My name is Mark P. Sills, and Urban Youth, Incorporated has
been running basketball tournaments in the tri-state area
since 1998. I have tournaments for girls and boys in all age groups.
Mission Statement: To provide recreational and educational activities for
our youth, to help build their self-esteem and provide a safe haven to help
them develop their basketball skills in a structured environment, and
then to provide
positive activities for our youth to keep them off the streets.
P. Sills, President
Urban Youth, Inc.
P.O. Box 126
Kenton, Delaware 19955 Tel.
E-mail Mark P. Sills at email@example.com
Please Make Payments Payable to: Urban Youth 2, Inc.
Mark Sills receives award from
Philadelphia Association of Black Sports and Culture, Inc.
(Pictured: Ted Blount, Mark Sills, Bernie Chavis)
PABSC Hall Of Fame Banquet (Pictured Left To Right: Philadelphia 76ERS Great Wali Jones , Coach Wilson , Stedman Graham and Mark Sills)
1996 Howard High School Championship Dinner
(click image for larger version in new window)
1996 Howard High School Basketball Team
State Championship Game
Howard won the game 67 to 63, defeating Capehenlopen H.S. in overtime.
(In this clip, Decoursey Jamison (32) scores a basket for Howard.)
Howard High School basketball star Decoursey Jamison scored 31 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in leading Howard High School to the March 11, 1996 Delaware State High School Basketball Championship victory. The game was played at the Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware.
They Were the First Overtime Champions by Jack Ireland
In the first eight games of the 1995-96 season, Howard High didn't look like a state championship-caliber basketball team. ..
(Read the Delaware News Journal Article.)
O'Neill's Skills Add New Wrinkle for Salesianum Offense (Delaware Online)
"The Swish Method" Basketball Clinic hosted by Ernest Johnson (aka Professor Swish) - Download Flyer (PDF)
NEW THIS YEAR: The first Len Bias Memorial Classic honoring Len's legacy.
Nov. 23 & 24. Read tournament information.
City Of Wilmington Recognition Luncheon Honoring Mark Sills For Community Service (June 15, 2013, WILMINGTON, DE)
City Of Wilmington Recognition Luncheon Honoring Mark Sills For Community Service (June 15, 2013, WILMINGTON, DE) Pictured L-to-R: Mark Sills, Duffy Samuels, Shawn Allen, Lenny Williams, George Hollis (Click photo for larger version in new window.)
City Of Wilmington Recognition Luncheon Honoring Mark Sills For Community Service (June 15, 2013, WILMINGTON, DE) Pictured L-to-R: Jim Sills Jr., Mark Sills, Jim Sills III, Launice Sills (Click photo for larger version in new window.)
Four men honored as Dads of Year (Delaware Online)
A PERFECT FIT
40 years ago, Howard High boys basketball jelled like no team before it
The 1973 Howard Wildcats weren't the tallest or most talented basketball team in the Delaware.
They were - simply - the best.
Most of the players from that magical team came together again Thursday. They were honored at receptions hosted by Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams and Howard High and recognized at halftime of Howard's home game against Mount Pleasant.
Since the '73 Wildcats went 24-0 - becoming the first boys basketball team in the state-tournament era to finish undefeated - there were plenty of pleasant memories.
"It was really amazing," Eric Fuller, a forward on the team, said Tuesday. "We just caught a genie in a bottle."
The Wildcats were a testament to the power of chemistry in basketball. Mike Miller, the starting center and team captain, was 6 foot 1. Fuller was 6-1. Fellow forward Lonnie Sparrow was the tall one at 6-3 but a little shy on bulk at a mere 146 pounds. The starting guards - Kenny Hynson and David Roane - were 6 feet and 5-9, respectively.
So almost every team Howard faced was taller. But no opponent had as much of the extra ingredients that made the difference.
"We were disciplined," Miller said. "We all came from families that had mothers and fathers in the household. We understood discipline.
"Our basketball IQ was above everybody else's. Any basketball decision that needed to be made, we always made the right decision. We made the right pass, we did the right thing. That made us hard to beat."
In fact, it made the Wildcats unbeatable. But no one knew what was to come as the season began.
Road to perfection
Everyone agrees the 1972 Wildcats were far more talented. That Howard team was led by 6-8 leaper John Irving, who went on to lead Hofstra to its first two NCAA Tournament appearances. But the '72 Wildcats came up short, finishing 18-3 and losing 63-51 to eventual champion Wilmington High in the state semifinals.
"That team had a lot of talent, and they relied on talent," assistant coach Stan Hill said of the 1972 squad. "It was hard to get them to focus and really learn the game. If they had done that, they would have been world beaters."
The '73 Wildcats would have four new starters - and a lot less height. But they had learned from the previous year, and they were hungry.
"I had to practice against John [Irving] every day," Miller said. "I've got a couple of battle scars on my eye right now. But it taught me a lot. When I went against the taller guys, I outsmarted them. I boxed out real well, used the pump fake real well.
"And then with our guards, all you had to do was be in position. They would get rid of whoever was on them and set me up for a layup. It was layup heaven for me."
Howard was coached by Jay Thomas and Hill, who first met while playing basketball at Cheyney University. They stressed a team approach, and the '73 Wildcats bought in.
"We were very organized," Hynson said. "We didn't have any selfishness on the team. [The coaches] had us in great shape, and we had discipline."
The Wildcats were so balanced that all five starters averaged double figures in scoring for the year. But any hope of a perfect record almost ended before anyone could think about it.
In the second game of the season, Delcastle led Howard by three points with less than a minute to play.
Somehow, Miller converted a three-point play to tie the game. Seconds later, he hit another free throw to win it, 52-51. The Wildcats were on their way.
The next real threat didn't come until the state semifinals, when Howard trailed Salesianum by two points with 12 seconds to play. With the Sals about to inbound the ball under the Wildcats' basket, the enormity of a potential loss hit Miller.
"I can remember being down at the other end of the court, ready to cry," the team captain said. "I was saying, 'We're 22-0, and we're not going to be state champs.' ... But somehow on the inbounds pass, Dave Roane came up with a steal and made the right pass [to Ike Reason] for a layup that took us into overtime. Once we got into overtime, we knew it was over then."
The Wildcats won in the extra period to set up a date with Wilmington High - their old nemesis - in the championship game. A crowd of 4,600 jammed the University of Delaware Fieldhouse on March 10, 1973.
"That was the team to beat," Roane said. "The year before ... we lost to them. So I always wanted to get them the next year."
Roane's wish came true, and the Wildcats delivered. Miller led the way with 21 points and seven points as Howard won, 75-67. The perfect season was complete.
According to an account of the game in the Wilmington Evening Journal, coach Thomas said, "There were no surprises today. We knew we could do it."
Forty years later, Miller agrees.
"The championship game, we just ran our stuff to perfection," he said. "[Wilmington High] was talented. They played well. But nobody was going to beat us that day."
Like any group of high school classmates, the players have scattered during the past 40 years. Miller and Wayne Parson went on to serve stints coaching the Wildcats. Miller now lives in Boca Raton, Fla., but came home for the reunion. Fuller, who spent much of his time in Rhode Island, recently started a new job in Seattle and wasn't able to make it.
But many of the '73 Wildcats remain close. Hynson still talks frequently with Miller and Istavan Norwood, and his cousins, Lemuel Glover and Reason. Many of the players last saw each other when they gathered for Thomas' funeral in 2007. On Thursday, they were together again.
The reunion was organized by Mark Sills, a former Howard coach who idolized the '73 team.
"I wanted to do it because when I was growing up, I looked up to those guys," Sills said. "They were my neighborhood heroes. I looked up to Mike Miller, Kenny Hynson, Jay Thomas, Eric Fuller, Wayne Parson, all those guys. They were positive role models in the community.
"They're in the conversation of being one of the greatest teams that ever played in Delaware," Sills said. "I wanted to do this to give them their respect and their honor."
Hynson planned to use the occasion to thank the coaches, cheerleaders, teachers, elected officials and Howard fans - everyone who played a part in the team's success.
"When you look back 40 years later, you realize how blessed you were to be a part of that," Hynson said. "I just want to thank the people again. That's the most important part to me."
Fuller remembers how the perfect season gave the entire community a lift.
"During that time in the '70s, there was a lot going on, a lot of civil-rights implications," Fuller said. "But we had that pride for inner-city Wilmington and for Howard High. It was a tough time, but I think the whole city just rallied around us. It was a really magical ride."
Every step of the way, Thomas and Hill made sure the players knew where they stood.
"One thing I loved about coaching with Jay was we were like co-coaches," Hill said. "It wasn't like, 'I'm the head coach and you're the assistant coach.' We weren't on an ego trip. It was all about winning - for the team and for the school. We always told the players, 'You play for the school first, then for the team, then for yourself.' The school comes first."
The Wildcats reached the state final again in 1974, only to lose to Wilmington High. But 1973 was magical. And 40 years later, the magic hasn't disappeared.
"We're in a special club," Fuller said. "When you go undefeated and win a state championship, not a lot of guys can say that."
Contact Brad Myers at 324-2807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DELAWARE Boys Basketball Top Players
Top 25 Players 2012-2013 LLHOOPS.COM
Top 40 Juniors Class of 2014 - Updated
Top 25 Sophomores - Class of 2015 - Updated
Top 25 Freshman Class of 2016 - Updated
Top 25 8th Graders Class of 2017 - Updated
Top 15 7th Graders Class of 2018 - Updated
HOWARD HIGH SCHOOL 1973 BASKETBALL TEAM 24 - 0
Today, New Castle County Council President Christopher A. Bullock and Councilman Jea P. Street presented a Council Tribute to the 1973 Howard High School Men’s Basketball Team on the 40th Anniversary of their undefeated championship season.
This team was the first team in Delaware history to complete an undefeated championship season with an extraordinary 24-0 record. They completed this special season with an average margin of victory of 20 points or more per game.
(Click on photo below to view larger version in new window.)
Championship Game Video: Howard boys upend Sanford for state crown, 81-62
View Howard High School Team Celebration Pictures
Seven Sports Legends Honored (PhillyTrib.com Article)
DE State Inducts Vanderhost to Hall (PhillyTrib.com Article)
Delaware's Top Basketball Players and Teams:
Top Teams | Top High School Boy Players | Top High School Senior Boys | Top High School Junior Boys | Top High School Sophomore Boys | Top High School Freshmen Boys | Top Middle School Players: 8th Grade | 7th Grade
Philadelphia Association of Black Sports & Culture, Inc. (PABSC) presents its
6th Annual Recognition Luncheon Honoring Philly Legends, Sunday, SEPT 30, 2012 (PDF Flyer)
Rushdan drafted into elite company
Rutgers Standouts Rushdan and Sykes Selected In 2012 WNBA Draft
Charlie Smith Basketball Program 2011 - (PDF, 9.54 MB)
STATEMENT FROM THE NCAA BEGINNING FALL 2010 – Women's Teams Must Comply With Adjoining State Rule Read NCAA Statement.
For more information, please visit www.aaugirlsbasketball.org
AAU Info - Girls Basketball
The AAU is happy to announce new competition divisions for the girls' basketball program. View PDF file for new competition division info. (PDF, 66KB)
Order your Urban Youth, Inc GEAR Today!
Take your game to another Level!
Place your order today! NEW DESIGN!
Contact us at 1-877-501-8368 or e-mail email@example.com
Attention: Coaches\Teams: Do you have your Team GEAR?
You can now order your team-customized T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Hats or Team Jerseys through Urban Youth Inc.
To get a quote or place a order, contact us at 1-877-501-8368 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Register your Team for 3 Urban Youth Tournaments and receive
an Urban Youth Tee shirt for 12 team members or pay a additional $99.00 with your orginal Team Registration. Please Contact Mark P. Sills, Executive Director for details at email@example.com.Or call contact us at Tel. 302.328.2770 Toll Free 1-877-501-8368
Need help getting Recruited? www.MyBasketballProfile.com
Howard Wildcats earn MaxPreps honor
The Howard High boys basketball team is one of 10 basketball teams being honored on the seventh annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard. MaxPreps ranks more than 20,000 high school boys varsity basketball teams nationwide. Howard is ranked No. 73 in this week’s poll, with the final rankings to be announced Tuesday.
Howard finished its season with 18 straight wins, ending with a DIAA state tournament title game win over Sanford, the Wildcats’ fourth state title. Delaware Sgt. 1st Class Steve Ritchie presented Coach Chris DiMascio and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during a pep rally Thursday afternoon.
“Coach [Chris] DiMascio and the Howard Wildcats have proven on the court that they are among the nation’s truly elite high school hoops teams,” MaxPreps president and founder Andy Beal said in a news release. “We salute the coach, the young men on the team and Howard High School of Technology for a job well done.” (From Delaware News Journal)
Howard Wildcats Named to the 7th Annual MaxPreps Basketball Tour of Howard Wildcats Named to the 7th Annual MaxPreps Basketball Tour of Champions Presented by the Army National Guard (MaxPreps.com)
A perfect fit: 1973 Howard hoops squad made history
Howard High Marks State Title Anniversary
Perseverance pays for Rushdan: Former St. Elizabeth star overcomes injuries at Rutgers Read the full article at Delaware Online.
Howard Celebrates Legacy of Thomas: Coach of '73 champs to be honored at game. Read the article at the DE News Journal
Charlie Smith was 'Mr. Clutch' at ODU - Read the News Journal Article
URBAN YOUTH, INC is seeking tournament sponsors. Read the sponsorship
letter and review the sponsorship
levels. (Documents are PDF format.)
Youth Athletics Online - www.YAOSports.org