Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/6/11
From Staff Reports and Press Releases
Tina Sloan Green, who guided Temple to three national championships in the 1980s and has led the drive to spread the sport in the city for decades, was among the recipients Friday of the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award presented by the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier, Philadelphia basketball icon Sonny Hill were also among the 10 honorees.
The awards ceremony was part of the annual NABJ Convention & Career Fair, which concludes Sunday with more than 2,000 journalists. The Sports Task Force, which is comprised of black print and broadcast sports journalists, annually is represented at the NABJ Convention by about 100 sports journalists.
Sloan Green, a West Chester graduate, became the first African-American female intercollegiate lacrosse coach in 1973. She amassed a 207-62-4 record while leading Temple to national championships in 1982 (the old AIAW) as well as 1984 and 1988 (NCAA). The team from 1988 went undefeated; all of the teams from that era were filled with rosters of players from the Philly area.
Sloan Green is equally credited for her work as president and co-founder of the Black Women in Sport Foundation. She has been developing and building programs for city youths in non-traditional sports and while advocating for black women for more than 30 years through this program. One of the sports she had worked the most on is lacrosse. She also is Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at Temple.
Excellence was never a very foreign concept for Sloan Green. She grew up in the Eastwick section of Philadelphia and graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls, an educational institution that was – and still is – one of the best high schools in the city. Girls’ High is where Sloan Green first started playing field hockey, and she was a terrific player.
After a fine scholastic career, she decided to go to West Chester State College, now known as West Chester University. It was the first time she was given the opportunity to add lacrosse to her athletic repertoire. And in the mid-1960s, she was one of only a handful of black women playing the sport.
Sloan Green is a big part of black history, a real pioneer for African-American women in sports. With that label comes a lot of responsibility, but she was able to handle the situation without putting too much pressure on herself.
“I was young. I was out there having fun,” Sloan Green explains. “But you know, reflecting on it at times, it was lonely … Sometimes you’re misunderstood as a pioneer.
“When you’re the first, there’s a sense of pride. You know that if you mess up it’s going to be bad for everybody coming behind you. You have to represent.”
After graduating from West Chester, Sloan Green made the U.S. women’s field hockey team. In 1969, she became the first African-American named to the national women’s lacrosse team. She played on the touring team for four years. During those years, she also taught physical education and coached field hockey and basketball on the scholastic level.
In 1973, she became the head basketball and cheerleading coach at Lincoln University, a historically black college in Chester County on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Sloan Green was able to gain some valuable experience coaching at the collegiate level.
She coached at Temple from 1975-92. The impact of Sloan Green’s talents hasn’t gone unnoticed. She has been inducted into the Temple and West Chester University halls of fame, along with the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Each year, the task force honors black sports legends that are connected with the convention’s host city. Other 2011 honorees will be Philadelphia Tribune sports reporter Donald Hunt, pioneering race car driver Wendell Scott (posthumously) and four members of the Philadelphia Stars Negro Leagues team: Bill “Ready” Cash, Mahlon Duckett, Harold Gould and the late Stanley “Doc” Glenn.
“The recipients of our award are very deserving for the contributions to their respective careers, but more importantly, their direct impact on the communities they have served,” said Gregory Lee Jr., senior assistant sports editor of the Boston Globe and NABJ Sports Task Force chairman. “It is very important to this body to recognize those individuals at every convention city we touch annually.
“But we could not bring the pioneers’ achievements to light without the generosity of our sponsors. They appreciate the fact that their success today is partly due to the talents and sacrifices of these ground breakers in sports.”
The Pioneer Awards are named for the great sports columnist Sam Lacy, who was still writing for the Baltimore Afro-American when he died at 99 in 2003. Lacy’s highest achievement was helping arrange tryouts for Jackie Robinson before the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him to integrate major-league baseball.
Here are additional details about this year’s Pioneer Award winners:
• John Chaney – The former Philadelphia prep star led Temple to a 516-253 record and 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and five trips to Elite 8 from 1982-2006. Before that, Chaney’s record was 232-56 at Cheyney State, including winning one NCAA Division II championship.
• “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier – He compiled a 32-4-1 record with 27 KOs, holding the heavyweight title from 1970-73. His battles with Muhammad Ali were wars within the ring, ending with a 2-1 edge for Ali. Although he retained his title in their famous “Thrilla in Manila,” Ali said that bout brought him “as close to dying as I’ve ever come” because Frazier hit so hard.