published Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Chattanooga State hosts three prep alumni games

It won't be anything like "Dancing With the Stars," but a group of dancers will benefit from some former stars' basketball performances tonight at Chattanooga State.

Central and City high school players of the 1970s and '80s will square off against each other at 6 p.m. in the first of three alumni games matching longtime local rivals. Games at 7 and 8 will match former Brainerd stars against Howard standouts of first the 1990s and 2000s and then the '70s and '80s.

One of the younger Brainerd players in the final game will be Jay Price, a former University of Tennessee point guard who now coaches both Chattanooga State teams and recently helped with the training of the United States under-18 national team.

He said William Cardell, Anthony Cardle and Thomas Williams will be among his teammates, coached by Greg Smith, against a Howard collection that includes Gerald Cunningham, Willie Caldwell and Isaac Washington with Dank Hawkins as coach.

According to Price, the event is the brainchild of Williams, a former Brainerd, Chattanooga State and Lee University standout who is involved with the Chattanooga Elite Dancers organization. Williams got with Hawkins to organize the trio of basketball games.

Tickets cost $6 for adults.

"It should be a fun night," Price said. "The dancers are going to make some money, and they're planning to make a donation to the Chattanooga State basketball program, depending on how well they do.

"We're already talking about expanding this as a Chattanooga State project next year," Price added. "We're going to make it a whole weekend alumni event, with former Chattanooga State players against Cleveland State alumni along with high school games. We'll try to get as many involved as we can."

Sir-Lee Mason and Ricky Harper are among the younger Howard alumni lined up for tonight's middle game, facing the likes of Johnny Goodman, Jermaine Washington and Talley Caldwell from Brainerd. The opening game will include Lawanza "Ricky" Crutcher, Jason Eppinger and Tito Harris from City and Robert Evans and David Massengill from Central, Price said.

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