Winston-Salem State is a long way from opening its basketball season but don’t tell that to Coach Cleo Hill Jr.
Hill posted a 17-minute video on his Facebook page that details Earl “The Pearl” Monroe’s playing days at WSSU.
I have no idea when the video was made but it’s as cool as anything you will watch. It appears that the video was put together in 2011, with other players from that team talking about the era.
Maybe plenty of WSSU fans and alumni have seen the video before, but I hadn’t. Monroe talks about the struggles he and Steve Smith had in the south when they came to Winston-Salem in the 1960’s. But by the time Monroe and Smith were part of their graduating class in 1967 blacks and whites were clamoring to see Coach Big House Gaines’ team play.
I'm not sure what the incoming freshmen students are shown when they get on campus at WSSU but this video should be part of their introduction to the school.
They won the Division II national championship in the 1966-67 season, which is the only national championship the Rams have won in basketball.
If this video doesn’t get you hyped up for football – and basketball season – then nothing will.
I reached out to Hill earlier in the week about the WSSU schedule and he is looking forward to his second season in Winston-Salem. He indicated to me his roster was not filled out yet as he and his coaches are still recruiting.
In the world of Division II that likely means that Hill and his coaches might just be landing more key players for second semester.
Stay tuned, but in the meantime enjoy the video.