Durham News: Sports

Little League star Mone Davis to play Durham fundraiser

Little League star Mone Davis and six of her teammates from the Little League World Series will play in a fundraiser against Long Balls Durham Redwings at 10 a.m. Sunday at Southern High School.

Who can forget Mone’s performance last summer: the first girl to pitch a shutout in Little League history, the first to get a hit and the first black girl to play in the series.

She made the cover of Sports Illustrated and was named Sports Kid of the Year by Sports Illustrated for Kids.

The Monarchs are on a 2015 Barnstorming Tour throughout the South in honor of the civil rights movement. Admission is $3. Contact Pat James at pnobles@duke.edu for more information.

Former Mt. Zion coach returns to Triangle

North Carolina Central alumnus Joel Hopkins has returned to coaching at the institution he left in 2002. Hopkins began his second stint at Shaw University on June 1.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to return to Shaw and defend my CIAA championship,” Hopkins said. “I’m excited to come back to help young people achieve their dreams and goals both on and off the court.”

Hopkins was a member of the 1989 NCCU team that won the NCAA Division II national championship. Three years later, he became coach of Mt. Zion Christian Academy.

From 1992-2000, Mt. Zion was one of the most powerful prep teams in the nation, going 200-39 during Hopkins tenure. One of the many superstars to come out of the program was Tracy McGrady.

McGrady transferred to Mt. Zion for his senior season in 1996. He mesmerized opponents and critics on the way to being named USA Today High School Player of the Year.

In a time when jumping straight from high school to the pros was a rarity, McGrady made the leap and was picked ninth overall by the Toronto Raptors.

He ended his 16-year NBA career in 2013 with seven all-star game appearances, two NBA scoring titles and the 2001 NBA Most Improved Player Award.

Hopkins found another gem during his first stint at Shaw by the name of Ronald Flip Murray.

Murray led the Bears to their first CIAA mens basketball championship in 2002, was named the NCAA Division II Player of the Year and was drafted in the second round by the Milwaukee Bucks. Murray is still playing overseas but will also join Hopkins on the sideline as an assistant.

Hopkins said players with potential like Grady and Murray fuel his passion for coaching.

“I’m not looking for McDonald’s All-Americans. I want the players that are not going to make the ACC or the SEC like a Murray,” he said. “I want the kids who need a second chance. Players are like a piece of coal. You have to chip away to find the diamond.”

Movin on

Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hills Paul Dunlap will play basketball for William Peace University in Raleigh. Dunlap had other offers from Lynchburg, Roanoke and Covenant colleges.