In 2012 CollegeInsider.com established the Coach John McLendon Award, which is presented annually the top coach in Collegiate Basketball. In 2016 the inaugural Coach McLendon Classic was played in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). The game was created to showcase Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Both participating teams wore t-shirts with the words “This Game is No Secret,” to bring attention to the “Secret Game,” which Coach McLendon’s team played at Duke University in 1944. His revolutionary fastbreak style overwhelmed Duke, in an 88-44 victory.
February 5-7, 2021 will be the inaugural “This Game is No Secret” weekend. Teams across the country will honor the legacy of Coach McLendon by wearing t-shirts with those words five words -- THIS GAME IS NO SECRET. The idea is to make this an annual event. It is an opportunity for players, coaches, and fans to learn more about Coach McLendon who is one of the greatest coaches in basketball history.
We are currently working with the Vanderbilt men’s basketball program to name an award after former All-American PERRY WALLACE. On Dec. 2, 1967, Wallace made history in a game against Southern Methodist University by becoming the SEC’s first African American basketball player to compete in a varsity game. He played in his first SEC varsity basketball game two days later against Auburn.
A high school All-American at Nashville’s Pearl High School, Wallace led his team to a state championship on the heels of a 31-0 season as a senior in 1965-66. He was recruited nationally by more than 80 collegiate programs before choosing to attend Vanderbilt and play under head coach Roy Skinner. Along with Godfrey Dillard, a fellow African American signee from Detroit, Wallace arrived on the Commodores’ campus in the fall of 1966, becoming the first African American athletes at the university.
After graduating from Vanderbilt, Wallace earned a law degree from Columbia University in 1975, where he was awarded a Charles Evans Hughes Fellowship. He also pursued graduate business studies at Columbia University, American University and George Washington University.
We are also looking at a possible award and/or ways to honor former NAIA All-American TRAVIS GRANT who is college basketball’s all-time leading scorer, amassing 4,045 career points while leading Kentucky State to three straight NAIA National Championships.
Grant was a first round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1972 NBA Draft and of the Utah Stars in the 1972 ABA Draft. He played professional basketball for five seasons with the Lakers, San Diego Conquistadors, Kentucky Colonels and Indiana Pacers, averaging 13.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. His best season came in 1974-75 for the Conquistadors when he averaged 25.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, shooting 54.4% from the field.
Considered by many to be one of the best pure jump shooters of all time, Grant was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
And we are exploring the possibility of naming an award and/or finding a way to recognize the greatness of former Winston Salem State All-American CLEO HILL. Despite having a stellar collegiate career, Hill was never given a fair opportunity to showcase his abilities as a player in the NBA. He was not only one of the best players of his time, but one of the best to ever play the game.
The New Jersey High School All-American averaged 25.4 points per game, while playing for the legendary Clarence "Big House" Gaines. He finished with 2,488 career points, which ranks second all-time at WSU, behind only Hall of Famer Earl “The Pearl” Monroe.
In 1961 he became the first player, from an Historically Black College, to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The 8th overall pick, by the St. Louis Hawks, made his NBA debut On Oct. 21 of that year against Oscar Robertson and the Cincinnati Royals. He finished with 26 points that night and appeared well on his way to a stellar professional career. Instead he barely saw the court again. He would only play in 57 more NBA games, averaging just over five points per contest.
Eventually, he returned to New Jersey, taught school and coached at Essex County Community College, where his teams won 455 games during his 25-year career.