NCCU men look to step it up at Campbell
Those in N.C. Central’s McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium the other night when the Eagles blew out Johnson & Wales got their first look of the season at the Poobie Hustle.
That’s the dance Emanuel “Poobie” Chapman and Karamo Jawara do during pregame introductions.
“We practice in the dorm,” Chapman said. “We just had to go back in the vault and get a dance move from last year. We’re going to step it up for the next game, I promise you.”
The Eagles will descend on Campbell, in Buies Creek, this evening (7 p.m., NCCUEaglePride.com).
Chapman will look to build on the milestone he established a week ago against Johnson & Wales, becoming NCCU’s all-time leader in assists. The senior from Raleigh’s Enloe High School has 410 career assists, surpassing 409 by Michael Wright, who played at NCCU in the early to mid-1980s.
“I’m the one that gets all the glory for it. I’m the one to be up there, but that proves and that shows that I played with a lot of great players,” Chapman said.
NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said he’s known Chapman since he was born and watched him develop at his basketball camps. The young man is in select company among the fine guards who’ve come through NCCU, Moton said.
“It’s a testament to a kid who had no scholarship offers,” Moton said. “He never wooed you athletically and all of those things, but he always won and he could always deliver the ball.”
A second-half layup by NCCU forward Jay Copeland gave Chapman the assists record.
Moton: “I told him he would have broken it his sophomore year if he’d played with me.”
Moton, NCCU’s third all-time leading scorer with 1,714 points, also played high school ball at Enloe.
Chapman mentioned former Boston Celtics guard Nate “Tiny” Archibald and former NCCU guard C.J. Wilkerson as guys who knew how to play the game.
“I’m not in that breath, but that’s what I’m trying to get to,” Chapman said.
Chapman scored seven points against Johnson & Wales and chipped in two points during a loss in the season opener to Cincinnati. He’s attempted nine field goals this season, but Moton said he’s OK with Chapman taking more shots.
“He’s more than capable of knocking down shots,” Moton said. “We’ll probably ask him to score and contribute a little more.”
NCCU is without 6-7 forward Stanton Kidd, who was the third-leading scorer in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference a season ago with 14.5 points per game. He transferred to Colorado State.
“With Stanton Kidd leaving, we lost a scorer, of course,” Chapman said. “But we also got great guys in. So I’m not going to set out already and say I’m just going to score more this year. That may hurt us. So whatever Coach needs, whatever my teammates need, then that’s what I’m going to do.”
Among the NCCU newcomers is College of Central Florida transfer Jordan Parks (6-7, 190), a very athletic forward.
When Parks was considering schools and visited NCCU, Chapman hosted him. It was during that trip when Parks learned that Chapman was 10 assists away from the record.
“He was like, ‘I’m going to give the rock up,’” Parks said. “I was like, ‘You throw it, I’m going to catch it.’”