As if the excitement surrounding Saturday afternoon’s basketball doubleheader between rivals North Carolina Central University and North Carolina A&T State University was not enough, the day will also feature a national anthem performance by a notable R&B artist, a celebration of four conference championship teams and the presentation of a lifetime achievement award.
Kicking things off inside McDougald-McLendon Arena will be singer and songwriter Sunshine Anderson, a native of Charlotte and graduate of NCCU, with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at about 1:50 p.m. Anderson’s first album Your Woman, featuring the single “Heard It All Before,” reached number two on Billboard's R&B albums chart and eventually went gold, selling more than 800,000 copies.
Doors to the arena will open at 12 noon. Tickets are available at the NCCU Ticket Office (lower level of W.G. Pearson Dining Hall) or online at www.NCCUEaglePride.com.
After the 2 p.m. women’s basketball contest, members of the four NCCU women’s volleyball conference title teams will be honored as the championship banners make their debut. The Lady Eagles captured the program’s first CIAA Volleyball Tournament crown in 1999, then won three in-a-row from 2004-06.
At halftime of the men’s 4 p.m. game, legendary student-athlete, coach and athletics administrator William “Bill” Hayes will be presented with the NCCU Department of Athletics Lifetime Achievement Award. Hayes has made significant contributions to both NCCU and North Carolina A&T during his illustrious career. Hayes grew up in Durham, just a few blocks from NCCU, where he played four seasons as a linebacker and center for the Eagles. He earned three All-America citations (1962-64, Pittsburgh Courier) before graduating in 1965 with a degree in physical education. During his 27 seasons as head coach at Winston-Salem State University (1976-87) and N.C. A&T (1988-2002), Hayes amassed 195 wins to go along with six conference championships. After his coaching career, Hayes returned to NCCU to serve as Director of Athletics from 2003-07. Under his direction, NCCU won 10 conference championships and he was chosen as the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Athletics Director of the Year in 2006 and was presented with the Jeanette A. Lee Athletic Administration Award, recognizing the conference's top athletic administrator, in 2007.
For more information about NCCU Athletics, visit www.NCCUEaglePride.com.