Bernard Hopkins has put together a fabulous boxing career. Hopkins is the oldest fighter to win a world championship in the boxing history at age 48. The Philadelphia boxing great will be honored for that accomplishment on June 20 when he receives the John Wanamaker Athletic Award. The awards ceremony will take place at the Wanamaker Building’s Crystal Tea Room.
The award, which has been around since 1961, will be presented by the Philadelphia Sports Congress (PSC), a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Vistors Bureau (PHLCVB), in conjunction with Amerimar/Behringer Harvard. It recognizes the athlete, team or organization that has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia and to the team or sport in which they excel.
In 2011, Hopkins broke George Foreman’s record as the oldest fighter in history to win a title when he defeated Jean Pascal for the WBC and Ring Magazine light heavweight world championship as a 46-year-old fighter.
On March 9, Hopkins defeated IBF light heavyweight world champion Tavoris Cloud in a 12-round unanimous decision, capturing the title in front of a crowd of more than 12,000 fans at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I am extremely honored to be named the Wanamaker Athletic Award winner [Philadelphia Athlete of the Year]. Breaking my own record as the oldest fighter to win a world title was a great accomplishment in my career and for my city to receognize that means a great deal,” Hopkins said in a statement. “Everyone knows that Philadelphia breeds great champions and I take so much pride in representing Philly every time I step into the ring. Many thanks to the Philadelphia Sports Congress for this great honor.”
This ceremony will also recognize a national non-profit, “Back on My Feet,” who will receive the Robert P. Levy Community Service Award, presented to an individual oer organization that has done the most to “improve the quality of life in Philadelphia through sports.” Started in Philadelphia in 2007 by founder and CEO Anne Mahlum, Back on My Feet has promoted the self-sufficiency of America’s homeless by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem, often finding jobs and housing in the process.
In addition, the City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation Department will present its third annual Sports Volunteer of the Year award to Yolanda Laney, an employee in the Office of the City Solicitor who has dedicated more than 30 years of service to the youth of Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware, volunteering as a coach and mentor with various youth basketball programs. The award is presented annually to the “men and women in our community whose exemplary volunteer efforts have made a real difference in the lives of our City’s young people through sports.”
Laney was a terrific basketball player at University City High School. She was an All-Public League standout. She played her college basketball at Cheyney State. She was a Kodak All-American at Cheyney. Laney guided the Wolves to two NCAA Final Fours and one NCAA championship game.
“This year’s recipient are all great examples of the impact that individuals can have on others,” said David Montgomery, chairman, Philadelphia Sports Congress. “Bernard Hopkins is a true champion who has continued a wonderful legacy of Philadelphia boxing. In addition, Anne and Yolanda haved dedicated their lives to making a significant difference for so many people. They embody the true spirit of giving back to the community. All recipients represent our city extremely well.
Montana Mayfield, a basketball star at Abington Friends, has given an oral commitment to NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) in Newark, N.J. Mayfield, a 6-foot, 170-pound senior, will be playing Division I basketball for the Highlanders next season.
“I’m looking forward to playing for NJIT,” Mayfield said. “I think it’s great opportunity for me. They have a good basketball program there. They have a good academic program, too. I’m really excited about going there. I had received some interest from Liberty, Fairleigh Dickinson, Hofstra and East Carolina. But I’m really happy about going to NJIT. They’re building a good basketball team over there. They’ve made some great strides.”
The Highlanders play in the Great West Conference. They play against Chicago State, Houston Baptist, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley. NJIT finished the season with a 16-13 overall record. Mayfield, a versatile point guard, can score and handle the basketball and should be a solid floor general for the Highlanders.
“I think I can be a good leader for them,” Mayfield said. “I know that’s important. I plan to work on my game over the summer to help me get ready for the season. I’m going to go up to the school on July 8 for the summer. In the meantime I’ll be working out. That’s what I’m going to do until school begins.”
Abington Friends head coach Steve Chadwin feels Mayfield should do well at NJIT. Chadwin has seen Mayfield take his game to another level this season with his scoring and passing.
“He’s going to be a great player,” Chadwin said. “He’s a very strong guard. He’s definitely a point guard, but can shoot the ball very well. He can get to the rim and see the floor very well. He’s very unselfish. He’ll get the ball to the players at the right time. He has a great attitude. He has a great passion for the game. He’s a very good leader. He has all the qualities to be a very good player at the next level.”
Matt Brown has signed a contract with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. Brown is the sixth Temple football player to sign with a professional football team this spring. He joins running back Montel Harris (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), defensive back Maurice Jones (Chicago Bears), placekicker/punter Brandon McManus (Indianapolis Colts), offensive lineman Martin Wallace (Cleveland Browns) and defensive end John Youboty (Denver Broncos).
Brown, a brilliant running back, also starred on the Owls special teams. He was named the 2012 Big East special teams player of the year and a first-team All-Big East honoree. He played in 10 games with three starts at tailback while handling all return duties as a senior last season.
He finished his college career ranked No. 2 at Temple in all-purpose yardage (5,272), No. 3 in rushing touchdowns (22), and No. 4 in 100-yard rushing performances (10). In 2012, Brown set the season record for punt return average (14.2) and at Louisville he set the school record for kickoff return yards (227). Brown finished third in rushing with 372 yards and four touchdowns on 60 carries. He led the Owls with 241 yards on 17 punt returns and 790 yards and a touchdown on 31 kickoff returns. Despite missing two games due to injury, Brown finished as the Big East leader in all-purpose yards, averaging 143.4 yards a game.
Brown became the fifth active Owl to appear on a CFL roster: running back Tim Brown, (B.C. Lions), quarterback Henry Burris (Hamilton Tiger-Cats), linenbacker Dominique Harris (Hamilton Tiger-Cats), and defensive lineman Elisha Joseph (Calgary Stampeders).
Temple opens the college season at Notre Dame on Aug. 31. The kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. on NBC.
AND1 Summer Remix Basketball Tournament
The AND1 apparel and sneaker brand, in conjunction with IMG recently announced the creation of the AND1 Summer Remxi Basketball Tournament to be held at The Liacouras Center, on the campus of Temple University. The event will take place from Aug. 29-Sept. 1. Nationwide tryouts will be held leading up to AND1’s signature event.
The new event will be a 12-team, $100,000, winner-take-all tournament held over Labor Day Weekend.
Arcidiacono, Hollis-Jefferson accept invitations
Twenty-four players, including 16 with previous USA Basketball experience, have accepted invitations to attend the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team training camp that will be held June 14-19 at the U.S Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Two local players have accepted invitations Villanova basketball star Ryan Arcidiacono and Chester High All-American Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Arcidiacono led Villanova to the NCAA tournament last season. Hollis-Jefferson guided the Clippers to the PIAA state title game.
Lincoln University is looking for nominations for its 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame Class. The athletic department will induct its second Hall of Fame class on Sept. 27. The class will be introduced during halftime of the Lincoln vs. Livingstone College football game on Sept. 28 at the Lincoln University Football Stadium.
The members of the inaugural Hall of Fame class were Dr. Leonard L. Bethel, Dr. Frank “Tick” Coleman, Barrington “Barry” Fearon, Munford Merrill “Monte” Irvin, Rhondale Jones, Ashley Parker, Dr. Tarron Richardson, Manuel Rivero, Robert Eugene Smith, Dr. Tehma H. Smith and Clive Terrelonge.
Here are some worthy candidates that certainly merit consideration for the second class:
Knox did an excellent job as Lincoln University’s sports information director. He spent five years as the Lions SID. He played a significant role in providing Lincoln with a great deal of publicity. He placed feature stories in Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com. His publicity efforts brought national attention to the school’s track and field program. He played a huge role bringing national publicity to the return of Lincoln University’s football team in 2008. His timely press releases and sports information produced a number of college basketball and track and field All-Americans. Knox, a Chester High alumnus, is 1996 Lincoln University graduate. He currently works for ESPN in Bristol, Conn. as statistics manager in the statistics & analysis department.
Wright, a 6-foot-7 forward, was a sixth round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in 1973. Wright scored over 1,000 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds in his career. He was a NAIA All-American.
Lewis was a prolific scorer. He was one of the top scorers in Division III. The 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 26.8 points and 6.6 rebounds a game his junior year.
Gooden had a great basketball career at Lincoln University. The 6-foot-2 guard received NAIA All-American honors. He scored 1,237 career points and played with Wright. The Lions had one of the best small college programs in the NAIA.
Benjamin “Alvin” Arnold
Arnold was a two-year starter for Lincoln under head coach Doug Randolph. He could score and handle the ball. He had a knack for hitting the big shot. At 6-foot, Arnold was a terrific leaper. He could dunk with ease and explode to the basket. He was also a great defender.
Caldwell had the ability to create his own shot. He had a great jumpshot. He could get in the lane with his ballhanding and quickness. Caldwell played some great basketball durung a great era for Black college basketball that featured players like Rubin Collins, Talvin Skinner, James Roundtree and Marvin Webster.
Woodard was the Lincoln’s first female track and field All-American in 1989 under Hall of Fame coach Cyrus Jones. She was a key member of Lincoln’s NCAA track and field championship team that year. She was a great sprinter.
Matthews was a tremendous all-around athlete. She ran track, played volleyball and softball. Matthews became the first African-American female in the 54-year history of the ECAC-SIDA organization to receive an award during its annual banquet . She received the distinguished Bill Esposito Award for her work in sports information. She was also nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year.
Young was a tremendous track and field athlete. He received All-American honors in the 200, 400, 4x100 relay, 4x200 relay and 4x100 relay teams. In 2005, he was named the Most Oustanding Athlete.
Edney was an 11-time All-American in track and field. He anchored Lincoln’s 1989 outdoor 4x100 relay team, which captured the Division III championship. He is now the head track and field coach at Rutgers-Newark.
Franz Alfred “Jazz” Byrd
Byrd was an All-American running back and quarterback for Lincoln’s football team. He is one of the school’s all-time great football players. He also ran track. He is a member of the class of 1925.
Robert “Whirlwind” Johnson
Johnson is known as “The Godfather of Tennis.” In 2009, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He is responsible for developing the outstanding tennis careers of the late Arthur Ashe and the late Althea Gibson. In addition to his trailblazing efforts in tennis, he was a tremendous football player. In 1924, he was selected to the Negro All-American football team.
Nominations are due or post marked by June 1, 2013. All nominations submitted in 2012 will be included in the pool for consieration with the 2013 nominees for the 2013 class. For more information, go to www.lulions.com
This is a big week for high school track and field in the city. The PIAA state championship track and field meet will be held May 24-25 at Shippensburg University. There are some key track and field performers to watch from the Public and Catholic Leagues in the different classifications.
These track and field standouts turned in brilliant performances in the District 12 track and field championship meet.
Niager Mathis, a great sprinter from Swenson, is one of the top athletes in Class AAA. Mathis won the 100 (10.91) and the 400 (48.25) at the city title meet. He also ran on the Lions’ 4x400 relay team featuring Jalen Marks, Stephan Julieover and Malik Jefferson that finished in first place (3:23.24).
Samuel Reid, Central High’s shotputter, threw 56-5 to win his event. Reid could be a major performer in the field events at the state meet.
Archbishop Ryan’s Jeremiah Agrio won the 110 (14.66) and 300 hurdles (39.99). Agrio has done a great job with the hurdles throughout the spring season.
In Class AA, Delaware Valley Charter has a terrific sprinter in Joseph Spearman who won the 100 (11.48) and 200(22.58) in the District 12 championship meet. Spearman also ran on Delaware Valley’s 4x400 relay team that took first place (3:27.88) with Tyrell Maddox, Joshua Wilkinson and Tyshawn Walker. He could be a top contender at the state championship meet.
In the girls’ Class AAA, Diamond Hodge of Girls High, was nothing short of sensational at the District 12 meet. Hodge won the 100 (15.30) and 300-meter hurdles (44.67). She also captured first place in the long jump with (18-1) and the triple jump (38-7). Hodge should be a featured performer at the state title meet.
In the girls’ Class AA competition, Swenson appears to have a chance to make a lot of noise at the state meet. The Lions are coming off a tremendous showing at the District 12 championship meet. Amy Hicks, Swenson’s outstanding sprinter, won the 100 (12.10) and 100 hurdles (14.48). Tichina Rhodes turned in a great performance won the 200 (25.09) and 400 (55.38). In addition, Swenson won the 4x100 relay (47.76) with Hicks, Amani Nesmith, Jameela Muhammad and Imani Harris-Quillen and the 4x400 relay (3:53.47) with Markeeta Thomas, Sydney Coffee, Rhodes and Harris-Quillen.