Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hampton University Alumnus Donates Basketball Shoes

Hampton University Alumnus Donates Basketball Shoes
In order from left to right: Alphonso Knight,
Archives Manager, Donzella Maupin, and Museum
Director, Nashid Madyun

Former Director of Alumni Affairs, Alphonso Knight, a graduate of the Hampton University Class of 1947, and CIAA Basketball Tournament star has donated his legendary shoes to Hampton University’s Museum.  

“Having the shoes since 1944, I knew it was time to do something with them,” said Knight. “I thought about selling them but then realized the Hampton University Museum could use this piece of history more.”
The Hampton University Museum is a unique institution and a national treasure. Founded in 1868, the Museum is the oldest African American museum in the United States and one of the oldest museums in the state of Virginia. The collections feature over 9,000 objects including African American fine arts, traditional African, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian art; and objects relating to the history of the University.

In addition, the University Archives preserves a part of our rich heritage and tradition at HU. The collection is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive collection of materials on the history and culture of African Americans and Native Americans. The archive's holdings are more than 8 million documentary items and over 50,000 photographs and glass negatives reflecting Hampton's role in American education, educational philosophy, political activities, labor issues, and business and international relations.

“Hampton University Museum and the Archives are happy to accept such a cherished piece of memorabilia, which is both symbolic and significant to the University,” said Museum Director, Nashid Madyun. “We are honored that Mr. Knight, a man who is extremely talented and skilled, has decided to share this momentous gift with us.”
While at HU, Knight was captain of the varsity basketball team for four consecutive years and high point scorer for three years. He maintained high academic standards for all his teammates and so did the university, graduating with honors in 1947.
The bronze coated PF Flyer size eights are being preserved in the Hampton University Museum’s Archives as “One of Hampton Institutes All Time Great Basketball Players.”   
Alphonso Knight's Bronze Coated PF Flyers circa 1947

In 1947, at 19 years old, Knight participated in the second CIAA Basketball Tournament, which was held at the Turner Arena in Washington, D.C. Although, the Pirates did not win, Knight, scored 12 points and played diligently until the end.
“I was pleased to be apart of the second CIAA Basketball Tournament. I think it is important the students understand and know a little history of the CIAA Basketball Tournament in relation to Hampton University,” said Knight. 
At that time in history scheduling CIAA sporting events were very difficult; however, they later found venues for the sporting event in cities such as Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Norfolk, Hampton, Richmond, Winston-Salem and Charlotte.   
Being an active athlete and serving as the Director of Alumni Affairs for 13 years, he understood the importance of Hamptionians connecting after college. As the Director of Alumni Affairs Knight, increased the number of alumni chapters to 102 including one in Germany and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Chad Harris '14


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