Cass to honor past greats Saturday in new location
by David Royal
Jan 02, 2011 | 2542 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cass High will hold a special ceremony this weekend to honor its most famous basketball player, winningest coaches and top boys and girls scorers on its teams through the years.

On Saturday, the girls and boys teams will play their first joint games at their new 2,200-seat basketball gym, with a special ceremony between those games, which start at 3 p.m. and around 4:30 p.m. at the new Cass High.

The ceremony will recognize Eddie Lee Wilkins, a former prep star at the school who went on to play college and professional basketball, and the winningest coaches and top scorers from the girls and boys teams.

Greg Scott, head boys basketball coach, said the ceremony is intended to honor the rich basketball tradition at the school and also to connect that history to the new facility.

"We are moving into a new place (and) the tradition that has been with us in the past is going with us," Scott said.

The coach said they also are using the occasion to create something of a physical connection between the school and its students.

"We are making T-shirts for the first 300 students who attend," he said. "This is something our students may want to hold on to as a keepsake from their school years."

He said that becomes more important through the years.

"Most grads keep their yearbooks, but how many have keepsakes from when they were actually attending school?" he asked.

Scott said Cass also is hoping to start a rich tradition at its new facilities and strong support from its student body is an important ingredient.

"We want a good size crowd to help us break in the gym," he said.

The coach said he is very pleased with the new facilities at the school and believes people who haven't visited the site will like the appearance of the new center for basketball and other sports.

"We have a beautiful facility," Scott said. "I think a lot of people who see it will be surprised."

He added the school's girls and boys basketball teams are practicing hard with the goal of adding to the tradition.

"We hope we are in the thick of our area races this year," he said. "The more students we can bring out the better our chances will be to do that."

Scott said the selection of Wilkins to be honored at the school program recognizes not only his basketball skills but also the way the Cass graduate has given back to his community.

"He's done a lot through his foundation for youngsters in Bartow County," Scott said.

The coach said Cass is proud of his accomplishments.

"He is someone we want to be a part of this basketball program as we move to the new school," he said.

Scott said Wilkins is an important resource for youngsters who are looking at charting their life's course.

"He can have a lot of influence on our young in as far as being able to talk to them about the challenges they face, what it takes to get a scholarship, those types of things," Scott said.

Wilkins, a graduate of Gardner-Webb University, played forward-center in the NBA (National Basketball Association) suiting up for the New York Knicks from 1984 until 1991 and for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1992 and 1993.

The school also plans to honor Clarissa Bagwell and the late Phillip Seymour, who won the most girls and boys basketball games while at Cass.

Also being honored are Dot Bearden Jenkins and Horace Shaw, who scored the most points for their respective girls and boys teams during their careers at Cass High.