Blue & White and Covered in Love

While riding the LYNX Blue Line uptown to the Time Warner Cable Arena, we met two lovebirds. Samuel and Vedas Neil were both decked out in Blue and White and on their way to catch the Fayetteville State University Broncos take on the Winston-Salem State Rams.

Vedas said that theirs is a true love story. They met while attending school at FSU.

“He was my college sweetheart, but he left school and disappeared for 30 years,” Vedas said. “I thought he was dead in the Vietnam War. I had given him up and went on with my life.”

They ran into each other again several years later at a 1998 FSU homecoming reunion.

“He took my hand and he said, ‘I will never leave you again,’ and everything else is history.”

When asked what kept him away, he replied: “I was in New Jersey.”

Little did he know that while he was living in North Jersey, his future wife was in South Jersey.

Samuel kept his promise to never leave again, and the two have been married for over a decade.

Vedas is now the president of the Fayetteville State’s national alumni association, and she and her husband have traveled 3 ½ hours from Elm City, NC, to Charlotte every year the CIAA has been here.

“We come to enjoy the games, the camaraderie, the friendship, the fellowship, and the bonding,’ she said. “It’s almost like a second homecoming. We also enjoy shopping in Charlotte, and many others do as well.” (By Michaela Duckett)


CIAA & Charlotte: Permanent Partners?

Could the Qcity become the permanent home of the CIAA Tournament?

Yes, if Mayor Anthony Foxx and CIAA Commissioner Leon G. Kerry had their way.
On Thursday, the CIAA unveiled its logo for next year’s tournament, which will mark the conference’s 100th anniversary.

Foxx said the CIAA is Charlotte’s most-anticipated event of the year. He said the tournament has put Charlotte on the map for hosting successful events and helped it secure the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Since 2006, when the tournament first came to Charlotte, its economic impact on the city has tripled to $37.7 million this year, he said.

“The CIAA Tournament is certainly good for Charlotte and good for business,” said Foxx. “The CIAA is also good for people. This week is about connecting old friends and making new friends.”

Foxx said he’s looking forward to making the CIAA bigger and better over the next three years and said he would welcome making the partnership permanent.

Commissioner Kerry said he would welcome a permanent partnership with Charlotte. “From a business standpoint, I think it makes good sense,” he said.

Kerry, who does not sit on the board that ultimately makes the decision, has said Charlotte is the best place the tournament has ever been held.

“By coming to Charlotte, we have become a destination,” he said. “We’ve done things I used to dream about.”

Kerry said the new logo, which bears the Qcity’s skyline, tells a story.

“We have the city in there, and it represents a partnership for CIAA, the city of Charlotte and basketball,” he said. “I think it predicts a true feeling from us and how we feel about Charlotte.”

The tournament’s centennial slogan will be “Still in the Game.” (By Michaela Duckett)


Red & White for Life

Dressed in his alma mater’s colors (Red & White), Alfred Harvey said he wishes the Winston-Salem State cheerleaders would do the same.

Although their pompoms are red, their outfits are black. For him, that’s simply not good enough.

“They must not know the school’s colors,” he said. “I just wish they would change those outfits to red and white.”

Harvey, class of 1975, said he will always be red & white. “I will be a Ram until the day I die,” he said.

Indeed, Harvey is a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame.

He played football with the WSSU Rams, receiving the MVP award for outstanding defensive play in 1971, when the school won its first CIAA Southern Division Championship.

He came back to coach the football team in their 1978 championship winning season.

Harvey also coached the Lady Rams basketball team and lead them to the 1979 Southern Division Championship.

He coached Lauriece Jenkins, who was the school’s only female to be drafted by a professional basketball team.

Harvey, who is now in his 60’s, said he has been attending CIAA games since he was a teen and believes that Charlotte is the best host city by far.

“I love Charlotte,” he said. “I think this is the ideal pick for the tournament. This is a great venue for the CIAA. There is so much going on.” (By Michaela Duckett)

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