Long before Norfolk State became known for completing one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history, the Spartan Legion thrived. Once a staple of CIAA entertainment, the Spartan Legion has been wowing crowds up and down the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference since 1997. The Legion consists of 250 staff, student musicians and dancers and has performed at events both stateside and internationally. In addition to cheering on both the 2011 MEAC football champions and the 2012 MEAC Basketball Tournament Champions, the Legion has also performed for President Obama.
Watch the Norfolk State University Spartan Legion perform “Be Scared” at the 2012 Labor Day Classic vs. Virginia State.
Though most HBCU Sports heads are gearing up for the upcoming football season in mid-July, let’s talk hoops for a minute. Summer time means summer league ball, specifically NBA Summer League basketball. While the USA Olympic team is receiving most of the attention of the basketball world, NBA rookies and youngsters are working on their game and trying to make a name for themselves. One of those players is former Norfolk State big man, Kyle O’Quinn.
You may remember O’Quinn as the catalyst for MEAC champion Norfolk State’s upset win over no. 2 Missouri in last season’s NCAA Tournament. The 6’9 Queens, NY native was picked in the second round (49th overall) by the Orlando Magic in last month’s draft and so far he’s looking like a potential second-round steal.
He averaged nearly 9 points and 6 rebounds per game while shooting 54 percent in the AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League. More impressive than his numbers was his presence inside while competing with the likes of first round picks Andre Drummond, Jared Sullinger and Miles Plumlee. His play earned him second-team all-league status and high praise around the basketball world.
He has quickly made an impression around the league with his summer league play as “high energy” and a “glue guy,” two attributes that will help him make the cut on any NBA roster. While the primary news coming out of Disneyland this summer may have to do with the future of Dwight Howard, one thing the Magic can count on is that O’Quinn will hustle on both ends of the ball. (He won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in addition to overall Player of The Year Honors.) Only time will tell if O’ Quinn turns into another HBCU steal like Virginia Union’s Ben Wallace or Shaw’s Flip Murray, but I wouldn’t bet against this kid.