Red Auerbach

NBA legend Red Auerbach and abolitionist John Brown had more in common than the color of their skin. These two white men stood up for black folks when they could not stand up for themselves.

John Brown for example, is famous for leading a small group on a raid against a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in an attempt to start an armed slave revolt and destroy the institution of slavery (sounds like Red Auerbach to me).

John Brown was born in Connecticut in 1800 and raised in Ohio, Brown came from a staunchly Calvinist and anti-slavery family. He spent much of his life failing at a variety of businesses–he declared bankruptcy at age 42 and had more than 20 lawsuits filed against him. In 1837, his life changed irrevocably when he attended an abolition meeting in Cleveland, during which he was so moved that he publicly announced his dedication to destroying the institution of slavery. As early as 1848 he was formulating a plan to incite an insurrection.

In the 1850s, Brown traveled to Kansas with five of his sons to fight against the proslavery forces in the contest over that territory. On May 21, 1856, proslavery men raided the abolitionist town of Lawrence, and Brown personally sought revenge. On May 25, Brown and his sons attacked three cabins along Pottawatomie Creek. They killed five men with broad swords and triggered a summer of guerilla warfare in the troubled territory. One of Brown’s sons was killed in the fighting.

By 1857, Brown returned to the East and began raising money to carry out his vision of a mass uprising of slaves. He secured the backing of six prominent abolitionists, known as the “Secret Six,” and assembled an invasion force. His “army” grew to include 22 men, including five black men and three of Brown’s sons. The group rented a Maryland farm near Harpers Ferry and prepared for the assault.

On the night of October 16, 1859, Brown and his band overran the arsenal. Some of his men rounded up a handful of hostages, including a few slaves. Word of the raid spread, and by morning Brown and his men were surrounded. A company of U.S. marines arrived on October 17, led by Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart. On the morning of October 19, the soldiers overran Brown and his followers. Ten of his men were killed, including two of his sons.

The wounded Brown was tried by the state of Virginia for treason and murder, and he was found guilty on November 2, 1859. The 59-year-old abolitionist went to the gallows on December 2, 1859. Before his execution, he handed his guard a slip of paper that read, “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” It was a prophetic statement. Although the raid failed, it inflamed sectional tensions and raised the stakes for the 1860 presidential election. Brown’s raid helped make any further accommodation between North and South nearly impossible and thus became an important impetus of the Civil War.

The black folks (NAACP) protesting the Boston Police Department for honoring Boston Celtic Coach Red Auerbach during Black History Month, should be reminded, “You don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house!”
HBell, Red Auerbach and Earl Lloyd celebrate Black History Month

I remember when the black community in the late 70s was accusing the Boston Celtics of being the most racist team in the NBA on sports talk radio in Washington, DC. It was during an interview with Washington Post sports editor George Solomon on my Inside Sports talk show, I suggested that I write a column proving them wrong and I did.

I reminded black folks who didn’t have a clue, in 1950 Chuck Cooper of Duquesne University and a second team All-American was drafted by coach Red Auerbach and owner Walter Brown. Cooper would become the first black player drafted and signed by an NBA team. The NBA is now the most integrated pro sports organization in America. Despite that fact, the plantation mentality still lingers, but the Boston Celtics are no longer the bad guys. The NBA history today is a watered down version of the history that I lived.
Boston Celtic coach Red Auerbach and owner Walter Brown shake hands after drafting first black player, Chuck Cooper.

Red was the first coach to play five black players at the same time. He was first to hire the first black coach, Bill Russell and the first to hire a black General Manager, aka Bill Russell. During the tenure of owner Walter Brown and Red Auerbach the Boston Garden was a “Racial Free Zone.” The stifling racial strife in the city of Boston for the past several decades was not allowed in Boston Garden during Celtic games. When games were played in the garden the Redneck riff-raff had to check their KKK robes and hoods at the gate and replace them with shirt and tie, or blue jeans and tee-shirts. Boston Garden security had orders to show the exit to those who did not comply.

When the basketball hall of fame had forgotten the contributions of pioneer Earl Lloyd the first black player to play in an NBA game in 1950, Red, sports columnist Dick Heller and I reminded them. When Earl brought the omission to my attention and ask for my help, I invited Boston Celtic Hall of fame player Sam Jones, CBS/NFL studio host James Brown, WOL Radio One talk show host, Butch McAdams, Andrew Dywer and Christy Winter-Scott of The Round Ball Report to have lunch with me at Union Station to discuss a Game Plan to get him inducted into the hall of fame.

NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd

The timing could not have been better, the NBA All-Star Game was to be played in Washington, DC at the MCI Center in February 2001 and it was just a few months away. I laid out the plan to honor Earl during that weekend. First event would be in his hometown of nearby Alexandria, Virginia with a Earl Lloyd Day. There would be a youth basketball clinic and a tribute in his honor later that evening in Washington, DC at the historical Bohemian Caverns. James Brown had agreed to co-host the tribute with NBA/Playground Basketball legend Sonny Hill.
Sam Jones, HBell, James Brown and Earl Lloyd celebrate Black Histoy Month

In a conversation with James on our exit from Union Station he asked me, “Harold did you check with Abe Polin?” I pretended I did not hear him and I ask him to repeat himself and he did. I could not believe my ears, my response, ‘I don’t work for Abe Polin and he ain’t my father!’ He said, ‘OK’ and made his exit never to be seen again. The next time I saw him and questioned him about his disappearance. He said, ‘I don’t remember making that committment’ and he has been lying ever since.

The evening turned out to be a winner, my ace in the hole was NBA Godfather Red Auerbach. There was a sabortage attempt, and I detected Earl getting a little weak in the knees, he regrouped when I told him Red Auerbach would be at the tribute. The tribute was a success and it was the only All-Star event Red participated in that weekend. Basketball royalty was in attendance, K C Jones, Al Attles, Earl Monroe, Phil Chenier, Jim ‘Bad News’ Barnes,Sonny Hill, Sam Jones, Leonard Hamilton, and Clarence ‘Bighouse’ Gaines.

Earl Lloyd was finally inducted into the Naismith Basketball of Fame in 2003 over fifty years later. Thanks to Red Auerbach, and the late Washington Times sports columnist Dick Heller without them Earl never would have made it, better late than never.

EARL & DAVE Scan0003
Earl Lloyd’s induction into the NBA Hall of Fame–NBA legend Dave Bing looks on.

There is a familiar warning, “If you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat it!”

We were warned by the Kerner Commission in 1968 assembled to find out the reason for the disturbing uprisings in the inner-city. The Commission “forewarned that we were headed for two different societies, one black and one white, seperate and unequal” and here we are 50 years later.

The Kerner Report was released on February 29, 1968, after 7 months of investigation. The Report became an instant best seller, and over 2 million Americans brought copies of the 246 page document. Its finding was that the riots resulted from black frustration at lack of economic opportunity. Dr. King pronouced the report a “A Physician’s warning of a approaching death, with a prescription for life.” The prescription had no refills.

The Kerner Report suggested that one main cause of urban violence was white racism and suggested that white America bore much of the responsibility for black rioting and rebellion.

The report berated federal and state governments for failed housing, education and social-service policies. The report also aimed some of its hashest criticism at the mainstream media, “The press has too long basked in a white world looking out of it, if at all, with white men’s eyes and a white perspective.”
CBS/NFL studio host James Brown–if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

For the past 50 years black leaders, politicians, ministers, judges, educators, law enforcement, media personalities and especially my hero, Congressman John Lewis and the Congressional Black Caucus have sit on their hands singing, “We Shall Overcome” while doing absolutely nothing to improve the plight of the down trodden.

First, they made Bill Clinton “The First Black President” to keep hope alive and he did absolutely nothing. The first Black President Barack Obama took the country by storm and at last the caucus was singing a brand new song, “Free at Last!” By the time President Obama made his decision to attend his first ever Black Caucus Week End Dinner, his first words to them were, “Stop complaining.”

Enter surprise, President Donald Trump. His first words to Congressman John Lewis after Lewis called him a illegitimate President, “All talk and no action.” Trump’s response is equivalent to Obama’s shoutout to the Congressional Black Caucus. The problems that people of color are having were decades in the making, long before Donald Trump. You cannot lay all this BS at Trump’s White House, despite the fact he does have issues.

There is a familiar warning, “If you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat it!”

Dotie and Red Auerbach they just didn’t talk the talk, they walked the walk.

Red and Dotie talk sports on Inside Sports.

The Red Auerbach effect was evident in 2011, NBA awards were handed out to Ray Allen of the Celtics, the Player of the Year, Dwight Howard of Orlando the Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach Mike Brown of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Coach of the Year. Rookie of the Year was Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose and the Sixth Man of the Year was Dallas Mavericks, Jason Terry. The NBA’s leading scorer, rebounder, and assist leader, the recipients were all black. The footprints in the sand left by Red Auerbach and Walter Brown can still be seen all over the league.

Hopefully, their footprints will be evident again on the weekend of February 18th at the 67th NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in LA.

Red Auerbach’s won-lost record in Human and in Civil Rights was nothing to sneeze at—-he was in a class by himself. The NAACP needs to read its own history, they honored Red in 1960 during Black History Month for his many contributions to human and civil rights. This is the same honor the Boston Police Department has bestowed on him 58 years later, where is the beef?

When I coined the phrase, to close my sports talk show in the 70s “Every black face you see is not your brother and every white face you see is not your enemy”, Red and President Richard Nixon were the inspiration.

How can we make February Black History Month and ignore the contributions of white folks? Two wrongs don’t make a right. Red Auerbach, and the Brown Boys, Walter and John–the common denominator, they freed a lot of people. My question to the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus—whats in your wallet?

Note Worthy: The FIRST TO PLAY a documentary on NBA Pioneer Earl Lloyd is a scam being orchestrated by Arka Senguta. It is to debut at the NBA All-Star Game this weekend. I have alerted, Commissioner Adam Silver, Michelle Roberts (NBPA), Greg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs), James Brown (CBS), Congressman John Lewis (Chief of Staff), Michael Wilbon (ESPN), Sonny Hill (WIP Radio)




In the February issue of ESPN the magazine the cover story is title “The State of the Black Athlete!” When I opened the magazine and saw the editor-chief was a former Washington Post writer and go-fer by the name of Kevin Miranda I knew right away this was a Fake News Story. Kevin has no clue as it relates to the black community or to the black athlete. ESPN in Connecticut has long been the outpost for “Washington Post North.” Former Washington Post columnist Jill Nelson wrote a book titled “Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience” The book details her experience as a volunteer slave while writing for the Washington Post in the 80s.

I remember a Washington Post senior sports writer confiding in me that Sports Editor George Solomon ran the sports department like Adolf Hitler. Former columnist Michael Wilbon use to cry on my shoulder of how Solomon use to look over his shoulder and change his column. Former employees called the paper “The Plantation on the Potomac”. When one of their writers John Walsh hijacked my tag and title “Inside Sports” in 1978 I was disappointed but not surprised. Newsweek now owns the copy rights to Inside Sports and the Washington Post owns Newsweek. I guess you could call this the luck of the draw!

Let me tell you about The State of the Black Athlete in America and how much progress he has made as it relates to pro sports. An equal opportunity employer they are not, for example, when it comes to the hiring of blacks as coaches, managers and sharing ownership is almost non-existent. In 2018 there are four major sports franchises, the NBA, NFL, MLB and the NHL. Each franchise has 30+ teams and at the end of the day that is a total of 120 teams with a total of maybe 14 coaches and managers (give or take). There is only one Afro-American/Black owner among the 120 sports franchises. To call this a plantation is an understatement. NFL owners have locked out and blocked black ownership and stunted the growth of Black America.

Someone please explain to me why are there folks mad at NFL players for not standing for the flag during the playing of the national anthem in NFL stadiums? This protest was started last year when 49er QB Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and the racism taking place in stadiums across the NFL. Unarmed black men were and still are being used as target practice in police departments across America.

The media, politicians, and NFL owners changed the narrative to Colin Kaepernick was disrespecting military men who gave their lives for this country.

I don’t know how many of you are aware that the first professional athlete was a slave on the plantation in the early 1800s and he played without a contract and free agency was out of the question. The only difference is the modern day slave is paid millions of dollars to put his life on the line betting he won’t develop CTE and too many are losing that battle. The owners make billions of dollars to watch the mayhem from their sky suites with their wives and children safely out of harm’s way cheering on the slaves. This is today’s, “Good Old Boy’s Club” with their motto, “If you are black its best you get back, if you are brown you can stick around, and if you are white you are all right!”

Two of my favorite people, NFL Hall of Fame LB Sam Huff and Willie Wood both are victims of CTE.

Super Bowl 52, the final score on Sunday January 4th 2018 Philadephia Eagles 41 NE Patriots 33. The Price was still not right—let me explain.

On a Saturday morning 26 years ago January 25, 1992 Super Bowl 26, the Washington Redskins were playing the Buffalo Bills in the Hubert Humphrey Metro Dome. I interviewed Minnesota Spokesman columnist and talk show host Larry Fitzgerald Sr. He had become a regular on my Saturday morning Inside Sports Media Roundtable. His son Larry Jr. would often answer the telephone on those mornings and yell, “hey dad its’ Mr. Bell in Washington, DC. Now that same little 8 yr old Larry is now considered one the greatest Wide Receiver to ever play in the NFL and a first round ballot hall of fame player.

In that interview with Larry Fitzgerald Sr. We talked about the hiring of Dennis Greene the first black head coach for the Minnesota Vikings and the hiring of Clem Haskins as the first black head basketball coach for the University of Minnesota and one month later the university hires its first black Athletic Director, Dr. McKinley Boston. All these historical events took place 26 years ago.

Larry Fitzgerald remembers NFL Coach Dennis Greene and Super Bowl 1992


The first NFL world championship game was played in 1958, the participating teams were the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants. It was the first ever sudden death overtime world championship game. The Colts beat the Giants 23-17. The game was called the greatest game ever played in the NFL. On the winning Baltimore Colt team, there were two players who wore the number 24, running back Lenny Moore and a brash rookie cornerback named Johnny Sample.

In 1959 the world championship game was re-named The Super Bowl, because the upstart AFL had wiggled its way into the league and they wanted a piece of the pie. In 1959 the NFL Green Bay Packers faced off against the upstart AFL champions, the KC Chiefs. It was no contest the Packers beat the Chiefs like a drum 35-10. In 1960 the Packers returned to play the AFL rep Oakland Raiders and it was no contest again, the final score was 33-14.

There was a black player who played in those two back to back Super Bowl games as a member of the Green Bay Packers, he was the co-captain of the team. He wore No. 24, his name was Willie Wood. Willie graduated from Armstrong High School in Washington, DC and he took his education to the next level by attending Coalinga Jr. College in California. He spent two years there and transferred to the University of Southern California.

It was there he became the 1st black quarterback in the school’s history. In 1958 he was a walk-on for the Green Bay Packers and a starter as a free safety his second year on the job. The rest is NFL history, he was named to 7 NFL All-Pro teams, led the league in interceptions and punt returns. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi called him “My Coach on the field.” He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989.

The AFL had been embarrassed the first two Super Bowls, but guess who was coming to dinner in 1969, the New York Jets and CB Johnny Sample, he was the co-captain and the Jets were given no chance of beating the NFL’s best, the Baltimore Colts. The AFL would finally get its revenge the Jets beat the Colts 16-7. Some have called this the greatest upset in American sports history! Jet QB Joe Namath was named the MVP but according to him his teammate Johnny Sample could have easily won the award. Willie and Johnny both wore No. 24 and were the QBs on the defensive side of the ball.

In that 1959 game against Kansas City, Willie broke open a close game with a timely interception thrown by QB Len Dawson and he returned it to the four yard line. KC was never able to recover.

Similar Johnny had a back breaking interception against QB Earl Morall and the Colts never recovered. Remember there was no love lost between these two teams, Johnny played for the Colts in 1958 when they beat the Giants in that sudden death overtime. Over a decade later Johnny can’t wait to meet his old team, he talked trash all the way up to kick-off and was still talking trash when the gun went off to end the game.

Lenny Moore was the other No. 24 who played in that 1958 sudden death overtime for the Colts. He was named the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1956. He played 12 years in the NFL and he put the catch in the running back position. He caught so many passes out of the backfield the Colts creative a position that would later would become known as “the flanker back!” In the 60s the Colts were the deadliest passing team in the NFL with TE John Mackey, the great WR Ray Berry and Lenny Moore. The greatest QB of that era was a man they called The Ice Man—Johnny Unitas. Lenny scored a touchdown in a NFL-record 18 consecutive games starting in 1963 and continuing through the entire 1964 season, the streak ended in 1965. This record stood for 40 years until being equaled by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005. He was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times. Lenny was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1975.

Johnny Sample had the distinction of beginning and ending his career with championship wins in two of the most famous games in professional football history, he won a NFL championship (1958), a AFL championship (1969), and a World Championship (1969). He is the only player to play on two different World Championship teams in two different leagues. The NFL Baltimore Colts in 1958 and the AFL New York JETS IN 1969. In 1963 Johnny was playing for the Washington Redskins when his friend and teammate Gene Big Daddy Lipscomb was allegedly to have died from a drug overdose in Baltimore at a friend’s apartment. According to a press release from the NFL and Commissioner Pete Rozell the drug was heroin. Johnny disagreed because he knew Big Danny was scared of needles. He sued the NFL to clear his friend’s name—he won and lost at the same time. The NFL blackballed him from participating in anything connected to the league including the Hall of Fame. Big Daddy was like a brother to Johnny.

In retirement Johnny taught himself how to play tennis and went on to become the USTA No. 1 ranked player in the 45 and over age group. He organized and ran the largest youth tennis program in the city of Phila. He was a respected linesman on the pro tennis circuit at the US, French, and Australian Opens. These assignments earned respect and helped him to become the first black chair umpire.

willie wood
Lenny, Johnny and Willie were the first NFL players to reach back into the community to enhance the growth of inner-city kids using my non-profit organization Kids In Trouble, Inc. as a vehicle as early as 1968.

In 1970 Johnny wrote a book titled “The Confessions of Dirty Football Player” in a Legends of Inside Sports Roundtable, I teamed him up with All-Pro safety Willie Wood, All-Pro WR Roy Jefferson, young CB JB Brown of the Miami Dolphins, sports talk show host Sonny Hill and celebrity host All-Pro NFL legend, Jim Brown. / stay tune the screen goes blank for 2 minutes.

Johnny should be in the NFL Hall of Fame, I understand there is a move underfoot to petition the hall of fame. The problem, there are no Harold Bells, or sports columnist like the late Dick Heller of the Washington Times or Presidents of NFL teams with the mentality of NBA Red Auerbach to right these kinds of wrongs in pro sports. Today’s radio and television sports host and talkers like NFL/CBS studio host James Brown, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, ESPN’s Kevin Blackistone, all came through Inside Sports before their 15 minutes of fame, they are all talk, but no walk.
Willie thanks the late Dick Heller for helping to get him inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame

Let us not forget Phila. native son ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and my mentor and Johnny’s good friend, talk show host Sonny Hill. I would think that Sonny would be leading the petition drive to get his friend inducted, but I have no clue! I know James Brown was once a close friend of Johnny’s daughter Evelyn. Elmer Smith is a former sports columnist of the Phila. Inquirer would be a great asset, that is a great foundation to get the ball rolling, but what do I know!
Someone might really need to throw a cold bucket of water on James to wake him up.

Note Worthy: There is a documentary titled “The First to Play” the life story of NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd the first black to play in a NBA game. The documentary is a scam organized by a scam artist named, Arka Senguta of Indian descent. He has already scammed thousands of dollars from NBA players as investors. He bounced several checks to his researcher in Alexandria, Virginia and has reneged on paying his office staff. I requested that my scene in the documentary be deleted.

The documentary is to be aired during Black History Month during the NBA All-Star Game. I have already alerted, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, San Antonio Coach, Greg Popovich, Michelle Roberts (NBPA), Michael Wilbon, James Brown, Mike Wise (ESPN’s Undefeated), Dave McKenna (ESPN’s Dead Spin), Sonny Hill, it looks and sounds like all my contacts are deaf and dumb with exception of one, but he is on an Island. I never had a major media platform to toot my horn. Inside Sports was heard on low-signal AM stations if you drove around the corner you could not hear my show. Despite the odds I still campaigned and help get two pro athletes inducted into their respective hall of fames. They were Willie Wood (NFL 1989) and Earl Lloyd (NBA 2003). They were both black balled and ignored by their peers and beat writers on the voting committee.

In the final analyst, The State of the Black Athlete, he is on a runaway train going to hell in a hurry with no station in sight.

You can read my Bleacher Report blog on Johnny Sample titled, “He was a Dirty Football Player—but he was a stand-up brother!” and my other blogs can be read on and


John Scolinos was a hall of fame college baseball coach. He coached Pepperdine University from 1948-1960 and Cal Polytech Pomona University from 1953 to 1991.

This is one of the most inspiring stories I have ever read when it comes to making America really GREAT. If you are truly interested in making America GREAT, don’t ignore this GREAT presentation by the late GREAT Coach John Scolinos who takes us on a journey of truth to power.

The story is told by Chris Sperry a baseball consultant who develops players and amateur coaches, assists professional scouts, and counsels families of prospective college-bound student-athletes. He holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Portland, the same institution at which he served as head baseball coach for 18 years. His key interests are in player and personal development as they pertain to a life in and beyond sports. In January 1996 he attended his first American Baseball College Association Convention.

It all started in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.
While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there.
In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.
Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?
After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.
Then, finally …“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate
around my neck,” he said, his voice growing testy. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”
After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.
“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”
Another long pause. “Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”
“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.
“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.
“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?” …………“Seventeen inches!”
“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in
the Major Leagues?”
“Seventeen inches!”
“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello !” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider
still, say twenty-five inches.’”
“Coaches…” pause, “… what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the
crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”
Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”
Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”
“And the same is true with our government. Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate, and we see our country falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”
I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.
“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”
With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “… dark days ahead.”
Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”
And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and how to fix it.
“Don’t widen the plate.”

Note Worthy: Coach Scolinos was much like Muhammad Ali, He spoke truth to power. It was in the 1990s the Catholic Church was receiving significant media and public attention as it related to sexual abuse. The abuse included boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old, with the majority being between the ages of 11 and 14 aka Dr. Larry Nassar U. S. Olympic team. Education has spiraled out of control, discipline has become a thing of the past, grade fixing and violence has made it all but impossible for a child to learn in a safe environment. The parents are lost, the government and our preachers are looking for love in all the wrong places (the bank). Thank you to all the GREAT men and women who have inspired and touched my life as I have tried not to “Widen the Plate” against all odds. The question, “Have I made my community a better place than I found it–I tried! Thanks to Mike Ramey for bringing this GREAT and inspiring story to my attention.


Has anyone seen my old friends–you look around and they are gone?

In 1906 the cry “Read All About It” (metaphor) was a headline found on the front page of a San Francisco newspaper “Earthquake and Fire San Francisco in Ruins.” The newspaper was, The Call–Chronicle-Examiner.

I decided to research the history of today’s local newspapers and what role did they serve and play in local communities!

The Library of Congress BLOG has an interesting take on their role in a blog written by Matt Raymond on June 7, 2009.

He said, “Resources for local history, no form of publications captures the day to day life of a community and its citizens better than the local newspaper. Alongside the headlines proclaiming great and small events are editorials, human interest stories, obituaries, sporting events and business reports that as a whole provide a record of the community in which those events take place.

For historians, genealogists, and other scholars, newspapers provide first-hand and sometimes the only account of local news. Even in the most extreme instances, when the editorial content of the newspaper reflects journalism at it outrageous, the ordinary details of life can still be found and appreciated. As a primary source of local history information, all newspapers metropolitan dailies, suburban papers, rual weeklies and the rich ethic press are worthy of retention and preservation by libraries and archives”.

The only exception I found is the news and stories bypassed in the black community. We are given little credit for living and no credit at all for dying when it comes to local media. And many times it has nothing to do with whether the messenger is black or white. Fatty and Gary were born with strikes against them. Being born black in America was one strike for Fatty and two strikes for Gary. He was born black and later at the age of five lost an arm.

James Brown (CBS/WUSA TV 9), Michael Wilbon (ESPN), David Aldridge (TNT/, Kevin Blackistone (Washington Post/ESPN), Coby King (Washington Post), Courtland Milloy (Washington Post)and Bruce Johnson (WUSA TV 9)all received the memo and email alerting them of the passing of these three sports/community icons. I heard hall of fame GT coach John Thompson even paid his respects at both celebrations. On the way into the church I saw playground basketball legend Sandy Freeman leaving. Sandy was John’s protector on the playgrounds. Sandy was a knockout artist and one of the nicest people you ever wanted to know until you got him wrong. He said, “Harold, Big John said “You hold a grudge too long” and we both laughed. You can forgive, but you don’t ever forget. Once again, a lie will change a thousand times, but the truth never changes.


Sam Jones, James Brown, HBell and Earl Lloyd Black History Month Bolling AFB

Michael Wilbon, a former Washington Post sports columnist and co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interuption. He is a benefactor of Inside Sports and he was in attendance for a 2011 Inside Sports Black History Month tribute to Gary Mays.

Dave Aldridge is a benefactor of Inside Sports and native Washingtonian. He is a former Washington Post sports columnist. He is now an NBA sideline reporter for TNT. Dave received the memos and he lives only minutes from the 19th Street Baptist Church (one of the “Good Guys” hopefully he was out of town).

Kevin Blackistone is a native Washingtonian before his 15 minutes of fame with ESPN and the Washington Post he was a benefactor of Inside Sports. He got the memos. Courtland Milloy a career Washington Post columnist holding on for dear life at the paper as they are looking for an excuse to force him out. He got the memos. Colby King a native Washingtonian and long time columnist for the Washington Post. He was a student at Dunbar High School next door to Armstrong High School. This was during the era when the One Arm Bandit Gary Mays was the talk of the town. In 2011 Gary was visiting my home in Bowie and I put him on the telephone with Coby. The two relived their high school days for at least an hour. Colby promised to attend the tribute and write a column relating to Gary’s unbelievable success as a athlete and a man. Colby thanked me for the connection and said, “Harold you know my son is an editor for ESPN and I am going to connect him and Gary.” Famous last words, Colby was a no-show for the tribute and never contacted Gary again. He also lived only minutes from the 19th Street Baptist Church and he got the memos.

Bruce Johnson a long time reporter and anchorman for WUSA TV 9. His career in television is similar to the “Cat with 9 Lives.” Through no fault of his own he is clueless when it comes to the DC community, but he faked his way through it all. I remember he would show up in the black community so often after a shooting, the residents nick named him “Black Death!” This was simply because if he was on the scene they knew someone was dead. He got the memos.

The recent passing of Norris Roy, Roland ‘Fatty Taylor’, and Gary Mays aka One Arm Bandit, is the best example of what the media thinks of black life. I will never forget how the Washington Post published a PAGE ONE story to promote a DVD about the life and crimes of Rayful Edmonds. In the 80s Rayful was considered the Nation’s Capitol most notorious drug dealer. The paper did not publish the positive stories and contributions of Norris Roy, Fatty Taylor and Gary Mays, but published the story of a drug dealer who took lives of countless black young men. And to be honest, only a few of these media personalities can take a camera crew out on their own without the consent of an assignment editor who usually does not look like us. The one think they can do on their own is show some respect by showing up.

The three were great athletes and community icons. Their passing was just a blur on the local media radar screens in Washington, DC. You had to go to social media to find their stories of their lives and deaths.

There was a great tribute paid to Gary written by his friend, sports columnist Dave McKenna on the ESPN blog “Deadspin.” Wilbon became a deaf, dumb and blind.


“I read of a friend who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted first came the date of his birth and spoke of the following dates with tears but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represented all the time he lived here on earth and only those he loved knew how much that little dash was worth.
He said, for it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how he lived and loved and how he spent that dash.
So think about this long and hard are there things you like to change? For you never know how much time is left—–that you can still re-arrange.
If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real and try to understand the way other people feel. Be less quick to anger and show appreciation more—love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and often wear a smile remembering this special dash will only last for just a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read and your life’s actions are being rehashed will you be proud of the things they say and how you spent your dash?”

The celebrations of life of Norris, Fatty and Gary have left me thinking will I be proud of the way my “DASH was spent?”

Santa’s Helper, first black DC Police Chief Burtell Jefferson

Lets take a look and see how my DASH has been spent so far? I was the First, community advocate to host and coordinate a Christmas toy party that benefited thousands of needy elementary school children in DC, Md. and Virginia without grants or loans. First, community advocate to coordinate a city-wide DC Public Elementary School touch football league. First, student/athlete to pay tribute to his Spingarn High School administrators and teachers for their dedicated service. First, black to host and produce his own radio sports talk show in DC. First, radio and television personality to encourage pro athletes to reach back to enhance the growth of inner-city kids. First, black to host and produce his own television sports special in prime time on NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4. My special guest, Muhammad Ali. First, sports media personality to be named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine. First, sports media personality to be cited in the Congressional Record on three different ocassions for work with inner-city kids. First DC Nike Sports & Marketing rep and the first DC Anheuser Busch Sports & Marketing rep. The first student/athlete to recieve “The Clarence Bighouse Gaines Community Service Award, Coordinated the first Celebrity Tennis tournament for the first ever Congressional Black Caucus Weekend at Hilton Hotel. The first sports media personality to campaign and get two pro athletes inducted into their halls of fame, Willie Wood (NFL 1989) and Earl Lloyd (NBA 2003). The radio and television personalities who came through Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports before their 15 minutes of fame read like a Who’s Who.

willie wood
Willie Wood NFL Hall of Fame

Earl Lloyd NBA Hall of Fame

Note Worthy: The Earl Loyd documentary “The First to Play” is a scam. All have received the memo including the NBA Commissioner.

A DASH well spent.


The catcher                                                                                                                                                     THE BANDIT
The batter

On January 15, 2018 Gary Mays went home to be with the Lord, he was 82 years old. His home going services will be held at the 19th Street Baptist Church. located at 4606 16th Street NW Washington, DC. The date: Saturday January 27, 2018. Viewing 10 am Service 11 am.

“Don’t ever look back because someone might be gaining on you.”  Gary never looked back.

In February 2011 I coordinated and hosted a series of Black History Moments in Sports in Washington, DC.  Much of the series was spend honoring unsung heroes in the DC Black Community where our history is often skipped over and chronicled by folks who don’t have a clue. For example, did you know Ms. Jeannette Huston Harris the “Historian” for the Nation’s Capitol is from Kentucky?

In February 1926 the legendary and great writer/poet Carter G. Woodson gave us Black History Week and in 1976 Black History Week evolved into Black History Month.  This disproves the myth of White folks giving us the shortest month of the year.  The month of February and the annual tribute was a Black man’s idea!

The most popular tribute was the one paid to Gary Mays who as a young child had his left arm blown off by an accidental blast from a shotgun, he was 5 years old. 


Gary attending a Black History Month tribute and shares a laugh with me and ESPN’s Michael Wilbon during the program.

Gary moved to Washington, DC from West Virginia at the age of twelve.  His story of growing up on the tough streets and playgrounds of Washington, DC should be on a movie screen.

He had a double whammy growing up as a black male child in America and with one arm.  Gary grew up in NW DC in a neighborhood raised by his grandmother where it would have been a challenge for a two armed kid. 

The bullies that he encountered would make today’s bullies look like choir boys. There were no driveby shootings from moving cars running away from the scene of the crime it was hand to hand combat. Thanks to his powerful right arm and hand he developed a knockout punch that allowed him to take names and kick ass. The powerful punch was developed early thanks to his uncle Charles Aubrey who was a semi-pro baseball catcher in West Virginia. During backyard catch games Gary was on the receiving end of his uncle’s many fast balls thrown high and sometimes low and in the dirt. This daily drill helped prepare him as young kid to be a one of a kind athlete. When Gary left for D.C. to live with his mother, one his Uncle Charles’ teammates gave him a parting gift, it was a baseball glove. The rest is baseball history and what legends are made of today. Once he arrived in DC he started playing organized baseball at the age of thirteen with young men years older on a team called the Georgetown Panthers. Gary picked Armstrong Technical High school to take his athletic skills to the next level. He was already a playground legend and still his baseball coach Major Robinson was a skeptic. He didn’t think Gary could make his team, but it didn’t take him long to make a believer out of Coach Robinson. He was not only a feared catcher, but he was also a power hitter, his bat was just as feared as his throwing arm. I grew up with my grandmother and my older brother Bobby played second base on the team and he would come home and tell me stories about the feats of his one arm teammate. I thought he was making these stories up until I saw “The One Arm Bandit” with my own eyes. I was a student at Brown Middle school in the early 50s when Gary and Elgin Baylor were the talk of the town.

My big brothers, Earl and Bobby (Gary’s teammate) with our mother, Hattie T and sister-in-law Ann

We grew up with my grandmother and Bobby would come home and tell stories about the feats of his one armed teammate.  I thought he was making these stories up until I saw “The One Arm Bandit” with my own eyes.

I was a student at Brown Middle school in the early 50s when Gary and Elgin Baylor were the talk of the town.

Brown Middle School is located at 24th and Benning Road in NE DC.  It sits on a hill like no other school system in America.  There are three other schools located within a stone’s throw of each other.  First there is Spingarn High School the home of NBA Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing, next is Charles Young Elementary, and directly behind it sits Phelps Vocational High School and at the end of the street there is Brown Middle School.  

The basketball court sits directly across from Brown was the site of some memorable playground basketball games that included the likes of Gary, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Ralph ‘Daddy Grace’ Paige, Bernard Levi, Sandy Freeman, Earl Richards, Willie Wood, Willie Jones, etc.  Elgin and Dave are in the NBA Hall of Fame and Willie is in the NFL Hall of Fame. The late Len Ford of Armstrong is the other student/athlete in the NFL Hall of Fame. This feat makes the DC Public High Schools the only public school system in America that can make such a claim of having four student/athletes inducted into the pro sports hall of fame. Philadephia playground legend and NBA Hall of Fame inductee Sonny Hill said, “DC produces more great basketball players per capital than any other city in America.

The DC Public School system is the only public school system in America that can lay claim of having four student/athletes in the NFL and NBA Hall of Fames.

Directly across the street from Spingarn is the historical Langston Golf Course where I got to see Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Louis and legendary golfer Charlie Sifford up close and personal.

This unique school setting allowed me to watch my brother and Gary play the game they loved.

This historical hill and school system are now an endangered species.  In the near future this hill will be the home of the rich and famous with million dollar homes and condos replacing the schools on “The Hill.”

The golf course will become a country club for the residents who will definitely not look like us.  They will dock their boats on the Anacostia River and travel to National Harbor for a “Power Lunch”. They will take the streetcar on Benning Road in the mornings and evening as their mode of transportation to work and back home. 

There is no way in hell the city built street cars on Benning Road for Black and poor high school students to share with the rich!  “The Educational Hill” will disappear right before our very eyes and become the Residential Hill.

Gary said, “This has been in the plans for decades.”

When he became a high school senior he was built like a linebacker at 5-foot-11, 185-pound with an arm and wrist so powerful he threw would be base stealers out with ease.

The Washington Star, Daily News and the Times Herald ignored his great feats on the field of play.  Despite the non-recognition he was still named as one of three finalists for the Paris Trophy, given to the city’s top prep baseball player.  This was a statement in itself since the only thing preppy about Gary was he sometimes wore a sweater to school.

Gary won the sportsmanship award, but he didn’t win the city’s MVP award.  He was not chosen for the MVP or selected to play at the whites-only, season-ending All-High, All-Prep Game at Griffith Stadium.  Since he played in Division II athletics in the DC Public High Schools he was not eligible.

He was definitely worthy, according to the Washington Daily News, Gary batted .375, yielded zero stolen bases and didn’t make a single error. The paper noted that the recognition was earned and not based on “sympathy” it was his pure talent that got their attention.

In June 1954, the local newspaper “The Daily News” held its annual tryout camp at Griffin Stadium. Hundreds of hopeful young men and more than a dozen major league scouts were in attendance. During those three days Gary was the best player in the stadium.

This is the same ballpark where he once wasn’t allowed to compete in a prep all-star game.  In a camp-closing scrimmage, Gary threw out a base runner and hit the only home run, a 350-foot drive over the center-field fence. He was unanimously voted camp MVP.

He was dominate in a group of players that included future Washington Senator outfielder Chuck Hinton.  Chuck went on to have a 11-year major league career. Gary did not receive a contract offer and was never invited to a major league baseball camp for a tryout.

A Major League scout explained to the Daily News that Gary could never be an effective catcher because “he’s at a disadvantage on a ball thrown in the dirt.”  This statement was just a smoke screen and use to cover up his racist and bias attitude for not offering Gary a contract.

Gary dismissed the racial overtones as, “That is the way it was and no one ever said Life was fair.”

It was Gary’s basketball coach Charlie Baltimore that gave him the tag “The One Arm Bandit.”

One day in practice Coach Baltimore got pissed off after Gary had stolen the ball for about the sixth time he screamed at no one in particular, “How in the hell do you guys keep letting that “One Arm Bandit steal the ball?”  The name has been with him ever since.

In 1954 months before desegregation was outlawed in all public schools in America by the Supreme Court (Brown vs Board of Education), Armstrong and Spingarn High School played each other for the Division II basketball title.

Gary and his teammates would face the greatest basketball player to ever touch a ball in the annals of DC basketball—Elgin “Rabbit” Baylor.

In one of the biggest games in Division II basketball history and against all odds Armstrong would meet undefeated Spingarn and “The Basketball God” for the title.  The two teams had met twice during the regular season and Baylor had averaged close to 50 points in the two victories.

Armstrong Coach Charlie Baltimore knew he had no chance of beating Spingarn if he didn’t find a way to stop Elgin Baylor.  Just before tip-off he called his Captain Gary Mays and teammates together.

He instructed everyone on the floor to play a zone defense with the exception of Gary.  He was told to play Elgin Man to Man.  Coach Baltimore said “I want you to stay with Elgin regardless of where he decides to go including the bathroom and once he gets there, you sit on the toilet paper!”

The final score Armstrong 50 Spingarn 47.  Gary held Elgin to 18 points half of his regular season average on his home court, talking about against all odds!

Gary shoots over Spingarn defenders that including No. 23 the legendary Elgin Baylor

The defense Coach Baltimore devised was called a Box In One the same exact defense my high school Coach the late Dr. William Roundtree had asked me to play my senior year at Spingarn.  Until I heard Gary’s story on why he was able to hold Elgin to 18 points I was walking around thinking I was the first high school basketball player to play in a Box In One!

There were three other things that Gary and I had in common we were both raised by our grandmothers (early years), we were piss poor students and we both wore No. 23.

I was in the same boat with Pittsburg Steeler’s QB Terry Bradshaw you could spot me the C-A in cat and I still could not spell it.

The similarities end there he was easily the greatest all-around athlete in the city.  He could swim like a fish, played pool and held his own with the sharks and hustlers.

Gary was due to graduate in June 1954 but he had to return to Armstrong to get credits for English and a piano class.  He passed both courses and graduated in January 1955.

He wanted to take his athletic skills to the next level by attending college and had been asked by the legendary basketball coach Johnny McLendon to play for him at Tennessee State University in Nashville.  The late Coach McLendon was a class act and he was one of the finest coaches to ever coach the game of basketball.  He was an innovator and created “The 4 Corners.”

As bad luck would have it Elgin Baylor and Dunbar High School student/athlete Warren Williams came home on a college Christmas break and asked Gary to join them at the College of Idaho.

They made him an offer he could not refuse and Gary joined them for the 54 hour ride by train where Black faces were in short supply.  They joined R. C. Owens who would later go on to be an All-Pro wide receiver for the NFL San Francisco 49ers. 

During his pro career, he and NFL Hall of Fame QB John Brodie created “The Alley Oop” pass play.  The pattern consisted of Owens running straight down the field and Brodie throwing the ball as far and high as he could get it.  Owens would use his basketball skills to out jump the defender for the ball.

In the meantime at the college of Idaho, Elgin, Warren, Gary and R. C. were pioneers during the 50s.  There was an unwritten rule that no school could play more than three blacks at time, but the College of Idaho was different.

He reminded me of the great NBA legendary coach, Red Auerbach, as the basketball coach, Sam Vokes walked to his own drum beat.

He wore two hats, he coached basketball and football.  He needed players and he would not allow their color to be used to disqualify them.

The school was located in Caldwell, Idaho a small town located near the Oregon border.

The town of Caldwell took some getting use to when Gary decided to go to town he would stop the traffic.  People would stare at him.  The looks he received were looks of surprise and not hate.  They had never seen blacks before.

The locals were very friendly.  Winning can do wonders and the town’s folks fell in love with the black players.  The school’s basketball team was suddenly hot and could not be stopped.

Elgin averaged 31.3 points and 18.9 rebounds a game. R.C. Owens grabbed 37 rebounds in a single game.  The team went undefeated in the Northwest Conference.  Where once you could not give tickets away the school was now turning away fans.

Gary hardly ever got any playing time but he could have cared less!  He was having so much fun.  He and Elgin would put on “Globetrotter-like” dribbling exhibitions during halftime.

The town had really embraced the players and Gary says “I had the best seat in the house, on the bench.”

Gary played baseball for the Coyotes (the team’s nick name) and worked at a Caldwell sporting goods store.  He befriended the white owner, Pat O’Connor, a well-known war hero.  The two would go hunting and Gary would borrow a shotgun from a local dentist he had befriended.

O’Connor took Gary on sales trips along the Oregon border and he would speak to the school children.  He would entertain the children by tying and untying his shoes. The kids loved it but all good things must come to an end.

In a March 7, 1955, an article was published in Sports Illustrated that said, “The College of Idaho was winning games by admitting academically unqualified athletes.”  A blind man could see where the fingers were being pointed.

The fingers were being pointed at Elgin, Warren, R. C. and Gary.  They were identified as the “Usual Suspects.”

It was reported that Elgin earned all Bs during his first semester.  I would guess if you checked Elgin’s high school transcript you would ask yourself how in the hell could this guy get all these Bs?

Coach Vokes stood his ground for the Black athletes against the school administrators.  He was fired following the basketball season.

Elgin left for the University of Seattle, which he later led them to the Final Four. Warren Williams transferred to Virginia Union University in nearby Richmond, Virginia and Gary went back to Idaho in the fall, but he didn’t like the new basketball coach.  He quit school and returned to DC.

Once home he received a couple of letters from the owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, Abe Saperstein.  He offered Gary a tryout, but Gary decided he did not want to be a part of the Globetrotter’s side show.

He started his own construction company, drove a cab, ran a numbers book in what is now known as the DC, Maryland and Virginia lotteries. He open one of largest black own liquor stores in DC.

Gary was always a self starter.  It would be 50 years later before he returned to Caldwell, Idaho.  The occasion, the Coyotes were inducting the 1954-55 basketball team into its basketball Hall of Fame.

    R. C. Owens and Gary were the only Black players to return for the induction ceremony.  The town folks remembered him and the weekend he spent there for the induction was a love fest.

Gary Mays was 75 years old and had a “Family Tree” that consisted of Donna his wife of 20 years, a daughter who has her college degree in Communications and a then 16 year old son who is a computer whiz.

He loved talking about his 9 year old cousin, Cameron who was then an upcoming track and field superstar or his cousin, A’dia Mathies, who was Miss Kentucky Basketball in 2010.

The 2011 Black History Month tribute, recognition by ESPN Magazine and the City Paper was great and long overdue.  The one thing that he enjoyed most was the discovery that he is the original “One Arm Bandit.”

The two men laying claim to that title were John S. Payne a rodeo rancher and Larry Alford II a golfer.  There are pictures of them using prosthesis to aid them in their pursuit of excellence.  Gary is the only one that uses the one arm to play in the Game Called Life.  This Black History fact made him “The Original One Arm Bandit.”





January is the month of champions: George Foreman was born January 10th–Joe Frazier was born January 12th–a King named Martin Luther was born on January 15th–and the Greatest aka Muhammad Ali was born on January 17th.

This day January 17, 2018 on the birthday of my friend Muhammad Ali another friend, champion and hero of the people was honored on Capitol Hill, Senator Bob Dole.

Congratulations to Senator Dole a true American hero. The former Senate Majority Leader was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor by President Donald Trump for his extraordinary service to his country. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for the wounds he suffered in combat in World War ll. The former Presidential candidate was honored for his service as a soldier, legislator and statesman. Senator Dole represented Kansas for 35 years in the U. S. Senate.

I met Senator Dole in July 1994 shortly after the death of my friend President Richard Nixon. He invited me and my wife Hattie to his Capitol Hill office after he had read my column written in the Washington Post relating to my experiences as a caddy for then Vice-President Nixon. While in high school I caddied at the Burning Golf Course in Bethesda, Maryland on the weekends to help my single parent mom make ends meet.
In 1957 I met and caddied for Vice-President Nixon and his friend Attorney General William Rogers. The friendship blossomed and in 1969 it would land me a Presidential appointment. Senator Dole was so impressed with my column relating to that experience with President Nixon, he entered it into the Congressional Record on the House Floor. This was my second entry into the Congressional Record. Congressman Lou Stokes (D-Ohio) would honor me first in 1978. He had read a column written by Washington Star sports columnist J. D. Beathea relating to my work in the inner-city with at-risk kids and youth gangs.

Bucket List: February 2017 visit to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California

In 2007 Senator Dole invited me to be his special guest for a gathering of former Nixon’s staffers, the host was “The February Group.” The evening was unforgettable. I was lost for words when Senator Dole invited me to say a few words and re-live that golf course experience. The President’s daughter Tricia Nixon was standing nearby (see link).

My success as a MAN and youth advocate is a result of my learning early in life that every black face I saw was not my brother and every white face I saw was not my enemy. And there was no requirement I had to kiss someone’s ring or their jackass on either side of the aisle to get along with them. In 1957 it was a chance encounter with Richard Nixon and William Rogers at the all-white exclusive Burning Tree Golf Course in Maryland and that chance encounter inspired me to be all that I could be. Fifty-years later Senator Dole reads my name on the House Floor honoring me in the Congressional Record. Look closely and you will see both black and white politicians reaching out across the aisle with no strings attached and giving me a helping hand to enhance the growth of our children via Kids In Trouble, Inc and not once asking me if I was Republican or Democrat.
Congressman Lou Stokes (D-Ohio) Jim Brown (NFL) HBell on “The Hill”
Senator Larry Womble (D-NC) Congressman Walter Fauntroy (D-DC) KIT tribute


In December 1985 Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) office staff volunteered as Santa’s Helpers to work with our non-profit organization for our annual Kids In Trouble toy party for needy children (see thank you note) Yes, a hero is more than a sandwich. Congratulations Senator Dole.


The Black athlete has been shortchanged and a victim of scan artist as early as the 1940s. Heavyweight boxing champion, Joe louis felt victim through no fault of his own, he was not a learned man. He was easy prey. Louis was one the first known pro athlete to be taken to the cleaners by his handlers. He earned close to $5 million dollars during his 12 year boxing career. His take home pay was $800,000 after his handlers had taken more than their fair share. Louis left boxing broke and was hired as a greeter at Caesar’s Palace Casino in Las Vegas. He died broke in 1981. Billions of dollars are lost each year by black athletes who allow sports agents and their attorneys to pay their bills and give them an allowance until their next paycheck!!

This pattern of thievery of the black athlete continues today. Former Washington Redskin running back Clinton Portis lost 43 million dollars to fraud to men he thought had his best interest at heart. He comtemplated murder by gun for revenge. Instead, he can be seen during the NFL season roaming the sidelines as a color analyst interviewing Redskin players during a break in the action. Clinton Portis should be invited to NFL camps to speak with the rookies about safe guarding their money as someone who has been there and not done that! Former University of Maryland running back and former player for the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders Lamont Jordan squandered away a multi-million dollar contract. The bright lights and big city of Las Vegas introduced him to gambling, drugs, and the girls sin city. He is back home in Suitland, Maryland coaching kids and making cameo appearances on local sport shows. He later discovered the hard way, what goes on in Las Vegas does not stay in Las Vegas.

I was up close and personal when NBA Hall of Fame player Adrian Dantley’s agent David Falk use several millions of his dollars for his own investments without his knowledge. Falk also represented Michael Jordan,John Lucas, John Thompson, Jr. and his sons and a flock of former GT players (a Who’s Who). It was rumored that Coach John Thompson, Jr. was taking kickbacks under the table. There was boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard, he allowed his agent the late Mike Trainor to see and open his mail with the checks before he could see them. I had to pull him aside and tell him to make a change fast and in a hurry–I think I was too late.

The latest fraud is in the NBA “The First to Play” a story based on the life of NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd. The documentary makes its debut in theaters in February. I uncovered the fraud when the mastermind Arka Sengupta (Indian descendant) sent two black brothers to DC posing as Directors with names like Coodie and Chike. They interviewed Lloyd’s boyhood friends in Alexandria, Virginia where he was born and raised and later interviewed me in DC in May 2016. They disappeared without a trace after promising to return to the scene of the crime to show a preview of the documentary to the participants in Alexandria. They have been no-shows.

I smelled a rat when when I met the two Mikes, former Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise now a contributor for ESPN’s “Unbeaten” his stories I have often disputed and ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” Mike Wilbon. His Washington Post colleague John Feinstein said, “Mike Wilbon is the biggest ass kisser in sports media!” They were in the Wizard’s media pressroom making small talk when Wise said to me, “Harold I saw you in the documentary of the Earl Lloyd story, The First to Play in New York City, you were good.” I was surprised to hear that the documentary was being previewed. I called Ms. Char Bar who had spend untold hours of researching the project for Arka to see if she was aware of the status of the documentary. She had no clue, it was then I discovered that she had not been paid in full for her work on the project. Arka had bounced several checks and she smelled hustle and fraud.

He had a “Middle Man” who happen to be a woman named Jo Lee transacting financial business on his behalf. Every time he bounced a check Jo Lee had a new lie to tell Ms. Bar. She felt betrayed and ask me to intervene for her to see what the problem was. The feeling was mutual among the other participants.

Ms. Bar gave me his contact information (cell number and email address)and the rat Arka ran into his hole. It was then I started to write my findings on my blogs on and and posted on my findings on my You Tube Channel. I shared that information with the so-called Major Media heavyweights such as, James Brown, Mike Wilbon, Dave Aldridge, Sonny Hill, Courtland Milloy, Colbert King, Norman Chad, Terrence Moore, Bruce Johnson, Maureen Bunyan, Dave McKenna, Norman Chad, Kevin Blackistone, etc. They all took the position of the Three Little Monkies, “See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil and read no evil, with the exception of one. He made the call to Arka and the “Check was really in the mail” to Ms. Bar without a bounce.

Upon further investigation, I discovered NBA players had invested thousands of dollars in the project. The players and former players included, Tony Parker, Carmelo Anthony, Michael Finley, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul and no telling how many more have been suckered into this scam. Arka even talked ex-NBA player Finley into being the Executive Producer (smart move)of the project.
Known investors so far: Leonard, Parker, Finley and Carmelo

Michelle Roberts the new Executive Director of the NBA Players Association and first woman to head the union even signed off on this scam–she must be Billy Hunter in disguise. Hunter ripped the players off for decades as their Executive Director before they got wise and kicked him to the curb in 2013. I remember Billy as a slick talking WR when he tried out for the Virginia Sailors’ football team a minor league team for the Redskins. He was cut and took a job as a U. S. Attorney in DC. NBA legends like Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Dave Bing, Bob Lanier and Sonny Hill also signed off in support of this scam. I will bet you a dollar to a donut not one them invested a dollar.

The Earl Lloyd “Brain Trust” counter clock wise, NBA legends, Sonny Hill (white cap), the late Earl Lloyd, Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson

When the scammer Arka was still hustling NBA players I contacted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Michelle Roberts and San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich to alert them. Silver was the only one to acknowledge he had received my Priority Mailed letter. Please don’t allow any of the above names cry “I didn’t know!” In a conversation with my mentor Sonny Hill, he said, “The Family had been paid off” and I found nothing wrong with that. My question, “Was the family paid off or ripped off?” I asked Arka to delete my role in the documentary. I didn’t want to be a part of his hustle and scam.

I received a call from Ms. Bar just before the Christmas holidays saying Arka’s “Girl Friday” Jo Lee called asking for my number. When she called she wanted to apologize for the confusion relating to the bad checks and the Earl Lloyd project. Jo Lee claimed Arka owed her $55,000 and had disappeared without a trace. This charade was now reminding me of the Albert and Costello classic comedy sketch, ‘Who’s on First?’



NBA legend Red Auerbach, Washington Times sports columnist Dick Heller and HBell successfully campaigned for Earl Lloyd’s 2003 induction into the NBA Hall of Fame.



Constant Beta Motion Picture Company, Creative Control and Abramorama are collaborating for the North American distribution of The First to Do It, a documentary about Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to play in the NBA. Abramorama plans a wide theatrical release for the film in February.

Directed by Coodie and Chike, First to Do It was produced by Arka Sengupta and in association with the National Basketball Players Association, and was executive produced by Michael Finley, Tony Parker, Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard, PJ Tucker, Harry I. Martin, Amit Sharma, Jason Cole, David T. Friendly, Jack Lechner, Michele Roberts and Chrysa Chin. Anthony, Leonard and Chris Paul, as well as Hall of Fame players Oscar Robertson, Dave Bing and Bob Lanier, appear in the film. Deon Cole provides the voice of Lloyd.

First to Do It recounts Lloyd’s journey, from growing up in deeply segregated Alexandria, Virginia, to witnessing the first black U.S. president. It also outlines how the modern game was formed, from the fall from dominance of the Harlem Globetrotters to the introduction of the 24-second clock. Through the voices of current NBA stars, it also examines the legacy of desegregation in America and the ongoing role basketball has played in America’s inner cities. Made in full cooperation with Lloyd’s family, First to Do It will make its world premiere this week at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

“The story of Earl Lloyd is an important part of the history of professional basketball in the U.S.,” said Sherrie Deans, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation. “His achievements and the times in which he lived provide important lessons for players and fans today. Our support of this film reflects our commitment to preserving the legacy of our players and our game, and the positive impacts that both have had on our society.”

The next time you see James Brown, Mike Wilbon, Sonny Hill, Courtland Milloy, Colbert King, Norman Chad, Terrence Moore, Bruce Johnson, Maureen Bunyan, Dave McKenna, Norman Chad, Kevin Blackistone, ask them if are they familiar with the Earl Lloyd story “The First to Play” coming to a theater near them in February?
CBS/NFL Studio Host James Brown & his guys on set (INSIDE SPORTS?)

Sam Jones–James Brown–HB–Earl Lloyd Bolling AFB Black History Month

Note Worthy: I would have never guessed the sports media personality with the biggest balls didn’t even wear pants–Jemele Hill!