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Eagles plan postscript for their excellent season

April 28, 2014 

N.C. State, NC State, Wolfpack, ACC, NCCU, North Carolina Centra

North Carolina Central's Emanuel Chapman (32), left, Karamo Jawara (10) and head coach LeVelle Moton celebrate North Carolina Central University's 82-72 overtime victory in Raleigh over N.C. State on Nov. 20, one of the Eagles’ biggest wins last season.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

One last hoorah is on tap for N.C. Central men’s basketball team. The university will host a celebration banquet for the team on May 1 inside McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium.

The Eagles (28-6) won their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship and advanced to their first NCAA Division I Tournament. Coach LeVelle Moton and senior forward Jeremy Ingram were named MEAC coach and player of the year, respectively.

The team recently was the guest of honor of Gov. Pat McCrory at the Governor’s Mansion. And Moton has been named one of the Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Leadership Award winners.

The May 1 dinner begins at 6:30, followed by the program at 7:15. NCCU Sports Network play-by-play announcer Chris Hooks will serve as emcee.

Those wishing to attend for free can do so by sitting in the upper section of the gym. For others who want a more up close and personal view from the floor, tickets are $50 or $475 for a table of 10. Proceeds benefit the men’s basketball program. Call 530-5170 for more information.

New Eagle in town

After a five-month search, Nicki Holmes has been hired as NCCU’s new volleyball coach. Holmes spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Central Florida, where he coached the setters.

“My wife and I are excited to become a part of the NCCU family,” he said. “From the initial phone conversations to the on-campus visit, I knew that NCCU had everything we were looking for in a community. I am excited to get to work with these wonderful student-athletes in our pursuit to compete for MEAC championships.”

Phoenix seek to defend title

After six years of close-but-no-cigar finishes, the Carolina Phoenix women’s football tackle team won the International Women’s Football League championship last season.

Former NCCU basketball player Porschia Holmes’ 99-yard touchdown run helped seal the 14-0 win and earned her the game’s most valuable player award. Holmes, a four-year wide receiver and running back, is a UNC-Chapel Hill IT technician and a basketball coach at St. Mary’s School in Raleigh. She also plays flag football during the offseason.

“Now, I know more about football, understand more about what my body needs to do it well,” Holmes told the News & Observer. “It used to be a hobby. Now, it’s a craft.”

The Phoenix are coached by Terrance Gary of Spring Lake who is also a middle-school teacher. Gary coaches 30 players, ages 18 and over, from the Triangle to the Triad and more.

Carolina began the season 0-2 but rebounded Saturday night with a 47-6 win over Chattanooga Locomotion at Durham County Stadium. The Phoenix don’t return home again until June 14.

Top honor

North Carolina School of Science and Math’s wrestling team took home a team academic award for having a 3.5 GPA average. The NCHSAA honors individuals and teams that achieve excellence both academically and athletically.

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