One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for November 28, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
In 2015 we have some new faces on the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees. One of the new leaders is no stranger to our university and his name is Alphonso McRae Jr.
I first met Al in 1977 when I became the assistant basketball coach at UNC Pembroke. He was a recent graduate of Pembroke and was a standout basketball player. He also was an area high school basketball official and gave me quite a few leads on local players who I wound up recruiting.
Al also may have been the youngest founding member of the athletic department’s Braves Club. The BRAVES Club began in 1977 under the leadership of Bruce Barton, the first president. 100 athletic supporters including Bruce and Al each donated $100 to start the club.
Al is a resident of Proctorville, N.C., and was appointed to the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees in 2015 by the UNC Board of Governors. He is vice president for Institutional Services at Robeson Community College in Lumberton, N.C., where he oversees multiple departments including Campus Security and Parking Services, and Health, Safety and Compliance.
Al graduated from UNCP with a Bachelor of Science in physical education and a minor in biology. He earned his Master of Counselor Education from East Carolina University while working as a summer coordinator for the Upward Bound Program at UNCP. He then went on to work for over 20 years in various roles within the Public Schools of Robeson County.
Al maintains strong ties to the community through various athletic and civic ventures. He serves on the Southeastern Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees and is an official with the Southeastern Athletic Officials Association. He was inducted into the UNC Pembroke Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981 as a member of the men’s basketball team. In 2012, he was named an honorary co-chair of UNC Pembroke’s 125th Anniversary Committee.
Al is a very committed sports official. He has called games on the college, high school and AAU level. He has passed that love on to his son Christian.
The Friend-ALPHONSO MCRAE Jr.
The Friend of the Friend-CHRISTIAN MCRAE-shown officiating a Fayetteville NC girls high school game.
Passing on the love of the game
Christian McRae was a standout high school basketball player at Lumberton High School and went on to Methodist University (Fayetteville NC) to play basketball. He suffered some pretty bad injuries to his knees that made him choose to follow in his dad’s footsteps as a college official.
Christian and his dad are very close. Photo below is from a 2012 trip to New York City.
Officiating has given them something else to share these days. Photo of the two of them calling a game together in February 2015.
Back in February there was a great article written about the two of them that I encourage you to read.
Great father son combo.