By Fred L. Jones, Jr.
Eagle Staff Writer
This year’s 7th edition of the BTW/McLain Alumni Basketball game has a lot of interesting twist to it. First the series is tied 3-3 so this is one for true bragging rights under the Tulsa North Basketball Alumni banner. This year’s honorees have an interesting twist also.
The first honoree is current Tulsa University Director of Player Personnel & Development Dan Bitson. A graduate of BTW and former head football coach at McLain. Bitson completed his playing career at BTW as the second-leading receiver of all-time with 3,330 yards and 29 touchdown receptions. He earned second-team Associated Press All-America honors in 1988 and 1989.
Bitson was inducted into The University of Tulsa’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2007 and spent three years as the head football coach at Tulsa’s McLain High School. He led his 2011 team to a 6-4 record and an appearance in the Class 4A playoffs, while posting an 11-18 record in his three seasons. More impressive was the fact that 18 of the 21 seniors that Bitson coached went on to attend college, including 10 who played football on the collegiate level.
The next honoree Shae Seals is in his fourth year as an assistant basketball coach following three seasons as Tulsa University Director of Player Development. Named the 1993 Oklahoma Player of the Year his senior year at Tulsa’s McLain High School. Seals became the head basketball Coach at BTW. During his five seasons leading Booker T. Washington High School, Seals’ teams posted a 102-22 record, won state championships in 2010 and 2011, finished as the state runner-up in 2008 and was a state semifinalist in 2009. In 2011, the Hornets compiled a perfect 21-0 record in route to their second consecutive state championship, while earning a Rivals.com final high school national ranking of No. 22.
Previously, Seals coached for three seasons at his alma mater, Tulsa McLain High School. He spent the 2004-05 season as an assistant coach and took over as head coach a year later. Seals’ proceeded to lead the Titans to a two-year mark of 28-23 and a state quarterfinals appearance in 2006.
This year’s alumni game will also feature three performances from The Prancing Pearls of Excellence, The Wise Moves Dance Team and The Walt Whitman Baby Hornets.
The 4th Alumni Bowling Challenge will be Friday at Sheridan Lanes at 8 p.m. all Alumnus and Classes are invited to attend. Cost for the Alumni game is $8 and begins at 5 p.m. Saturday May 4th at BTW in The Nate Harris Field House.
Alumni weekend festivities conclude with a networking celebration at Lefty’s on Greenwood with DJ Winn and an open house at The Black Wall Street Art Gallery both located on the corner of Greenwood and Archer beginning at 9 p.m. immediately following the Alumni basketball game. Both events are FREE and open to the public.
For apparel to this year’s game and contact Deadrick Gillespie at Stingray Graphics at 918-810-1207.