Former Clemson basketball players honored with ACC's inaugural UNITE Award


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The ACC's inaugural UNITE Award goes to Cookie Blackney and Craig Mobley from Clemson. (Graphic per Clemson Athletics)
The ACC's inaugural UNITE Award goes to Cookie Blackney and Craig Mobley from Clemson. (Graphic per Clemson Athletics)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced the recipients of the inaugural ACC UNITE Award, which was created to honor individuals affiliated with the league who have made an impact in the areas of racial and social justice.

The UNITE Award is an initiative of the ACC’s Committee for Racial and Social Justice (CORE - Champions of Racial Equity) and was developed and approved by its 15 member institutions.

The UNITE Award will be presented annually to individuals who:

-Best exemplify ACC CORE’s mission to promote and encourage racial equity and social justice through education, partnerships, engagement and advocacy;

-Have helped create meaningful, lasting change by improving systems, organizational structures, policies, practices and attitudes;

-Have been a pioneer and/or helped pave the way for minorities either at the institution or in the community

In the first year of the award, the league is celebrating the individuals who – according to available information – are the first male and female athletes of color to integrate the athletic teams at each current ACC institution. Each school will honor its recipients during the current academic year.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to recognize the amazing pioneers in our league,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “As a conference, we are thrilled to celebrate these deserving individuals as we continue our commitment to racial and social justice. As we look to the future, our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion will remain steadfast.”

The UNITE Award recipients were recognized as part of a 1-hour show on SiriusXM ACC Radio, Channel 371 hosted by Chris Spatola and Dalen Cuff. The show featured guests Ray Bellamy and Irwin Holmes.

Boston College

Male: Lou Montgomery, 1937-40 (football)

Female: Doxie McCoy, 1973 (field hockey); LaVerne Mosley, 1973 (basketball)

Clemson

Male: Craig Mobley, 1969 (basketball)

Female: Cookie Blackney, 1975 (basketball)

Duke

Male: CB Claiborne, 1965 (basketball)

Female: Phyllis Wilson, 1974 (volleyball); Felicia Heath (gymnastics)

Florida State

Male: Fred Flowers, 1965 (baseball)

Female: Emma Colquitt, 1971 (basketball)

Georgia Tech

Male: Harvey Webb, 1967 (basketball-freshman team), Eddie McAshan, 1970 (football varsity team)

Female: Jan Hillard, 1975 (basketball)

Louisville

Male: Lawrence Simmons, 1952 (football)

Female: Von Macklin, 1974 (basketball)

Miami

Male: Ray Bellamy, 1967 (football) & Will Allen, 1967 (basketball)

Female: Kim Sands, 1974 (basketball & tennis)

North Carolina

Male: Edwin Okoroma, 1963 (soccer)

Female: Ophelia Speight, 1974 (fencing)

NC State

Male: Irwin Holmes, 1957 (track, tennis) & Manuel Crockett, 1957 (track)

Female: Gwen Jenkins, 1974 (basketball) & Cynthia Steele, 1974 (basketball)

Notre Dame

Male: Frazier Thompson, 1943 (track & field)

Female: Angela Watson, 1981 (volleyball)

Pitt

Male: Harry Ray Wooten, 1911 (track), Hubbard Hollensworth, 1911 (track)

Female: Phyllis Singleton, 1974 (basketball); Leslie Nichols and Coach Willa Bentley, 1974 (tennis); Sheree Scott and Elsetta Marshall, 1974 (gymnastics); Alexis Grandy, 1974 (volleyball); Kim Phillips, Rosalind Alford, Michelle Bressant and Terry Akrie, 1974 (track).

Syracuse

Male: Joseph Edward Trigg, 1913-15 crew, 1914-15 football

Female: Iman Al Bahar, 1976 basketball

Virginia

Male: George King III, 1964 (wrestling, lacrosse)

Female: Sharlene Brightly, 1973 (basketball)

Virginia Tech

Male: Jerry Gaines, 1967 (track and field)

Female: Dianne Epps, 1973 (basketball)

Wake Forest

Male: Robert Grant, 1964 (football), Kenneth “Butch” Henry, 1964 (football)

Female: Keeva Jackson, 1981 (basketball), Sonya Henderson, 1981 (basketball)

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