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25 Mar 2015

National spotlight shines on Hampton

National spotlight shines on Hampton

Originally posted on www.dailypress.com by Robert Brauchle

The earth was still rotating last week, but for a brief spell the world was spinning around Hampton University's college basketball matchup against powerhouse University of Kentucky.

Meanwhile, reporters and columnists across the country began to clamor: Where exactly is Hampton University located?

While the team took the spotlight during its two-game NCAA tournament run, the rest of the country was getting an education on Hampton's history.

Hampton, Va., that is.

"You have characters such as Joyner, suddenly shining a spotlight on Hampton (Virginia) University, which, if you didn't know before, was founded after the Civil War to educate freed slaves and is the alma mater of Booker T. Washington," wrote Miami Herald reporter Linda Robertson.  

"Those fans, and the Pirates, can head back to their beautiful peninsula in Southeast Virginia with their heads held high," wrote Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Tim Warsinskey on Friday. "They didn't back down."

Beautiful, historic, a land of opportunity — the country was learning about both the university and the city that berthed it.

"It's a great opportunity for Hampton to be recognized as a basketball town," wrote Mary Fugere, Hampton Convention and Visitor Bureau interim director. "With Boo Williams serving as the AAU National Basketball Chairman and with so many exceptional athletes growing from Boo's basketball program, this potentially shines a spotlight on Hampton as a basketball town and, consequently, as a sports events destination."

Boo knows basketball

Hampton's Boo Williams will reminisce about his career as a basketball coach and mentor as a part of the Hampton History Museum's "Our Story, Our Time" Oral History event series.

Williams is expected to discuss his history beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at the downtown museum. Williams will share his memories, and open the floor up to the audience to share their stories for the museum's Oral History Project, according to a news release.

Williams, 48, lives in Hampton where he began a basketball career that took him as far as Europe. He is considered an ambassador and consultant for youth basketball and youth sports.

The event is free for museum members and $5 for non-members, and includes entry into the Hampton History galleries.

Salt Ponds Inlet dredging

Hampton is seeking qualified companies to dredge the Salt Ponds Inlet, according to bid documents made public last week.

The city held a mandatory pre-bid meeting with contractors on Tuesday to discuss the project. The winning contractor is expected to dispose of all excavated spoils on the public beach just south of the inlet.

Contractors must submit bids to the city by 2 p.m. on April 7.

Community Cleanup: King Street

The Hampton Clean City Commission is looking for volunteers to help pick up litter in the King Street and Little Back River Road areas on Friday.

All cleanup equipment is provided although participants must register to participate so the commission knows how much equipment to provide.

For more information and to register, call 757-727-1199.

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