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City backing college-focused hoops tourney Four-city event scheduled next month at Coppin State


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 first Mayor's Basketball Academy Tournament Jan. 9-11 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. They'll also participate in community service projects, such as hospital visits. Games will start at 4 p.m.

Anthony Lewis, a city rec center director, 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.

"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."

Bob Wade, city director of interscholastic sports, said planning began in May and involves, among others, the group 100 Black Men.

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

Pub Date: 12/20/96

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