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Baltimore to host four-city basketball tourney Event at Coppin State to include help for college


Plans for a basketball tournament next month that also will involve players in workshops about qualifying for college were announced yesterday by Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and city school officials.

The Jan. 9-11 event at Coppin State College will involve girls and boys teams from seven Baltimore high schools, as well as three from Philadelphia, two from Washington and one from New York City. Players' parents or guardians are to participate, too.

During morning classroom sessions, players and parents will participate in workshops about the NCAA's newest guidelines on freshman eligibility (Proposition 6). They'll also participate in community service projects, such as hospital visits, with games starting at 4 p.m.

Several city officials -- among them Mayor Schmoke, schools superintendent Dr. Walter Amprey, deputy superintendent Dr. Patricia Newby, and Bob Wade, city director of interscholastic sports -- talked at City Hall yesterday about the first Mayor's Basketball Academy Tournament.

Anthony Lewis, director of Cecil-Kirk Recreation Center, said that "a lot of our public school student-athletes attempting to qualify for the NCAA guidelines of a 2.5 [grade-point average] and corresponding 820 [Scholastic Assessment Test score], are having difficulty doing that.

"There's been a general unpreparedness among our young people to step to the next level," he said. "We hope to stimulate and motivate them over this three-day period."

Wade said that "today, I saw a tremendous amount of support, not only from the academic field, but from the community." He said he has been working on the project since May with State Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden and Donald Rigby, a member and president, respectively, of the organization 100 Black Men.

"The 100 Black Men have done a lot of positive things in the community. They run mentoring and outreach programs," Wade said. "So we've kind of joined forces with them to combine our efforts and reach our goal."

Participating schools includeDunbar, Walbrook, Lake Clifton, St. Frances, Southern, Southwestern and Towson Catholic, as well as Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion, Roman Catholic and Ben Franklin, Washington's Woodson and McKinley, and New York's Paul Robeson.

Tickets will cost $8 and will be sold in advance at participating schools and recreation centers. A schedule will be announced later.

Wade said the program's goal is to "show that academics and athletics, together, are a win-win situation."

Pub Date: 12/20/96

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