director Walker’s vision matched the Chancellors. It was great seeing everyone on the same page.

How does your family feel about the move?
The are so supportive. The transitions my family has gone through over the last three years was an adjustment. My mom has been so strong! My brother and his fiancé have been a Godsend. My kids have been so positive. My wife has remained my inspiration and motivation. She kept me rooted spiritually, which is key in any transition.

Cleo Hill Jr. named WSSU Basketball Coach

Raleigh, NC 2008-2015

Raleigh, NC 2008-2015

Shaw's Cleo Hill Jr. receives national coaching award

The National Sportscasters and Sportscasters Association & Hall of Fame has chosen Shaw Head Basketball Coach Cleo Hill, Jr. as the NCAA Div. II winner of the inaugural Clarence E. ‘Big House’ Gaines College Basketball Coach of the Year Award. Virginia Commonwealth head coach Shaka Smart won the Div. I award.

The Awards were presented at the NSSA's 52nd Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 14 at Catawba College's Goodman Gym.

Hill, Jr. was named the head men's basketball coach at Shaw on April 10, 2008 and just finished the most successful of his three seasons there, posting a 23-9 overall mark, winning the CIAA Basketball Tournament championship and earning an NCAA Tournament berth – his third tournament appearance as a head coach.

Read full article

1. Coach what are the top five thoughts when thinking about your 2008-2015 experience in Raleigh, NC?
In no specific order, winning the CIAA Tournament, the birth of my 2 children (Sage and Michael), exhibition game vs Duke and the press conference, the support of the alumni, and coaching that 2010- 2011 team with its chemistry.

2.What was toughest gym to play in?
Probably Winston Salem or Livingstone

3.What was your most disappointing moment?
Losing in the first round in the CIAA tournament on a buzzer beater vs Chowan

4.What was your best moment?
It wasn’t really a moment – the overall execution in the CIAA tournament 2011 the entire week

5. Can you pick a starting 5 in 7 years in Raleigh?
That’s tough and it’s different variables but Tony Smith, Malik Alvin, Raheem Smith, Rodney Callwood, and Janius Chayne.

6. Who were you most versatile Players while at Shaw?
My ALL VERSATILITY TEAM (Players that played 3 or more positions) Dwight Bell, Darryl Johnson, Mike Devere and Derrick Hunter,

Inside The Game (Show #26 3/15/12)

Cheyney, PA 2003-2008

Cheyney, PA 2003-2008

Wolves Receive Bid to NCAA Tournament

March 9, 2008 - Cheyney (19-9) will Ье the flfth seed in the East Region of the NCM Division 11 tournament set to tip-off on Saturday, March 15 at number one seed California (РА) (25-5). Cheyney will play the fourth seed Alderson Broaddus College (25-6). А-В won the West Virginia lntercollegiate Athletic Conference automatic Ьid Ьу winning the WVIAC Tournament. Mount Olive College (24-6) of the Carolina Conference was awarded the second seed Ьу virtue of winning the Carolina Conference post-season tournament. Edinboro (24-6) earned an at large Ьid and will Ье seeded third. The sixth seed is Millersville (20-9). The seventh seed is the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (22-7)and the eighth seed was awarded to Queens College of Charlotte (21-9). The sixty-four team draw was announced Ьу the NCM late tonight. All of the games at the East Regional will Ье contested at Cal's Hammer Hall. Tip-off times for the first round games will Ье announced Monday.

This is the second time in Coach Cleo Hill Jr.'s five years at Cheyney that he is taking а team to the Big Dance. ln 2004, Cheyney was also the fifth seed and defeated California in the first round before falling to Pfeiffer in the second round. This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Wolves National Championship. March 18, 1978, Cheyney won the NCM Division 11 National BasketЬall Title over the University of Wisconsin at Green Вау.

The winner of the East Region will meet-up with the winner's of the other seven regions in Springfield, Ма for the Elite Eight beginning March 26 and concluding with the National Championship game on March 29.

Read full article

1. Coach what are your top 5 thoughts of Cheyney, PA 2003-2008?
Number one would be my press conference - first time being a head coach. Another would be marrying my wife. A third would be the come back in 2004 (down 12 with 3 minutes vs Rival West Chester) and the come back at Millersville (down 26 in the second half and won by 8). Another is just coaching that 2007-2008 team – great chemistry! Lastly having so many great leaders, 3 great presidents and 2 great athletic directors.

2. Who were your most natural scores with No Plays needed?
Iren Rainey, Sean King, Mel Eason, Johnny Glouster and Dawud Morris.

3. All-defensive team?
It was a few – Ryan Sidney, Ellis Gindraw, Dome Curry, Robert Simpson and Timir Smith.

4. Toughest obstacle?
Scholarship money.

5. Top 5 players?
Really tough and again a lot of variables. On talent, Anthony Frazier, Ed Braswell, Robert Simpson, Ryan Sidney, and toss up between Mike Fryer, Asaad Brown and Tymir Smith.

6. Toughest player your teams faced?
Probably Kyle Myrie at Lincoln.

The Comeback

Raleigh, NC 2000-2002

Raleigh, NC 2000-2002

Shaw's Ronald Murray Is The Next CIAA NBA 2nd Round Pick!

RALEIGH - As the NBA draft approaches, Shaw University's Ronald Murray is lurking in his usual place -- the shadow of the Triangle's better-known, big-school basketball stars.

Before the first name is even called Wednesday night, Duke's junior triumvirate of Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer and former Enloe High School star Chris Wilcox of Maryland have become celebrities to NBA fans. All are considered certain first-round draft picks, with Williams, Dunleavy and Wilcox expected to be among the first 10 players selected.

Meanwhile, Murray quietly remains on the NBA radar screen, with a chance to establish his own firsts. The 6-foot-4 guard would be the first Shaw player drafted by an NBA team, according to the school, and if he sneaks into the first round, he'll be the first CIAA player to do so since Virginia Union's Charles Oakley in 1985.

"I think he'll be drafted," said Keith Drum, a Durham-based scout for the Sacramento Kings. "It could be late first round or early second round. There are probably 20 guys for the first 18 spots in the first round and about 30 guys for the last 10 spots."

Financially, the drop from the first to the second round is precipitous. A late first-round pick can expect to make more than $2 million over three years. Second-round picks typically get a one-year deal for about the league minimum of $375,000.

Read full article

1. Top 5 thoughts of first Raleigh stint 2000-2002?
One would be winning CIAA tournament. Second one would be courting my wife. A third would be coaching the unbelievable talent we had. It would be the comeback win vs Carson Newman in 2002. Last would be the intensity of St Aug vs Shaw rivalry.

2. How good was Ronald Murray?
At that level, he was a shark in the water. I think he could have been that at the next level with the right team.

3. Funniest moment?
My wife would kill me if I mentioned the “key in the grass story.”

4. Best night out?
Birthday gift from my wife (dating at the time) – went to Charlie Goodnight’s Comedy Club

5. Could that team have competed in ACC?
Yes, competed and more! Middle of the pack ACC 2002

FlipMode 1

Lincoln, NE 1998-2000

Lincoln, NE 1998-2000

1. What are your top five memories of Lincoln, NE?
Having my first born, Ciara Simone. Another would be coaching in a great facility. Getting so many calls about being seen on ESPN talking to Roy Williams before Kansas game. Fourth would be getting killed by former Husker and current Cleveland Caves head assistant Tyronn Lue in 1 on 1. My recruits fighting on campus my 2nd year there.

2. Funniest moment?
Watching fellow colleague from the woman’s coaching staff play 1 on 1 vs a security guard. She really destroyed him.

3. Best thing you learned how to do?
Organization of practice and detailed scouting reports

4. Do you plan to coach division 1 again?
Yes, very soon!

5. Best team you faced while there?
2000 Iowa St Cyclones

Nebraska Basketball Sirius

Durham, NC 1996-1998

Durham, NC 1996-1998


TROY, Mich. The debate has been raging for a good seven months now. Who is the best player in the country, Lamar Odom or Tracy McGrady? Today, beginning at 2 p.

m., people can find out. Odom, the supreme 6-9 swingman from Queens, and McGrady, the adroit 6-8 guard from Florida, will play against each other in the annual Magic Johnson Roundball Classic high school all-star game at the Palace in Auburn Hills. Odom, who began the school year at Christ the King and now is at his third school, St. Thomas Aquinas in New Britain (Conn.), leads the East All-Stars. McGrady, who led Mount Zion Academy in Durham, N.

C., to a top 10 finish in USA Today's Super 25, heads the West All-Stars. "When people look at this class there will be Tracy McGrady and Lamar Odom," recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons said last year. "They are a cut above the rest of the players. When the season ends, I expect they will have emerged as the best prospects.

" "I'm really looking forward to this game," said McGrady, who announced last month he will jump from high school to the NBA. "You get to play with great players in a great arena.

" However, McGrady is not dwelling on his ballyhooed matchup with Odom. "That's for fans to think about," he said. "This isn't going to be one-on-one. There are a lot of great players on both teams.

Read full article

1. Coach what are your top five memories of Durham, NC?
There were many! Getting grounded spiritually. Coaching a talented group of young men. Going to the NBA draft. Meeting Dean Smith, John Thompson and Rick Patino in the same summer. Playing in the faculty student game and scoring 56 points.

2. What kind of kid was Tracy?
Shy kid with a very giving heart. Not a high maintenance kid.

3.How were the practices?
They were high level and high intensity all the time!

4.Who was the heart and soul of that team?
I would say Travis Spivey from South Carolina. Tough as nails, great player and good leader.

5. Could other players have played in the NBA?
Yes, several: Travis Robinson, Corey Hightower, Max Owens. Maybe SR, Raymond and Donald Little as well.

Tracy McGrady Life Before NBA

1994- 1996 Elizabeth, NJ

At EKB Roundball Showcase, New Jersey's undiscovered basketball players get a chance

Ben Merritt woke up Sunday morning, devoured a quick breakfast and tried to avoid thinking about the numbing pressure.

Deep in his mind he knew the clock was ticking on his chance to earn a college basketball scholarship. But as soon as he walked into the Dunn Center at Elizabeth High School, he realized he had come to the right place for that last opportunity.

A wiry 6-6 forward from Kingsway High in Woolwich Township, Merritt scanned the gym at the EKB Roundball Showcase and saw courts teeming with college scouts. They wore bright-colored jackets, T-shirts and sweatsuits bearing their school logos, and jotted notes as they flipped through pamphlets describing each player in attendance.

After a pair of games, the sweat-coated Merritt was approached by coaches from three colleges. One by one, they made their pitches.

“I got a lot of looks here today,” said Merritt, a sleeper prospect who wasn’t even a starter this season at Kingsway. “It was thrilling. It was quite an experience. I’m not going to forget it — the thrill of a coach coming up to you, knowing that he wants you on his team, that your career will extend past high school.”

Today on National Signing Day for high school basketball players, blue-chippers will ink their names on letters-of-intent and pledge to play for the basketball blue bloods: Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke.

But thousands of others teenagers will also make life-impacting decisions to play for smaller schools at lower levels. And for dozens of players here in New Jersey, coaches say those opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the EKB Roundball Showcase, which is run by local talent evaluator Ed Butler and held every April in North Jersey.

“I don’t even know if anybody could tell you how many kids he’s helped,” said Jay Cyriac, an assistant coach from Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kan., who attends every year. “He’s helped so many kids it’s unbelievable.”

At the one-day showcase last Sunday, more than 180 of the best unsigned high school seniors from New Jersey and surrounding states packed the Dunn Center to display their skills for approximately 120 college coaches from across the country.

For a fee of about $75, each player is given a specific jersey number listed in the thick handout distributed to coaches — complete with a bio including everything from the player’s strengths on the court to his SAT scores.

The players are divided into 18 teams; each team plays three 30-minute games over the course of almost five hours. The games have referees and the score is kept. But it’s the little details — the way a player works on defense, finds the open man or explodes off the floor — that everyone is really watching.

A native of Orange, Butler has put on the showcase for the past 20 years, helping hundreds of New Jersey high school players find college destinations. He ensures the top available seniors are in the gym for the invitation-only event by meticulously scouting games and talking to coaches throughout the year.

Butler, who works as a service consultant for New York Life Insurance Co., also runs the EKB scouting service that publishes four times per year. More than 150 colleges from all levels subscribe to the service annually for a fee of a couple-hundred dollars, Butler said.

“We’ve had countless kids affected by going to this,” said St. Anthony High coach Bob Hurley, who has been bringing his underrecruited players to the showcase since 1997. “The kids always benefit from being there.”


Butler started scouting local high school players in the late 1970s shortly after graduating from St. John’s University, where he played junior varsity basketball. Initially, his interest stemmed from his love for the game and through trying to get the word out on underrecruited players he knew about.

One of the St. John’s assistant coaches — Carmine Calzonetti — noticed Butler had a skill for identifying talent and suggested he start a recruiting service, Butler said.

“My job is to take the best players who are still unsigned and help them get an opportunity to play next year,” Butler said. “Based on the past and the type of colleges we have in here, if a player has a good showing he can really boost his stock. I’ve seen kids leave here with four or five options.”

Through the 1990s, before the NCAA recruiting calendar changed, Division 1 coaches were permitted to attend showcases such as this at this time of year. Subsequent changes to recruiting rules over the past decade disallow that. But the showcase has continued to thrive because of the talent it pumps out to Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and junior colleges.

Top Division 2 programs can offer up to 10 full athletic scholarships, and Division 1 junior college programs — the best of the level — can also extend free rides.

“There are quite a few diamonds in the rough here,” said Shaw (N.C.) University assistant coach Rick Jackson, who discovered former University High guard Derrick Hunter at the showcase last year.

After Sunday, Jackson extended an offer to Rancocas Valley High forward Kenny Johnson; fellow Division 2 school Virginia State also offered Johnson based on his performance Sunday.

Countless success stories have emerged from Butler’s showcase.

Take last year: St. Anthony reserve Dytrel Bracey tore a knee ligament his junior season and played sparingly as a senior for the Friars. He had no scholarship offers entering the showcase but left with a deal from Western Oklahoma State Junior College.

This season, he finished second nationally in both assists (8.1 per game) and steals (4.4).

“After two years he’ll have his associate’s degree and he’ll then get recruited by some four-year schools,” Hurley said. “It’s the opportunity to get your education paid for.”

Also last season, former Shabazz High forward Daveon Boardingham signed on with Seward County Community College after he failed to qualify academically for a Division 1 scholarship.

“He was found here last year,” Cyriac said. “He’s thriving with us.”

Boardingham averaged 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season and will likely be a preseason junior college All-American next season, Cyriac said.

“In the pursuit of getting your education and playing college basketball,” Hurley said, “sometimes the route you take is very different.”


As morning turned into afternoon Sunday, the sneaker squeaks and shouts from the courts intensified. Coaches feverishly trekked from one floor to the next, staring hard at the action and scouring for hidden gems before the final whistle.

Some schools, such as Division 2 Felician College in Lodi, had as many as three coaches in the gym. With any luck, they could plug the six holes in their roster left by graduating seniors.

“Recruiting is an evolving, never-ending process,” Felician head coach Dave DeFerrari said. “You’re always seeing new people or seeing somebody that you didn’t know of, or hearing about somebody that you weren’t aware of. You come to an event like this and sometimes your strategy changes.”

Many players at the showcase came with the understanding the day would bring one of their final chances at a college scholarship. Some left without being approached by any coaches, but have the peace of mind that they had given it their all.

Merritt, though, finished his final game and walked off the court with a smile. He came to the event not knowing what to expect and left with a few colleges interested in bringing him on board.

On Monday, coaches from Lake Land (Ill.) Junior College who saw him at the showcase visited Merritt at school and offered him a scholarship. He said he will likely accept it following a visit to the college this weekend.

“I came in with the mind-set that I’m just going to go play ball and let the chips fall where they may,” Merritt said yesterday. “Lord willing, it worked out for me.”

1991 -1994 Orange, NJ Orange High School

Orange Drops Paterson Catholic To Win Tournament Of Champions The Tornadoes Prevailed, 64-55. The State Group 3 Champions Went Home With The Overall Title.

PRINCETON — Orange High proved to be the best third-seeded boys' basketball team in the six-year history of the Tournament of Champions.

The Tornadoes became the first team not seeded first or second to win the Tournament of Champions boys' title, defeating top-seeded Paterson Catholic, 64-55, yesterday at Princeton Univesity.

Orange finished 25-3, losing all three games to Clifford Scott, a team the Tornadoes also beat once this season. Paterson Catholic, which hadn't lost to a New Jersey team all season, finished 26-3.

In the previous five Tournament of Champions title games, the top seed won four times and a second seed won once. Early in yesterday's game, that streak looked as if it would stay intact. Paterson Catholic, the Parochial B state champion, took a 13-2 lead before Orange regrouped.

"We had to regain our composure in the beginning," Orange coach Al Thompson said. "We had to settle down. Being in the championship for the first time, we were a little anxious."

Paterson Catholic coach James Salmon Jr. could be open to second-guessing for his strategy concerning his standout sophomore, Timmy Thomas. The 6-foot-9 center was called for his second foul with 3 minutes, 9 seconds left in the first quarter and Paterson Catholic leading, 14-8.

Thomas, who scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds, didn't play the rest of the first half and sat out 12 of the 32 minutes. He finished with three personal fouls.

"I thought about bringing him in late in the half, but the score was tied (at 21)," Salmon said. "We thought we could get away with it."

With Thomas out, Orange, with 6-6 Robert Skipper and 6-8 Duval Simmonds, took control inside. The Tornadoes, who beat Camden for the state Group 3 title, outscored Paterson Catholic, 18-4, in the second quarter to take a 29-23 halftime lead.

Simmonds, a St. Joe's recruit, earned MVP honors for scoring 21 points to go along with 16 rebounds and four blocks.

Skipper, who was the MVP in Orange's 65-63 over Camden, led all scorers with 23 points and had 15 rebounds against Paterson Catholic.

"I had been reading so much about Thomas, about how he is an all-American, and I took it as a personal challenge," Simmonds said. "He was tough, but nobody seemed to be giving our guys credit. We earned it today."

Orange entered the final period leading, 46-41, but Paterson Catholic scored six straight points to regain the lead, 47-46. Thomas keyed the run with four points. First, hee scored on a jumper off the dribble. Then Thomas, who's righthanded, hit a scoop shot with his left hand.

With the score tied at 51, Thomas was fouled hard on a pump fake with 3:52 left in the game. He remained on the floor a few moments before going to the bench.

After Montrice White hit two free throws, Thomas went back to the scorer's table, but couldn't re-enter the game for more than two minutes because play did not stop.

After Skipper tapped his own miss to give Orange a 57-55 lead with 1:36 remaining, Paterson Catholic finally called a timeout so Thomas could re-enter the game.

Orange controlled the game from that point, hitting 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch as Paterson Catholic went cold from the field.

Swan Hill, Australia
Durham, NC North Carolina Central