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Black History Month Story / Will Jones Story

Willie Jones vs Georgetown

It was the summer of 1972 and it was early in my basketball career. That summer I was fortunate enough to create a memory in my basketball journey that would last a lifetime. My mother registered me for my first basketball camp, the American University camp located in the Pocono Mountains. The camp was run by Tom Young who went on to have a stellar coaching career at Rutgers (i.e., Final Four Finalist) as well as Dr. Tom Davis who coached successfully at Boston College & Iowa U. We also had a special guest visit from Chuck Daley who coached at Penn and went on to take the Detroit Pistons to the NBA championship. It was there I met my mentor/counselor Will Jones, the most animated personality in DMV basketball history, I liken him to the GREATEST Muhammad Ali. Will was a muscular smooth cat sporting some slick coaching shorts that I had never seen before; He took me under his wing without hesitation. His keen eye for raw talent afforded a young man heading into his junior year of high school the chance to play with college ballers. One of those college standouts was Kermit Washington the last player to average 20 points & 20 rebounds in division1 basketball. Washington went on to have a very productive NBA career. Kermit was walking around the camp with a weight jacket, he was determined to lead the nation in rebounding, It got an up close and personal view of what dedication looks like. That jacket he was wearing created some explosive hops; Kermit was a beast on the glass. I remember taking him to the basket in a counselor game one night and he blocked my shot off the mountain, that was embarrassing. The ball was never found. I left that camp feeling confident, I thought I could ball with anyone. I was ready for the world!

Later in my journey after my senior year in high school, I played in the Tournament of Champions at Woodson high school. That tournament had the best players on the east coast. I was playing alongside Moses Malone (i.e., NBA Hall of Fame) and Skip Wise (Balt Legend). I was checking the great point guard Aubrey Nash, a Dematha All-Met who had won a city championship & taken Kanas to Final Four. He went for 25 points in the 1st half before they put me on him, and I was on him like a cheap suit. I held Aubrey to 6 pts in the 2nd half of the game and we went on to victory. Coach Jones was standing at the exit and he remarked to me “Penny Greene” I knew you could shoot the ball, but I did not know you played defense like that son! “That was an immensely proud
moment for me, I had the blessing from one of the godfathers of DC Basketball.

Willie Jones

I discovered later my one-time counselor/ mentor was one of the most respected basketball players in the DC basketball history. He was first team all-met at Dunbar where he avg. 34 pts a game. His legendary persona included scoring 54 points (see newsclip) in a college payoff game at American U., this guy was a groundbreaking athlete. The word on the street was he talked big trash to Big Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain, when Wilt came to DC to play against the great Elgin Baylor. Will played with Elgin in the historic playground battle that sent Wilt home with a loss. Wilt was quoted as saying they stacked the team on me. Will’s trash talking took place was while he was shooting his jump shot, He would say “In your eyes where beauty lies”!

There is a thin line between confident and cocky and I know as a guy who got buckets you must be self-assured to avg. 34 pts a game. Willie had a million-dollar smile and was cat quick with a lethal jump shot, he was one of the original bucket getters from the DMV. He had 40-point games in high school and in college. Willie also played on the greatest street ball team in DMV history, the AC Stonewall squad. That mob ran up more 51 games in a row!

DMV Bucket getters that graduated high school in the 1950: Stan Kernan, Ben Warley, Lew Luce, Elgin Baylor, Duce Smith, Jack Sullivan, Ernie Cage. The career of Will Jones continued as a great high school and college coach, first at Robinson HS, in Fairfax county where his team went 76-10. He was also an assistant at the University of Maryland under Lefty Driesell and then the University of District of Columbia hired Will in 1979, he rewarded them by taking the school to a National championship.

Willie Jones jumpshot

These attributes as a player and a coach were impressive, but nothing impacted me more about Will Jones than his humanitarian act of Boycotting The Boys Club of Washington All-Star game in 1956. He sat out the game and satisficed exposure to major a college to perform a civil rights act. Dc Basketball’s contribution to the civil rights movement. Greater Good Seven / ALL-STAR GAME BOYCOTTED IN 1956

Story Written by Jerry Davis Washington Post

Twenty – four of the area’s finest schoolboy basketball players will complete in the tenth annual All-High, All-Prep game today 3pm at the Fort Myer gymnasium. (see newsclip)

The game will benefit the Big Brother Club work fund. The All-High team took a 5-4 edge in the series by scoring a 79-64 victory in last year’s contest.

Seven players originally selected for the All-High team will not play in today’s game. They took themselves off the squad in protest of the segregation policy of the Boy’s Club of Washington. The Boys’ Club is a major recipient of funds from the game through the Big Brothers Club. The seven boys missing from the All-High lineup are Willie Jones of Dunbar, Gene Johnson and Dickie Wells of Spingarn, Bill Thomas Phelps, Willie Wood and Bob Archer of Armstrong and O’Donnell Hooks of Cardozo.

The All-High team will be coached by Julian Colangelo of Coolidge-coaches for the All-Prep squad will be Tommy Nolan of Gonzaga and Joe Gallagher of St. Johns.

Members of the All-Prep team are: Jim Mandes and Jim Collins of St John’s Don Dell of Landon, Tom McCloskey and Bill Sheahan of Gonzaga, Dick Petrillo of John Carroll, Porter Shreve of St Albans, John McDonough and Ernie Cage of DeMatha, Dave Wilson of St Anthony’s, Bob Murphy of Priory, Jim Stant of Mackin and Tony Carroll of Georgetown.

The All-High squad is composed of Bill Talent of Chamberlain ,Alan Savage and Milt Michaelis of Coolidge ,Bob Bolen and John Kelly of McKinley Tech. Lew Luce of Wilson, Jim Pratt of Eastern, Demetre Koutras of Roosevelt, Calvin Knott of Anacostia and Bob Lomax and Ray Lombardi of Western-Jerry Davis


“The cause of every human being is their right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to dream and manifest that dream with all its privileges as an American. But if the dignity of one is betrayed the dignity of all could be forgotten.” Racism had met their match with the Greater Good Seven.strong>

Dr. Sheryl Dillard, Poet Laureate

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3000 Points Club: Archie Talley, Salem 3720 2000 Points Club: Jack Sullivan, Mount Saint Mary 2672, Dave Robinson, Navy 2669, Austin Carr, Notre Dame 2560, Johnny Dawkins, Duke 2556, Jeff Covington, Youngstown State 2424, Carlos Yates, George Mason 2420, Gene Littles,High Point College 2398, Lawrence Moten, Syracuse 2334, Chris McGuthrie. Mount Saint Mary 2297, Greg Saunders, St Bonnies 2238, Louis Bullock, Michigan 2224, Adrian Dantley, Notre Dame 2223, Kenny Saunders, George Mason 2177, Randolph Childress, Wake Forest 2208, Keith Herron, Villanova 2170, Danny Ferry, Duke 2156, Len Bias, Maryland, 2149, Dennis Scott, Georgia Tech 2115, David Hawkins, Temple 2077, Sherman Douglas, Syrcuse 2060, Fred Hentzel, Davidson 2032, Adrian Branch, Maryland 2017 50 Points Club: Archie Talley / Salem College / 11 times / 4 TIMES IN ONE WEEK, Austin Carr/ Notre Dame / 9 times, Elgin Baylor / Seattle / 2 times, Danny Ferry / Duke / 58/ 1time, Will Jones / American University 54 / 1 time, Fred Hetzel / Davidson / 53/ 1 time, Dave Robinson / Navy/ 50 /1time, Jack Sullivan / Mount St.Marys / 50 / 2 times, Jack Sullivan / Mount St.Marys / 40 / 6 times 40 Points Club: Austin Carr / Notre Dame / 23 times, Archie Talley / Salem College / 20 times, Elgin Baylor / Seattle College / 4 times, John Austin / Boston College / 4 times, Fred Hetzel / Davidson College / 4 times, Dave Robinson / Navy / 4 times, Dave Bing / Syracuse / 3 times, Michael Beasley / Kansas State / 3 times, Adrian Dantley / Notre Dame / 3 times, Kenny Carr / Nc State / 3times, Jerry Chambers / Utah / 3 times, Will Jones / American U./ 2 times, Greg Sanders / St Bonnies / 2 times, Bob Lewis / North Carolina /2 times, Scottie Reynolds / Villanova / 2 times, Danny Ferry / Duke / 1 time, Bob Whitmore / Notre Dame / 1 time, Collis Jones / Notre Dame / 1 time, Jeff Covington / Youngstown State / 1 time, Randolph Childress / Wake Forest / 1 time, Ronnie Hogue / Georgia / 1 time, Eugene Oliver / South Alabama / 1 time, Carlos Yates / George Mason / 1 time, Monte Williams / Norte Dame / 1 time, Hawkeye Whitney / Nc. State / 1 time, Lenny Bias / Maryland U / 1 time, David Hawkins / Temple / 1 time, Kermit Washington / American / 1 time, Skeeter Swift / East Tenn.State / 1 time NBA Rookie of Year: Elgin Baylor- Spingarn, Dave Bing- Spingarn, Adrian Dantley- DeMatha, Dave Robinson- Woodbridge, Grant Hill- South Lake, Steve Francis-, Kevin Durant- Montrose Christian NBA Hall Of Fame: Earl Lloyd, Dallas Shirley, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Morgan Wooten, John Thompson Sr., Adrian Dantley Assist Club: Sherman Douglas - Syracuse U. / 22 assist, Kelvin Scarborough - New Mexico / 21 assists, Grayson Marshall - Clemson U. / 20 assists, Jan Panell - Oklahoma U. / 18 assists, Sidney Lowe - N.C. State / 18 assists, Brian Ellerbe - Rutgers U. / 16 assists, Charlie Smith - Georgetown U. / 16 assists, Jay Gallagher - Mount St. Mary’s / 15 assists, Penny Greene - U. of South Florida / 15 assists, Moochie Norris - West Florida / 15 assists, Harold Fox - Jacksonville U. / 14 assists, Stan Washington - San Diego / 14 assists, Toney Ellis - Colorado / 13 assists, Cricket Williams - Jacksonville U. / 13 assists, Michael Jackson - Georgetown / 13 assists, John Duren - Georgetown / 13 assists, Steve Francis - Maryland / 13 assists, Eddie Jordan - Rutgers / 13 assists, Tom Amaker - Duke / 13 assists
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