The Statesboro Blue Devils were hoping to honor their 1991 state championship basketball team on their 30th anniversary last season, but after the death of legendary head coach Lee Hill, organizers felt it best to wait until this season to hold the ceremony.
Saturday night the Blue Devils finally got their chance and a number of players were on hand for the festivities which included a plaque to honor their accomplishment.
“It was great to come back and see where it all began for us with coach Hill,” said former Blue Devil Mitch Taylor. “What coach Hill instilled in us about what you can achieve with discipline and hard work has carried over with many of us into successful lives after basketball. I have always said when you mold young men to be successful in society that is the greatest thing you can do. Coach Hill did that with is, and he also happened to be a heck of a basketball coach.”
Many of the other former Blue Devils who were on hand thanked coach Hill for their success as well and sorrily miss their old coach.
“Coach Hill did so much for us as well as the city of Statesboro,” said Crecy Robin. “Personally, he did so much for me and I am so honored to be able to come back here and just remember all the good times we had especially that season. Coach Hill gave us all the tools and we just went out there and played as hard as we could for him.”
“While a few of the old teammates still live in Statesboro for others it was well worth making the trip to visit with their old teammates.
“I love these guys and they meant so much to me especially back in 91 on our state championship drive,” said Keith Williams. “Not seeing coach Hill is very difficult but his spirit still lives on here as well as in each one of us who spent so much time nd learned so much from the man.”
“I haven’t seen some of these guys in 20 or almost 30 years,” said Dreg Humphries. “Winning a state championship and going through it with your brothers is something you will never forget and the people will always be a special part of my life.”
Current Statesboro head coach Keith LeGree was an integral part of the championship team as a McDonald’s All-American who went on to star at Louisville and Cincinatti.
“It’s been a long time since I have seen a lot of those guys and it was so great to see them again,” said LeGree. “To be able to share that moment back out on the court together was very special. We were able to spend a little time together in the afternoon as we fed the guys that came back and they actually spoke to the current team which was just awesome. I think it meant a lot to our current team to hear what these guys had to say to them about teamwork and having a goal and working hard for it.”
While his former teammates dearly miss coach Lee Hill, they are all so thankful LeGree is currently at the helm and has been able to keep the Blue Devils as one of the top programs in the state.
“There will never be another coach Lee Hill,” said Humpries. “But it feels great for our former teammate to come back and be the coach and we are hopeful he can lead this team to another championship.”
“Seeing Keith as the head coach it just brings everything full circle,” said Williams. “I just love that he is able to sit there and coach Hill’s spirit lives on in Keith.”
“Keith understands the trials and what it takes to achieve the highest highs in basketball,” said Taylor. “He has all the traits you could ask for from a coach and it’s so important now that he is leading other young men down a path similar to what he went down. I feel the program is still in good hands and have confidence he will continue to have success here.”