Ceremony Dedicating New Court to Legendary Morehouse Basketball Coach Arthur McAfee to Be Held At Morehouse Basketball Home Opener Tuesday NightDate Released: November 21, 2017
There’s a story about legendary Morehouse College basketball coach and athletic director Arthur McAfee Jr. and his father, Arthur McAfee Sr., that few may know about.
According to Dick Russell’s book, “Black Genius: Inspirational Portraits of America’s Black Leaders,” Arthur Sr. was approached by a woman in their hometown of Witchita, Kansas. Her son had been a star basketball player in high school and a great student, but began to stray when he got to junior college.
That’s when the McAfees stepped in.
Arthur Sr. talked to his son, Arthur Jr. Arthur Jr. worked to get the young man into Morehouse College and on the basketball team, then mentored the young man, pushing him to become a better player and a better man. That young man ended up becoming the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Newcomer of the Year and graduating from Morehouse with a nearly straight-A average.
That was due to the work of Arthur McAfee Jr.
For that kind of work on and off the court, McAfee, Morehouse’s winningest head coach, will be honored Tuesday, Nov. 21 in Franklin Forbes Arena as the new playing floor will be dedicated in his honor when undefeated Morehouse hosts the University of West Georgia in the Maroon Tigers’ home opener. The game tips off at 7 p.m., with the dedication ceremony beginning at 6:45 p.m.
McAfee won 464 games as basketball coach at Morehouse from 1965 to 2000, with his 1990 team – featuring future NBA player and current New York Knicks executive Harold Ellis – advancing to the NCAA Division II Final Four. His teams won three SIAC titles and made three NCAA tournaments.
A member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors halls of fame, McAfee had four 20-win seasons, and more impressively, 95 percent of his players graduated from Morehouse.
“He was always concerned about his players,” said current Morehouse head basketball coach Grady Brewer ’80. Brewer played for McAfee and was his assistant coach for 13 years before taking over the program when McAfee retired in 2000.
“But it wasn’t just about basketball,” Brewer said. “He was always concerned about you being a man, making sure you made sounds decisions as a man. He gave a lot of Morehouse Men opportunities they never would have had if it weren’t for him believing in them and giving them an opportunity to play at Morehouse.”
Tuesday night, many of those former players – and those former athletes include those he also coached in football, track, tennis and swimming – will be at Forbes Arena to remember McAfee. Members of his immediate family will also be in attendance.
It’s also Family Night with people encouraged to bring their entire families out to the game, free of charge
Last Modified: November 21, 2017, 14:11 PM, by: Synera Shelton