The Sports World took notice of Mark Smith High School when an integrated team finally played and defeated Gator Rivers and the Beach High School star champions out of Savannah, Georgia in the quarter finals of the state tournament. Beach High had previously won the state title as the first black high school team to win after the Georgia High School Association allowed black high schools to compete in the state tournament in 1967.
Mark Smith then defeated Price of Atlanta in the semi-finals to advance to the state championship game. The championship game was held on a Monday night with 4 radio stations broadcasting the game to an estimated 400,000 listeners statewide. The good people of Macon, Georgia heard their hometown heroes take the center court and in a double overtime game against Carver of Columbus, make history.
Jag Gholson, one of the members of his team, wanted to tell the story of Coach Clifton, Gator Rivers and Beach High, and his team members and he is the Executive Producer carrying this story until meeting a Tennessee filmmaker.
The most listened to game on Monday Night was the State Championship when the good people of Macon heard their hometown heroes take the center court and in overtime, made history. Dr. Kevin McAfee introduced Jag to the former men's basketball head coach, Bob Hoffman. Bob had heard Sam Oni, the first African man speak. He told his amazing story in coming all the way from Africa to attend an all white college of Mercer University in 1963. The connection was made and the incredible overlapping of the two stories create MORE THAN CHAMPIONS!
Finally, the team is asking YOU to donate and make this feature documentary possible. Veritas Mission Films has engaged Oceania Omnimedia to finish what was started not long ago. A special thanks to Sam Oni and Jag Gholson for their loyal and consistent position both on and off the court of basketball and life. Thank you for being the proof that all whites and blacks came together in one of the darkest times of segregation during the sixties.
Special thanks to the Mercer President, student body and athletic department for our team to be in the Macon basketball arena where Mercer got behind our film project. Dr. McAfee wants to thank former head coach Bob Hoffman for introducing Sam Oni and Dr. Don Baxter to our team of filmmakers.
Also, we thank Dr. Kenneth Harper for bringing Jag Gholson into our lives at a Mercer basketball game. There are no accidents here and truly, this inspiring and educational story will resonate in schools today, where there is often so much dissension.
Additionally, we thank the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham where Dr. Joe and Dr. Carol Dean introduced us to the chilling reality of what truly was happening. Sam met Dr. King and was changed forever, as were we.
MACON WINS & BRINGS HOME THE TROPHY UNIFYING A SOUTHERN WORLD OF DIVISION MORE THAN CHAMPIONS - A FEATURE DOCUMENTARY THE MACON MIRACLE - A FEATURE FILM
Now, we are looking for individuals, organizations in Georgia, who will stand with us and give generously through tax deductible gifts, fund the feature length documentary to be taken to film festivals around the world and placed on a streaming platform. A book and feature film are being discussed, but our team wants to stand with us for Human Rights.
MPlease go on the DONATE PAGE and GIVE TODAY.
CIVIL RIGHTS AND UNITY IS OUR TEAM'S GOAL. We must keep this streak going as our world needs Macon now more than ever.