VAILSBURG, NJ — Vailsburg resident Al Sameer Green Holman was at the seventh annual holiday party hosted by Richard Wilder and the Class of 1967 of the South Side High School, now named Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, in January.
His grandfather, Leonard Holman, was presented posthumously with a bronze plaque honoring the championship basketball team of South Side High School, Class of 1965, of which he was a member.
Also honored for their all-city, all-Essex County, all-state feat were Jackie Baker, Errol McNeil, and Ed Street. Track star Sam Robeson received a plaque for his championship on the field that year. Those who could not attend the event are Steve Handford, Eric Dillard and Ronald Kornegay. Posthumously honored were Richard Booker, Charlie Chambliss and “Butch” Tarver. Many of the former schoolmates of the South Side classes were on hand to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the team.
A special guest and presenter who received a bronzed basketball was former and retired coach John Drury. He grew up in Newark, taught school in Newark and stated he is very proud to have been a part, not only of the sporting activities of the school then, but is exceptionally proud of the accomplishments of his “team” now. So many who graduated went on to stellar careers. “I am proud of them,” Drury shared at the event, which is hosted each year by Wilder and his classmates.