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SPIRIT OF SPORTSMANSHIP ALIVE AND WELL IN NORTH CAROLINA
An unheralded but significant event occurred recently in a men's varsity basketball team between two North Carolina High School Athletic Association member schools, Fayetteville Douglas Byrd and Southern Lee.
It was Senior Night at Southern Lee as Byrd came to visit, and Southern Lee had a substantial lead in the final minute. That is when coach Gaston Collins of Southern Lee inserted senior Bubba Anderson, a student whom he had taken under his wing a few years ago and had installed as team manager. Bubba was eligible, so he suited up for Senior Night and finally got in with about a minute to go.
Southern Lee made every effort to let him score, and although Douglas Byrd continued to compete, the Eagle players did not try to block Bubba's shots when they realized what was going on.
Jan Tart of the Southern Lee staff wrote a congratulatory note to Byrd principal Dan Krumanocker, stating in part, "when your boys realized what was going on, they stood there and let our team feed him (Bubba) rebounds until he made one (a basket). It took four attempts, but Bubba scored.
"It was a great night for Bubba, one he will never forget. Your varsity boys basketball team helped make that possible. Thank you so very much."
Congratulations to Bubba and to his coach for their efforts, but also congratulations to Douglas Byrd High School for their spirit of sportsmanship.
Associate Commissioner of Communications