NC Central Women’s Basketball Signs Six Recruits

Kevin c Buczek  Photo courtesy NCCU

DURHAM, N.C. — Head coach Trisha Stafford-Odom has announced Kaylah Barnes, Morgan Callahan, Pearl Dean, Necole Hope, Paris McBride and Cherelle Washington have all signed to play basketball and study at North Carolina Central University in 2020-21.

The six signees include three transfers (Dean, Hope and Washington) and a trio of freshmen (Barnes, Callahan and McBride).

The half dozen newcomers will compliment an Eagles roster that posted its best record in the program’s NCAA Division I era last season and is expected to return 10 letter winners from that squad.

NC Central Women’s Basketball Recruits (alphabetical)…

Kaylah Barnes is a 6-0 guard/forward from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Barnes played on two nationally-ranked teams at Riverdale Baptist High School and the National Christian Academy (NCA). She is a Dean’s List honoree at NCA with the highest average in chemistry. Barnes was a 2020 Rose Classic Summer Jam champion and a 2019 Snowfall Classic All-Tournament Team selection. She will be joining rising sophomore Anissa Rivera and rising redshirt freshman Promise Cunningham as NCA alum on NCCU’s roster (but they did not play together). However, Barnes did play with fellow signee McBride at Riverdale Baptist.

“It is a pleasure to have Kaylah joining us Eagles because she will pose an immediate problem for the defense with her size,” said Stafford-Odom. “Kaylah is a versatile big guard with the strength and capacity to facilitate offense from multiple trigger spots. She has clear court vision and surprising ball-handling abilities. She is a tough competitor and can produce buckets from multiple areas of the court.”

Morgan Callahan is a 6-1 forward from Zion, Illinois. Callahan played at Zion-Benton Township High School. She was a two-time first team all-area selection in 2018-19 and 2019-20, along with being both a first team all-state and first team all-conference award winner in 2019-20. Callahan also garnered St. Viator Tournament MVP accolades twice in 2018-19and 2019-20.

“Morgan comes with a college-ready physique and a wide range of skill sets,” said Stafford-Odom. “She has the capability of overpowering her perimeter defender, while also possessing the speed and agility to dominate players who guard her in the post. I am so honored to coach such a hard-working, humble, and quality young lady like Morgan, who has an unlimited upside.”

Pearl Dean is a 6-3 center from Cincinnati, Ohio. Dean is a transfer from Indiana State University, where she averaged 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game for the Sycamores as a sophomore. Dean started her collegiate career at Wabash Valley College. As a Warrior, Dean helped WVC to a 32-1 record, an NJCAA Elite 8 appearance and a No. 1 ranking, while earningall-conference and all-region laurels after averaging 8.1 points and 7.1 points per game. Dean played her prep career at Purcell Marion High School, where she was an all-conference selection and an ESPN three-star recruit who was ranked the No. 37 post playerby ESPN in 2018. Dean will sit one year as a redshirt in 2020-21 due to NCAA transfer regulations.

“Pearl is a very strong post player, true to her back-to-the-basket skills and dominance,” said Stafford-Odom. “She is a capable of controlling a game on both offense and defense with her quick feet and shot-blocking ability. Pearl has an unusual maturity level and holds the tools and work ethic to be an instant stat filler. What I love is how her calm off-court demeanor rivals the command she has on the hardwood.”

Necole Hope is a 5-10 guard from Waldorf, Maryland. Hope is transferring to NCCU to play her final season with the Eagles after playing three years at East Carolina University. She played in nearly every game for Pirates the past three seasons with 89 appearances, and she maintained collegiate career averages of 5.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.6 assists per game over that timeline. Hope had a career-high 25-point performance against UNCW in which she made six 3-pointers. In her prep career, Hope was a two-time team MVP and two-time county player of the year at North Point High School, where she won three conference championships and finished as the program’s all-time leading scorer (tied) and leader in made 3-pointers. Hope, who will sit out one year as a redshirt in 2020-21 due to NCAA transfer rules, was a Havoc City AAU teammate of Rivera.

“It will be a pleasure to use Necole’s slithery athleticism on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor,” said Stafford-Odom. “Her speed and long frame allows her to get to the basket effortlessly to score. Her anticipation gets her in the passing lane for deflections that will initiate our fast break. Necole is an experienced player who adds another piece of difficulty and toughness to our offensive attack.”

Paris McBride is a 5-6 guard from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. McBride played at Riverdale Baptist High School, where she was a point guard for a pair of USA Today Top-25 ranked teams. McBride was also a 2016 Virginia state runner-up and 2017 state semifinalist at Highland Springs High School. She played one season with fellow signee Barnes in 2018-19.

“I am so excited to watch Paris transfer her leadership component onto the MEAC stage,” said Stafford-Odom. “She oozes winning habits, as she has won on every level of play. She is a physically strong guard, who will add defensive tenacity and elements of leadership to our team. Paris takes pride in running her team with efficiency and is a vocal piece that can elevate the play of her teammates.”

Cherelle Washington is a 5-10 guard from Fort Myers, Florida. She is a junior college transferand is expected to be eligible to play for the Eagles in 2020-21. As a sophomore, Washington started 29 games at Daytona State College, where she averaged 15.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocks per game. She became the first Falcon to make seven 3-pointers in a game in program history. Washington played her first season at Florida Southwestern State, playing in 30 games with averages of 6.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.7 steals per game, while earning MVP honors at the Santa Slam. Her collegiate career already includes first team all-conference and NJCAA player of the week awards. Washington was a 1,000-point scorer in her prep career at Triton Regional High School. She also has Florida Storm Shootout MVP and track and field champion shipfirst place regional accolades.

“Cherelle has a fiery energy and passion for playing this game,” said Stafford-Odom. “She is the type of player who welcomes challenges and makes coaching fun. She is a deadly 3-point shooter, who will run the floor and also score in a variety of ways. Her positive outlook translates into perseverance in the midst of stiff competition. Having Cherelle’s bounce and cat-quick defensive reactions will make us an exciting team to watch.”

Howard Senior Profile Featuring Brandon Hood, A conversation with Brooklyn native Brandon Hood

Derek Bryant  Photo courtesy HU (Photo Credit – Frank Mitchell III)

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2020) – Howard University rising junior public relations major A’Maiya Allen spoke with recent graduate Brandon Hood (Brooklyn, N.Y.) from the men’s soccer team, asking nine questions for the 2019-20 Senior Profile series.

Q: How and when did you start playing soccer?

A: I started playing soccer at five years old when my mom took me to one of her friend’s academies, and I have been playing ever since.

Q: What has been your driving force throughout your academic and athletic career?

A: Growing up and coming from a third world country, I witnessed the sacrifices my mother made to send me to school while providing for the family. This drove me to take everything seriously, so I can become successful and eventually provide for her and the rest of my family.

Q: Who is your biggest sports inspiration?

A: My biggest sports inspiration is the late Kobe Bryant. Since I was a kid, I have been a fan because he was my dad’s favorite player. I try to emulate his work ethic with the Mamba Mentality not just in soccer, but in other aspects of my life as well.

Q: What has been your favorite soccer memory at Howard?

A: My favorite soccer memory was during my first home game freshman year against Robert Morris because the atmosphere and support we received from the fans was indescribable.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I will be working full-time as an analyst at JPMorgan & Chase in their Washington, D.C. regional headquarters.

Q: What will you miss most about Howard?

A: I will mostly miss being around my friends and the Howard culture. The vibes and family atmosphere are unlike any other school or place. In my opinion, there is no place like Howard.

Q: What message would you give to your freshman-year self?

A: I would have told myself to build a strong support system or find a mentor. At Howard, there are a lot of processes that are new, and sometimes challenging to navigate. Having a strong support system can be a great resource to assist you in finding internships and job opportunities while receiving guidance in life.

Q: What makes your team special?

A: The diversity makes our team so special because we are all different. I have learned a lot from my teammates because every individual specializes in something and I can relate to everyone in unique ways.

Q: What message would you leave for the rest of your team?

A: I want to tell my teammates to remain focused, both academically and athletically. I am hopeful that everything will be back to normal soon, so they can be back on the field doing what they do best.

About Hood

Brandon Hood was a four-year member of the Howard University men’s soccer team where he played over 30 matches as a forward for the Bison.

He excelled off the field during his collegiate career, making the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Commissioner’s All-Academic Team twice (2018 & 2019) and the 2017-2018 Sun Belt Academic Commissioner’s List.

In Spring 2020, Hood graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance and has already accepted a full-time position as an analyst at JPMorgan & Chase in their Washington, D.C. headquarters.

For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at

Maurice Williams
NORFOLK, Va., May 15, 2020 —The Presidents and Chancellors of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) acknowledge the widespread and unprecedented impact the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having on the communities its membership serves, and recognize how disproportionately African-Americans and other minorities have been affected by the virus.

While the Council of Presidents and Chancellors within the MEAC is focused on the welfare of our student-athletes, we take our responsibility much more broadly. We understand our role as anchor institutions and, as such, are dedicated to supporting efforts to educate and empower all members of our university and extended communities in the fight against COVID-19.

As HBCU Presidents and Chancellors, we know the importance of science and scientific inquiry in the fight to arrest and eradicate global pandemics such as the one we currently face. The MEAC is fortunate to have amongst its presidents and chancellors a wide range of expertise to guide us in making decisions that are in the best interest of the communities that have sustained us for more than a century and a half.

Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, physician and president of Howard University in Washington, D.C. is the current Chair of the Presidents’ Council and we appreciate his perspectives as we plan and chart new courses of action in the wake of the continuing COVID-19 crisis.

“Our institutions were born out of a need to overcome unequal opportunities and systemic discrimination,” Dr. Frederick said. “This pandemic has emboldened the sacred missions of our institutions to provide solutions to these issues.”

The MEAC Presidents and Chancellors also acknowledge that the devastating toll COVID-19 has taken on the African-American community, specifically, is a result of pervasive racial disparitiesthat negatively impact the longevity and quality of life for black people. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost one-third of infections nationwide have affected African-Americans, although African-Americans makeup only 13 percent of the U.S. population. Likewise, nearly one-third of those who died are African-Americans, according to the analysis of available state and local data by the Associated Press.

The MEAC’s Presidents and Chancellors recognize the symbiotic manner in which economic and social conditions inform public health outcomes and shape the experiences and survival rates of those most vulnerable as a result. We are also quite concerned about the disproportionate economic impact that the virus is having within the African-American community and are calling on our public officials to put in place policies and initiatives to address these disparities.

As HBCU leaders, we are committed to doing our part to keep our students, their families, and the communities we serve, safe, informed and empowered in the global race to end the spread of COVID-19.

The MEAC Presidents and Chancellors want to make clear that our institutions are supporting ongoing efforts to grow and diversify the workforce and produce cutting-edge research to address many of the disparitie smade more visible by COVID-19.

As we make decisions across our campuses, those decisions will be guided by science and research data to ensure that our students, faculty, staff and the general public that we serve are not in harm's way. As HBCU leaders, we raise our hands to show the African-American community that we are sensitive to their needs and thinking about them and that we care.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website at

MEAC Presidents and Chancellors

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) is made up of 11 outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Bethune-Cookman University (Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite), Coppin State University (Dr. Anthony Jenkins), Delaware State University (Dr. Tony Allen), Florida A&M University (Dr. Larry Robinson), Howard University (Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick), University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Dr. Heidi M. Anderson), Morgan State University (Dr. David Wilson), Norfolk State University (Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston), North Carolina A&T State University (Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr.), North Carolina Central University (Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye), South Carolina State University (Mr. James E. Clark) and MEAC Commissioner (Dr. Dennis Thomas)

About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) just completed its 49th year of intercollegiate competition with the 2019-20 academic school year. Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of 11 outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University and South Carolina State University.
James Heath
HAMPTON, Va. -- What started as a visit to the Big South Conference office in Charlotte with fellow Hampton student-athletes for a meeting, turned into the start of what looks to be a fun filled senior season for men’s tennis risingsenior Davy Van Geerke.

After the Big South Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting and his work this past year, Van Geerke was selected as the 2020-21 representative of the Big South Conference to the NCAA SAAC Committee.

“I want to congratulate Mr. Davy Van Geerke on his selection to serve on this national committee,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey. His selection continues to show a goal of all Hampton students to become leaders in the classroom and in life.”

Van Geerke went to Charlotte looking to learn more about the league. “I went to the first meeting in the fall this year in Charlotte and got to know several people from the conference,” said Van Geerke. “Stephen Dolan (Big South Conference Assistant Commissioner – Compliance) approached me to compliment me on my leadership style and asked if I would be interested in being considered to serve on the national committee,” he added.

Van Geerke is looking forward to his year on the national committee and is starting to learn some of the details about things they will be tackling. “Last year’s SAAC rep from the conference is reaching out to me along with Stephen Dolanto get me ready,” he said. “I know we will be working on NCAA legislation and serving as a voice of the student-athletes in the conference. “

In a shortened junior season, Van Geerke had a team best 6-3 record and won six of his last seven matches. He went 1-1 in the conference scoring a win at Winthrop.

Looking ahead to the coming year, Van Geerke is beaming with anticipation over this new experience. “It’s a blessing to be chosen for this experience and I am very proud to represent Hampton, the Big South Conference and HBCU’s on thecommittee,” he said.

For more information on Hampton University men’s tennis, please contact the Office of Sports Information at 757-727-5757 or visit the official Pirates website at


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Big South Conference announced its Men’s Outdoor Track and Field All-Academic team on Friday and Khalil Gary was recognized by the league office on the team.

Gary (3.47 – Criminal Justice) is a Chi Alpha Sigma inductee, and helped the Pirates to a second-place finish in the 4x400m relay at this year’s Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The Big South Men’s Outdoor Track & Field All-Academic Team consists of one student-athlete from each institution that meets the criteria of having completed at least one academic year at the institution, maintains at least a cumulative3.0 grade-point average and is of sophomore standing (academically and athletically).

For more information on Hampton University Men’s Track and Field visit the official Pirates website at
Where Are They Now?” Featuring Chulsey Landry Hill Former forward returns home after building accounting career at premier broadcasting networks

Derek Bryant (Photo Credit – Howard Athletics Media Relations)
Link to article:

WASHINGTON (May 14, 2020) – Chulsey Landry Hill was a member of the Howard University Women’s Basketball Team (1992-95) where she played over 75 games duringher collegiate career.
In her sophomore and junior campaigns, she guided the club to back-to-back 11-5 seasons during league play.

Off the court, she served on the Captain’s Counsel for Athletes while being initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

She earned her degree from The Mecca with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.

Since graduating, Hill has earned her MBA and built her accounting career at two of the premier radio and TV broadcasting networks serving the African-American community. She worked in both management as well as director roles in accounting at Urban One, Inc., and Black Entertainment Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc.

Currently, Hill has returned home and taken a position as the Assistant Controller in the Office of the Controller at her beloved alma mater.

She continues to be active in athletics, serving as a volunteer coach while cheering for her three kids in their basketball and volleyball games.

About Where Are They Now?

The new weekly series of "Where Are They Now?" appears each Thursday throughout the year.

The series will feature former student-athletes from all sports and eras, highlighting their careers as athletes at the University and what they are presently doing.