North Carolina People, Places, and Things-May 19
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.
On Tuesday night I had the great honor of making remarks at UNC Pembroke Employee Retirement Dinner. I was ask to speak on behalf of Dr. Tommy Thompson who stepped down after 35 years on June 30, 2015. The university has their ceremony once a year in mid -May so Dr. Thompson missed out last year.
Photo below (l-r) Dan Kenney-Dr. Tommy Thompson-UNC Pembroke Chancellor Dr. Robin Cummings
In my remarks about Dr. Thompson I mentioned what a fabulous athlete he is. In fact in high school he got invited to play in the prestigious 1963 East/West All-Star Game for Football.
I got wondering about the history of the those games and did some research.
The East-West All-Star Games were founded in 1949 by Coach Bob Jamieson of Grimsley High School and Smith Barrier, the Sports Editor of the Greensboro Daily News, to help finance the North Carolina Coaches Clinic.
The games feature players who have just graduated from high school – the best from the Eastern half of North Carolina against the best from the West. Coach Jamieson served as the Director of All-Star Games from 1949 until 1986. Upon his retirement, his protege, Phil Weaver, assumed the director’s position.
Phil Weaver was a former teacher, coach, and counselor at Grimsley High School in Greensboro and in 2016 the basketball court at Robert R. Sawyer Gymnasium was named in his honor.
Phil Weaver standing on the court that bears his name.
Football and Men’s Basketball were the sports played that first year in 1949. The football game was the first game played in the 11,000 seat Jamieson Stadium at Greensboro Senior High School (now Grimsley High School) and today they are still playing the All-Star Game at that site. The basketball game was played at Guilford College in Greensboro.
In 1954, the basketball game moved to the new Greensboro Senior High School gymnasium and was the first game played in that new and innovative facility. Interestingly, the first basket was scored by Charlie Adams of Cary High School who would become the longtime Executive Director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
Charlie is depicted below and is a member of a number of Hall of Fame including the National High School Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1960 the East/West basketball games moved to the new Greensboro Coliseum where the games are still played in its main arena.
Women’s basketball was added to the All-Star Games in the summer of 1975 and soccer for both men and women premiered in 1992 at the UNCG Soccer Stadium, where they are still held. Currently, the games feature 32 football players and 6 coaches on each team, 16 players and 1 coach on each of the four soccer teams , and 10 players and 2 coaches for each in basketball team. That’s 168 players, 24 coaches, 6 athletic trainers and 17 officials honored each summer.