Basketball Court to be Dedicated To Former Coach Arthur McAfee Jr.

Date Released: November 21, 2017

Few people may know the story about legendary Morehouse College basketball coach and athletic director Arthur McAfee Jr. and his father, Arthur McAfee Sr.

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 Wichita, Kan. Her son had been a star basketball player in high school and a great student, but he began to stray in junior college.

That’s when the McAfees stepped in.

Arthur Sr. talked to his son, Arthur Jr., who worked to get the young man into Morehouse College and onto the basketball team. Then Arthur Jr. mentored the young man, pushing him to become a better player and a better man. The young man ended up becoming Newcomer of the Year in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and graduating from Morehouse with a nearly straight-A average.

That was the work of Arthur McAfee Jr. And for that kind of effort on and off the court, McAfee—Morehouse’s winningest head coach—will be honored Tuesday, Nov. 21, in Franklin Forbes Arena when the new court is dedicated in his honor. An undefeated Morehouse team hosts the University of West Georgia in the Maroon Tigers’ home opener at 7 p.m. The dedication ceremony begins at 6:45 p.m.

McAfee won 464 games as Morehouse basketball coach from 1965–2000, with his 1990 team—a 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 halls of fame at both the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, 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 sound 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 basketball players—and former athletes McAfee 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, and fans are encouraged to bring their families out to the game, free of charge.

Last Modified: November 21, 2017, 11:11 AM, by: Synera Shelton

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