February is Black History Month and Cleveland Talks Sports will celebrate by paying homage to famous African American athletes.
Starting February 7th – February 28th during the show “Unsportsmanlike Conduct,” Monday-Friday from 3pm-5pm, we will be conducting live, on air interviews of some of the most famous African American sports figures that paved the way, and those who have risen to the top of their game, past and present.
3:30pm – Dr. Julian White: Band Director of FAMU (“Marching 100”) Florida A&M University
4:00pm – James “Bonecrusher” Smith (born April 3, 1953) is a former American boxer who was briefly WBA heavyweight champion in the late 1980s. He is the first heavyweight champion with a college degree. Ended career with a record of 44–17–1 (32 KOs). In 1995, James helped establish the North Carolina Boxing Commission. He served as its first chairman.
|3:30pm – Earnie Dee Shaver (born August 31, 1945), better known as Earnie Shavers, is an American former professional boxer and is widely considered the hardest puncher of all time. Muhammad Ali, Joe Bugner, Larry Holmes, Randall “Tex” Cobb, Ron Lyle and Ken Norton all credited Shavers as being the hardest puncher they had ever faced in the ring. Shavers took up boxing at the late age of 22, yet two weeks later he won his first ever fight by a first round knockout, against Jim Daniels. Earnie worked out daily in Warren, Ohio. He is 6 ft (1.83 m) tall.
Shavers finished his career in 1995 with a record of 74 wins (68 by knockout, 23 inside the first round), 14 losses and 1 draw.
10 on Ring Magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.
|4:00pm – Ted “Lefty” Toles was Inducted into the Ebony Lifeline All Sport Hall of Fame, Ted Toles was honored in 1941 for his outstanding performance and leadership as a New Castle Indians baseball player.
Theodore Toles graduated from Bracevill High School in 1943. His first stop after high school was playing for Charlie Caffle’s Warren GC’s.
In 1946 he played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro Leagues, often barnstorming with the Jackie Robinson All Stars on exhibition tours across the country. He played with ball players like Larry Doby and Warren native Bill White, who was an outstanding major league player. He was signed by the
Cleveland Indians and spent time in their farm system, as well as in the Philadelphia Athletics System.
|3:15pm – Dr. Jason D. Carthen Ph.D. (born November 16, 1970 is a retired American football player. He serves as the current President of the NFL Players Association for Northeast Ohio. Born in Decatur, Alabama, Carthen graduated from Scott High School in Toledo, Ohio in 1989 and played at Ohio University. He had a three year career in the National Football League from 1993 to 1995 as a Outside Linebacker. He was injured in 1995 after signing a free-agent contract offer with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also played one more year in NFL Europe with the Rhein Fire (Düsseldorf, Germany) from 1996 to 1997 where he led the league in special-teams tackles.|
|3:30pm – William “Sonny” Johnson of Garfield Hts., averaged, 34.0 points, 17.6 rebounds per game was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball in 1998. He is now a very successful Head Boy’s Basketball Coach at Garfield Heights High School.|
|4:00pm – Damon Stringer of Cleveland Heights, Ohio was named Mr. Basketball for the state of Ohio in 1995 and led the Cleveland Heights Tigers to the Division 1 state final before losing to Zanesville in overtime (69-68). Stringer played at both Ohio State and Cleveland State.|
|4:00pm – Eric Riley (born June 2, 1970 in Cleveland, Ohio) was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2nd round (33rd overall) of the 1993 NBA Draft. Riley played for the Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics in five NBA seasons. Prior to this, he played for Cleveland St. Joseph High School and then at the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he redshirted on the Wolverines’ 1989 national championship team, and then was a key reserve on Michigan teams that reached the 1992 & 1993 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. On those teams Riley, who led all reserve players in points, rebounds and blocks. In 1991, as a sophomore, Riley led the entire Michigan team in both rebounding and blocked shots.
Riley was a member of the 1993-1994 Houston Rockets when they won their first title under Michigan alumnus Rudy Tomjanovich.
|3:30pm – Courtney Gilmore was an outstanding basketball player at St. Peter Chanel in Bedford, Ohio and Youngstown State. After his basketball days he continues to be one of the funniest comics in the industry.
Cortney gives a bird’s eye view into his life while he pokes fun at realistic family and young adult situations. While watching his performance the crowd is treated to the luxury of laughing along with him at his misfortunes while realizing that if they’ve gone through the same thing, and it’s ok. This talent for making light of life was apparent in the 1991 Funnybone / Atlanta Laff- Off in which he had the audience howling over material concerning the pre shopping pep talk he and his sister received each time they went to the mall, the embarrassment of being punished in front of his history class, and the amusing tale of how he and his mom enjoyed a Teddy Pendergrass concert. Performances such as this one along with a lot of determination and persistence has garnered much attention for the forty something year old.
He has become one of the more recognized African American comics while making appearances on BET’s Comicview , HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and most recently Martin Lawrence’s widely popular First Amendment Comedy Showcase.
Not only has his talents as a stand up drawn praise but also his ability to write funny things for others, in the summer of 97’ Cortney not only wrote for the BET sitcom Blackberry Inn but also The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show.
|3:30pm – Christian Bryant: 5’11″ 178 lb cornerback/saftey. A high school football standout from Cleveland Glenville, he was an aggressive corner with the knack for making big plays. He was ranked #8 at his position as a national recruit in high school. Bryant played in the 2010 Army High School All American Game, and was the recipient of The Blue Chip Award for the state of Ohio. Christian Bryant is now a starter for the Ohio State Buckeyes.|
|3:15pm – Jamey Mixon An avid cyclist for 20 years, he began training to ride his road bicycle from the Cleveland, Ohio area to Los Angeles, CA; a roughly 2500 mile trek. The goal was both a personal passion and a fund raising quest where proceeds were raised for Childhood Obesity awareness. On August 28, 2010, Jamey began the daunting journey of riding his bike across the country. The event was entitled “Ride Jamey Ride” a cross country bike ride, one pedal rotation at a time.
Jamey successfully completed the journey on September 30, 2010 in Manhattan Beach, CA. Over 2500 miles through 10 states ALONE on a bicycle in 30 days!
|3:30pm- Kerwin Ray Ellis (born April 27, 1959 in Canton, Ohio) was a safety in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns from 1981–1987. He is now the host of his own sports talk show “Ray Ellis Sports” in Philadelphia.|
|3:30pm – Gregory Donald Pruitt (born August 18, 1951 in Houston, Texas) is a former running backin the NFL from 1973 through 1984. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, four as a member of the Cleveland Browns and one as a member of the Los Angeles Raiders. He was also part of the Raiders’ Super Bowl XVIII winning team. Pruitt was an All-American at the University of Oklahoma in 1971 and 1972. He ranks third among Sooners in career all-purpose yards. Pruitt scored 41 career touchdowns as a Sooner and in 1999 he was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Pruitt was the reason why “The Greg Pruitt Rule” was established that made tear-away jerseys illegal in the NFL. Pruitt purposely wore flimsy jerseys that ripped apart in the hands of would-be tacklers.
|4:00pm – David Lee Grayson, Jr. (born February 27, 1964 in San Diego, California) is a former professional football player who played linebacker for five seasons for the Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers. Grayson played college football at Fresno State and prepped at Lincoln High in Southeast San Diego.|
|3:15pm – Tony Sipp: A left handed pither who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2004, he made his major league debut on April 22, 2009. Coming out of the bullpen, Sipp went 2-0 with an era of 2.92, recording 48 strikeouts.|
|3:30pm – Felipe Claybrooks (born January 22, 1978 in Decatur, Georgia) is a former defensive end in the National Football League and NFL Europa. He played for the Cleveland Browns and the Cologne Centurions. He was a standout athlete at Decatur High School, and went on to attend Georgia Tech for college.|
|4:00pm – Floyd Douglas Little (born July 4, 1942 in New Haven, Connecticut) is a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, and was a three-time All-American running back at Syracuse University. In 1967 Floyd Little was the 6th selection of the first common AFL-NFL draft. He was the first ever first-round draft pick to sign with the American Football League’s Denver Broncos where he was known simply as “The Franchise” for saving the team from certain relocation by forcing the expansion of Mile High Stadium and generating a string of sellouts that lasts today.
Little led the NFL in rushing for the six-year period from 1968 to 1973. He retired as the 7th leading rusher in Professional Football history with 6,323 yards rushing and 54 touchdowns.
On August 7, 2010, Little was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, John Randle, and Dick LeBeau.
Little finished 40th in his class of 140 at the University of Denver law school, where he received his law degree in 1975.
|4:15pm – Mickey Bey (is an undefeated junior lightweight from Cleveland, Ohio under Top Rank. Bey has a record of 16-0. He is managed by James Prince and trained by Jeff Mayweather. He had a great amateur career, finishing with a record of 182-9. Bey also won the 2004 Olympic Trials. Bey fought on the recent Juan Manuel Lopez v Rafael Marquez card at the MGM in Las Vegas and won a decision over Eric Cruz. His next fight will be against Jose Hernandez, Saturday February 19th at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. A victory will set him up for a world title shot. His current record is 16-0 with 8 knockouts.|
|3:30pm – Ken McClain: One of the top basketball officials in the State of Ohio. He has officiated some of the most memorable and historic games in Ohio, including the state championships.|
|3:15pm – Avery Klein-Cloud: is the subject of the documentary “Off and Running.” A Track star who was raised in an observant household in Brooklyn by Tova Klein and Travis Cloud, a lesbian couple with two other adopted, nonwhite children, Avery is a gifted athlete and a loving sister. But when she reaches out to her birth mother in Texas, her need to connect with the past jeopardizes her future and distances her from the only family she has ever known.|
|3:45pm – Vance Marbury: A High School Basketball standout and the creator of the Cleveland AMPRO Basketball League.|
|3:15pm – Danielle Cherry: Communications coordinator, Cleveland Indians; After finishing eighth grade at the former B.F. Stanton Middle School, Danielle Cherry found herself with a rare opportunity. She took part part in “A Better Chance”, a program that allowed her to continue her education at a high school in Tennessee. After graduation, she found herself living in Philadelphia and Baltimore before returning to Ohio a little more than a year ago.
Cherry got the opportunity to return to her roots and landed a job with the Cleveland Indians. She currently works in the organization’s Communications and Creative Services department.
|4:00pm – Jermaine Kimbrough: Assistant Basketball Coach, Cleveland State University
One of the top young coaches in the college game today, Jermaine Kimbrough is in his second stint working with the Cleveland State Viking basketball program and in his fourth year serving as an assistant coach.
A varsity starter as a freshman at Shaker Heights High School in Ohio , Kimbrough was named all-league four times and all-city three times during his high school career when his teams averaged 19 wins a season. A second team all-state selection after averaging better than 26 points a game as a senior, Kimbrough attended Virginia Tech for his collegiate career. He earned ESPN Player of the Game honors twice during his career, vs. Wake Forest and Virginia.
|3:30pm – Darryl Sims earned a football scholarship to the UW-Madison, playing four seasons in the Badgers’ defensive line and collected All-Big Ten Conference first team honors in 1981 and 1982. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1985 and 1986 and for the Cleveland Browns in 1987 and 1988.
After a highly competitive national search, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh hired Darryl Sims as its new athletics director
|3:30pm – Sabrina Parr I attended collinwood high school in 2001-2005. I was apart of the state championship track and field team. I earned a full-ride track scholarship to California State University. I studied broadcasting and communications and now I am currently on a ESPN radio talkshow. I also
manage a fitness center here in northeast ohio.
|3:30pm – Tommy Austin was an aircraft mechanic attached to the Tuskegee Airmen’s 99th Fighter Squadron. He was trained at Tuskegee, AL. He served at Chanute Field, IL, Freeman Field, IN, Godman Field, KY, Maxwell Field, AL, Daniel Field, GA, Atterbury Field, IN and North American Aviation in Englewood, CA, repairing and maintaining both fighter planes and bombers. Tommy was certified as an aircraft mechanic for the following aircrafts: BT-13, P-43 Lancer, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, P-39, Curtis P-40 War Hawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang, Douglas A-20A Havoc bomber, and B-25 bomber. He earned an honorable discharge following completion of his service. A resident of Cleveland, Tommy retired from General Motors after 34 years of service. He is currently 94 years old|
|3:30pm – Roy Richardson joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1948 and took his basic training at Lackland Field, Texas. He was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group at Lockbourne Field, Columbus, Ohio under the command of Lt. Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Mr. Richardson worked the flight line, pre-flighting, taxiing and performing aircraft maintenance.
He played clarinet, tuba, piccolo and glockenspiel with the 766th Army Band. Upon advice from 1st Lieutenant Chappie James (who became the nation’s first black 4-star general) he applied for flight school but instead joined Chappie in Operation Happiness, a very popular USO tour that entertained servicemen across the U.S. and the world.
Back in Cleveland, he earned his pilot’s license at Horns Flying School at Chagrin Falls Airport in 1953. He joined other Tuskegee Airmen like Gilbert Cargill, Earl Lane, and Buddy Johnston in forming the Aero 8 Flying Club, which owned a Piper Cub, Ercoupe, & a Cessna 172.
|Hanford Dixon (born December 25, 1958 in Mobile, Alabama) is a former professional American football cornerback who played his entire career (1981-1989) for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. Dixon made the Pro Bowl three times, in 1986, 1987 and 1988. He was drafted by the Browns out of The University of Southern Mississippi with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He also is credited with naming the Cleveland Browns “Dawg Pound.”|