Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Rich Basketball Tradition was on Display Thursday at the 2nd Annual Glenn Hills Alumni Game

Anybody needing an education in the rich basketball tradition at Glenn Hills would have learned plenty visiting Michael E. Curry Gymnasium Thursday for the second annual Glenn Hills Alumni Basketball Game. Spartan hoopers from the last 30 plus years, women and men, returned to play back-to-back games in front of a full house of fans and current and former students of the school.

Members of the two recent state championship teams played, including Tyesha Smith, a key leader on the 2002 Lady Spartans squad that won it all. Smith played at UNC Charlotte after graduating. Participating in the mens game were Jerel Stephenson and Chris Reynolds, seniors on the 2008 state title squad. Stephenson went from Glenn Hills to UNC Wilmington, and Reynolds to Campbell, after their championship run.

From left: David Beard (game founder), Ciara Lyons,
Bernard Bowman, and Jessica Morton
Current Lady Spartans coach Bernard Bowman, who led the 2002 team, was honored after the girls game with a plaque presented to him by former players Jessica Morton, who played her college ball West Virginia, and Ciara Lyons, a former Lander Bearcat.

Glenn Hills is the only area school I know that claims two former NBA players. Mike Curry (class of 1986), for whom the school's new gym is named, played longer than a decade in the league and has also been a head coach and an assistant coach in the "association." And William Cunningham (class of 1992) played for three NBA teams after graduating from Temple, where he was a starter on some of legendary coach John Chaney's best teams. His teammates included Eddie Jones, Aaron Mckie, and Rick Brunson, and the Owls reached the Elite 8 round of the 1993 NCAA tournament.

Cunningham, better known to us old timers by his nickname "Six", and his childhood friend and teammate Lamont Johnson answered a couple questions about each other in the interview included in the video above. The two made for quite the dynamic duo in the early 90's, Cunningham towering above all at 6'11" and Johnson, who played his college ball at Augusta University, jetting around the court at just over 5 feet tall.

The two currently team up as members of Laney's coaching staff. But Thursday night made it clear they will always be Spartans at heart.

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