HBCU capsule: Welcome to the HOUSE!
In honor of BHM, SLAM presents: THE HBCU CAPSULE COLLECTION
The basketball culture in Atlanta is like nothing else, especially at the famous Morehouse College.
As a freshman from Milwaukee, Wisconsin moving into a new neighborhood, basketball became a safe haven from the pressures that came with studying. I played pick-up games at the crowded Archer Hall Recreation Center for hours so I could meet so many people on campus and feel comfortable competing. Whether I was playing or going to play, there was always a mood.
Morehouse Basketball is as famous as the institution itself. Without legendary trainer Arthur J. McAfee, the program would no doubt not be where it is today. His career at Morehouse began in 1965 and lasted over 30 years. The Hall of Fame coach has a school record of 464 victories, plus three SIAC titles and three NCAA tournament appearances during his famous career. However, his best known year as a coach was the 1989/90 season.
After winning a SIAC championship title, the fighting Maroon Tigers went to the 1990 NCAA Division II tournament and advanced like no team has ever been in the school's history. Under coach McAfee and the later Los Angeles clipper Harold Ellis, the team appeared for the first time in the Final Four. Morehouse became a powerhouse, and with success the program has turned things further upside down.
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Our program was about to conclude one of the best regular seasons in school history. Morehouse took an 18-0 lead and established itself as an extremely competent team that had beaten our cross-campus rival Clark Atlanta by one point in an earlier season meeting. Then, the night before the game, the arena was full, standing room only. Over 6,000 spectators, including students, faculty and alumni, were convinced of the drama they expected to play out on the square.
The game was amazing to watch, Morehouse pride and hype coming together into one. We'd prevail and beat Clark Atlanta again 72-67 to get a spectacular 25 wins this season.
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The rivalry between Morehouse and Clark Atlanta was special. During my sophomore year, I remember Brown Street, the heart of campus, which was lit as always. The students chatted excitedly as they went to class, and everyone was talking about last season's match between the neighboring Clark Atlanta Panthers at the historic Forbes Arena. It was a must.
This is what essentially makes the competition at an HBCU so unique. Black Excellence is celebrated in an intimate, welcoming form. There is a strong sense of community and pride in black people and our success. The basketball program at Morehouse helps promote these values in ways only The House can.
Corey Guy is a Senior, CTEMS Major (Cinema, Television, Emerging Media Studies) and Minor Sports Journalism from Morehouse College. He was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His favorite team are the Milwaukee Bucks.
In honor of Black History Month, SLAM partnered with 19Nine to bring out four retro shorts from monumental seasons when the Eagles, Bison, Pirates and Maroon Tigers put their schools on the map.
They are now available at SLAMgoods.