Three southernhigh schools—Beach and Carver in Georgia and Gibbs in Florida—stole the show inthis month's state high school basketball tournaments. Not only did they winstate championships in their divisions, they made history. The three areall-Negro schools—the first in the Deep South to play in white tournaments.
In the South moststates have two high school associations, one for whites and one for Negroes,but Negro schools have broken the color line here and there. The results: Beachof Savannah won the AAA finals by 39 points over South Fulton of Atlanta,another all-Negro school; Carver of Atlanta took the AA championship, and Gibbsof St. Petersburg won the AA tournament in overtime.
Throughout theSouth there is suddenly a new group of high school athletes, a second party, ifyou will—the Negroes. In North Carolina, for instance, four of the 10 top teamswere Negro. In Tennessee, where last year all-Negro Pearl of Nashville won thepreviously all-white state tournament, four of the seven best college prospectsare Negroes. Even in Alabama times are changing. In 1966 a Negro on anintegrated team was runner-up in the voting for MVP of the AAAA tournament. Andthis year a Negro made the Class A all-tournament team.
RussellEllington, the coach of Beach, explained why Negro teams excel: "Let's faceit," he said, ''most of our boys don't have anything else to do—no money,no cars and all that. Basketball gives them something physical and good to do.They play and play. They work at it, and we're proud of our record."
The mostimmediate benefit is that more colleges in the South are offering grants-in-aidto Negroes. Earlier this month, in making public a new recruiting policy,Georgia Tech Athletic Director Bobby Dodd said: "We show no discriminationbetween the white and the Negro boy. We started looking hard in this directionearly last year and will recruit any athlete we feel is good enough bothathletically and academically."
If Dodd, andothers, pay more than lip service, the underground railroad carrying Negroschoolboys to the Missouri Valley and the Big Ten may soon be curtailing itsservice. In time, too, Negro powerhouses like Beach will be humbled. As CoachRoger Couch of Druid Hills said after losing to South Fulton 83-58 in thesemifinal round: "We talk a lot about integration. Let's start integratingthe Negro schools." And if Coach Ellington is right, the day has to comewhen the Negro ballplayer will no longer have the edge on the white.
THE GIRLS FROMFLIRT
Nothing to worry about yet, but you might keep an eye on this First LadiesInternational Racing Team, a three-girl outfit from England that hopes to enterMonza and the other major long-distance auto races in Europe this season.They've got a new car called a Mini-Marcos, outfitted to run 120 mph over theendurance route, and one big goal in mind. They want in at the 24 Hours of LeMans on June 10 and 11—no woman has been allowed to compete there since one wasinjured in a prewar smashup—"to beat the men at their own game." That'sfine, except that they picked their team name so they could call themselves TheGirls from FLIRT, which has an un-Le Mans ring if we've ever heard one. IfFrance lets them in, it will become the Race from SHAMBLES—Stay Home andMaintain Beautiful, Ladylike Exteriors, Sweeties.
"Better holdup on the flowers and cheery wires, just a bit longer," the Sierra Clubtold newspaper readers last week in another of its striking full-page ads. Thisone said that the battle against the dams in the Grand Canyon is by no meansover. The Administration had, indeed, withdrawn the support it gave last yearto the upstream, or Marble Canyon dam (SI, Feb. 13). But now the chairman ofthe House Interior Committee, the Hon. Wayne Aspinall of Colorado, has put in anew bill for the downstream, or Bridge Canyon (also called Hualapai) dam.
Furthermore, theArizona legislature has voted to have the state build the dams if Congressfails to authorize federal construction. Unhappily, this state project hasalready advanced far around the bureaucratic bases: a Federal Power Commissionexaminer has recommended a license for the Arizona Power Authority at MarbleCanyon. If conservationists can somehow surmount these two threats, there'sstill another: the City of Los Angeles has also applied for an FPC license tobuild at Bridge Canyon.
The Grand Canyonshould need no defense. Alas, such apparently is man's wanton disposition thatit does. In its ad, the Sierra Club urged that letters opposing the dams bewritten to Governor Williams in Phoenix, Governor Reagan in Sacramento, membersof the House Interior Committee in Washington and to the President. By allmeans.
If you're going to see someone at Brauer and Associates, a recreational-siteplanning firm in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, come early and play a littlegolf. You can pick out a putter from the stand inside the front door and strokea few on the green—complete with pin—set in the reception-room floor. And ifthey keep you waiting long enough, you can play the par-4. The tee's in thehall by the men's room, and you should be able to get through the drafting roomand into the reception room in three, before holing out. A tip from PresidentDon Brauer: if you play through his office, you've got a hell of a shot at abirdie 3.
Maurice Stokes,the former St. Francis (Pa.) and Royals star, who was stricken withencephalitis in 1958, continues his slow, difficult recovery in a Cincinnatihospital, while his friend and old teammate, Jack Twyman, raises the thousandsof dollars needed to pay for his rehabilitation (SI, Feb. 1, 1960 et seq.).
Now, in a mostappropriate manner, those who have been rooting for Stokes can help, too. TheSeamless Rubber Co. has put out a regulation Maurice Stokes basketball that isavailable nationwide in sporting goods stores and departments. The ball sellsfor $7.95 and the Maurice Stokes Rehabilitation Fund will receive royalties oneach one sold. In addition, Seamless has made an initial contribution to thefund. It's a good cause and a good ball. Buy one.
A white hunternamed Richard Chipperfield has had it with Africa. Last year a hippopotamus bithim on the arm, the wound requiring 28 stitches as well as hospitalization.Then an elephant stepped on him, crushing his legs, and he was back in thehospital for five months.
Now Chipperfieldhas turned up in not so darkest Florida. With a South African lawyer namedHarry Shuster, he purchased 640 acres near West Palm Beach, where this summerhe expects to open Lion Country Safari. This, in a way, will be America'sanswer to South Africa's Kruger National Park and the Marquis of Bath's lionpreserve, which Chipperfield set up in England in 1966.
According toShuster, Lion Country Safari will be stocked with 100 lions; at least 10elephants and five giraffes; four rhinos, including Gus, the largest rhino(6,500 pounds) in captivity; assorted gnus, zebras, elands and chimpanzees; 40Zulus, who will live in a "native village"; and, hopefully, 20 Englishwhite hunters.
Tourists willdrive through the park, and the white hunters will be on hand to see that theydon't roll down a window or—perish!—open a door. Shuster says convertibles willhave to be left at the gate, where air-conditioned hardtops will be available.In fact, Shuster recommends that all visitors use the hardtops. Otherwise it'sliable to get a bit stuffy.
Last weekChipperfield and Shuster found out just how stuffy things can get: their planto import 20 white hunters violates U.S. immigration laws, which require thatyou must first ascertain that there is no equivalent local help. But if theyadvertised for white hunters, they would run afoul of antidiscrimination laws,which forbid advertising specifying race. So they took this ad in the PalmBeach Post Times, the New York Daily News and the New York World JournalTribune:
SAFARIGUIDES¬†to patrol 640 acre wild game preserve in Florida. Min. 3 yrs exp,preferably in African bush, handling lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, etc.
Thus far theyhave had replies from a zoologist and a man who "has experience with largedogs."
Marquette lost toSouthern Illinois in the NIT finals, but they wore the winningest uniforms inthe tournament—blue with three gold horizontal stripes, including one whichtook up the top half of the pants. The uniforms were designed by Mike Micheliof Milwaukee, who calls his firm Motivational Design, for "design whichmoves an audience."
After watchinglast year's Wisconsin high school basketball tournament, Micheli was unmoved.The sport was fast, but the uniforms didn't seem consonant with the tempo, andit was hard to distinguish one team from the other.
So, borrowingfrom football, surfing and racing-car styles, Micheli came up with uniforms"which match the pace of the game." He even filmed them and wasgratified to see "broad bands of color moving with the game."
Says Micheli:"Small up-and-down-the-side stripes are effeminate. Stripes should be boldand horizontal to reflect power basketball—the game today."
THEY SAID IT
•Linda Knowles, British high jumper, after 6'7"West German Shotputter Heinfried Birlenbach lifted her hotel room door off itshinges and carried it down the corridor at. 2 a.m. during the European IndoorGames at Prague: "I wouldn't have minded, but he took the key withhim."