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Weekend of Firsts

Well, the 2021-22 college basketball season has officially come to an end. I will eventually give my thoughts on the entire season. I attended the final four weekends in New Orleans. It was a great experience and a weekend of "firsts". The Tar Heels and Blue Devils squared off for the first time in the history of the Final Four. It was a great game and for me to have coached against both schools twice... 


It was also a first for the HBCA ALL-STAR GAME. It did not disappoint! Coach Wilson and I were there to support our ALL CIAA performer Javonte Cooke! 


Travis Williams, Cy Alexander, and their staff put on a first-class event. They named both teams after two historically black college coaching LEGENDS! Team John Mclendon and Team Bighouse Gaines! Student-athletes were selected from the CIAA, SIAC, MEAC, and SWAC. The athletes participated in a pro-combine and team workout in front of NBA and professional scouts. It was awesome! 


There was a great crowd on the campus of The University of New Orleans. The atmosphere was electric and professionally done. There were great halftime activities from some of the best HBCU bands in the country and a few Greek fraternities in the area also did a few steps! 


The game itself had great action. There were dunks, 3 pointers and the guys played extremely hard for the fans/scouts! 

 Click here for more. 


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Career Day

Last Friday, our Athletic Director, Etienne Thomas, the athletic department, and I had fun visiting Quality Education Middle School for their career day. We had loads of fun speaking with the students in a packed auditorium. 

AD Thomas shared what her job responsibilities are as the athletic director. In addition to sharing her responsibilities as AD, she showed slides and video footage of some great moments in Athletics. 

We had staff from our departments speak to the students. We also had some of our student-athletes share their goals and ambitions after college.

I was the last one to be introduced. I was brief, but I enjoyed bringing a few of the students up to the front to display shooting form and defense stance as things I look for with potential student-athletes. In the end, I explained how I recruit student-athletes with A's and B's in HS. 

The day ended with AD Thomas giving good trivia questions for the students. After the trivia, every student got a goodie bag with some great WSSU gifts. It was a great day to spend time with a few future RAMS. - Coach Cleo Hill Jr.


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Thank You, Mayor Allen Joines

Earlier this month, Mayor Allen Joines and The City of Winston-Salem honored Winston-Salem State Men's Basketball for the 2020 CIAA Conference Championship. It was an exciting moment for me as the head coach. 

Mayor Joines expressed how he wanted to recognize the team, the staff, and the program much earlier. But, due to Covid-19 taking over the country almost as soon as we won the championship, it made his intentions impossible. 

During the recognition, I was accompanied by our Athletic Director, Etienne Thomas. AD Thomas spoke to the room on behalf of the team, staff, athletic department, and University. Her words were powerful, genuine, and appreciative of the recognition. We were also accompanied by our new Sports Information Director, Airis Thomas. 

I can get used to those kinds of meetings. - Coach Cleo Hill Jr.


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Season Has Come to an End


I give all the credit to the Virginia Union’s team and Jay Butler's staff. Union came ready to play for sure. Coach Butler is a CIAA Champion as a coach and player. We knew it would be a tough fight, but the opening defensive possession saw Union get almost six cracks at scoring. In a nutshell that is where the key to the game started for us. How would we control the defensive backboards?  Union had 24 offensive rebounds in this one game. They outrebounded us 45-26. 

Early on, I thought we were solid in other areas. We advanced the ball quickly in transition and got good shots. As Union’s transition defense got better then our next hurdle was the 2-3 circle zone which Union has used forever. I thought we struggled against it most of the night. 

In the 2nd half, I thought our own 2-3 zone had its moments and we were able to rebound a little better than our man-to-man defense. In our man-to-man, I thought Union rebounded well and they executed their offense, getting layups and anything else they wanted in the painted area. 

Down the stretch, I thought we had our chances. Down by 6 with 3:52 to go, we gave up a basket AND a foul which pushed their lead up to 9... 

 Click here to see more of Coach's "After Game Thoughts." 


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