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The Voice of the Black Community


Black Devils win Chavis League
Published Saturday, August 3, 2019
by Anthony Jeffries, Special To The Tribune

RALEIGH – Phase one of the Black Devils’ master plan went into effect on Thursday.

 It was a rousing success.

The Black Devils, a team loaded with Raleigh standouts, ran away with the crown in the Chavis Summer Basketball League on Saint Augustine’s campus. The ultra-talented squad took control early to rout Allen Tate Company 115-97.

Many fans came out to see their local heroes perform for the Black Devils such as Rodney Purvis and Dez Wells, who both play professionally. The squad also included Emanuel “Poobie” Chapman and Brock Young, who both made names for themselves on the high school and collegiate levels.

The collection of all-stars were too good for ATC, much to the delight of coach Jerry Perry. He was just as thrilled about the turnout for the championship game. The squad was assembled with the idea of winning a championship and putting the Chavis League back on the map.

The Chavis League, at one time, was one of the biggest and most popular summer basketball leagues in the region. Rosters were littered with NBA, college and high school stars from the area and beyond.

Other leagues emerged and overshadowed the Chavis League in recent years. Perry wants to see it return to prominence, and he believes this year was a start.

“When we organized the team, we decided to get all the Raleigh guys together, which would bring the fans back,” he said. “That was the whole principle behind putting this team together. We plan to have pros in the league next year, and, hopefully, we can get some State and Carolina guys to play.”

The Black Devils put on a show Thursday. Wells led the way with 31 points followed by Purvis with 28 points, including six 3-pointers. Five players scored in double figures, including Chapman (18 points), Niquan Cousins (17 points) and Young (16 points). Cousins, a Enloe High recruit entering his senior season at Bluefield College, had several rim-rattling highlight-reel dunks.

Former Chowan University standouts Lee Branscombe and Devin Posey scored 33 and 32 points, respectively, for ATC. Branscombe buried nine 3-pointers.

In its 40-year history, the Chavis League displayed talent such as Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Vince Carter, Chris Wilcox, Nate McMillan, Vince Carter and P.J. Tucker. Chapman remembers the days when Emery Gymnasium was packed, and vehicles were lined up and down State Street next to the gym because the lot was full.

“I was blessed to be at the age when the league was at its peak,” said Chapman, a former Enloe High and N.C. Central standout who is the head men’s basketball coach at Enloe. “I was around when my father [former St. Aug standout Poobie Chapman] was playing. I got a championship with Bad Company, and now I win with guys I’ve known my entire life.

“Today is the first step in bringing the Chavis League back to where it should be. Bringing the names in will bring the fans out.”

Wells, who played at Word of God Academy with John Wall and enjoyed a stint with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, plans to bring more pros in the Chavis League. Purvis says he will recruit players, as well, to help the league return to its heyday.

“This used to be something big,” said Purvis, a former N.C. State and Connecticut standout who played with the NBA’s Orlando Magic. “We are trying to get the crowd and the players back, build it up and have fun with it. This can be really good for Raleigh.”

The league’s tradition is a good selling point to attract talented players, Young said..

“It is a legendary league,” said Young, who starred at Broughton High School and played at East Carolina University. “I love the atmosphere. It is icing on the cake to win with people you grew up with and looked up to. I am coming back next year.”



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