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St. Augustine's Basketball Starts Without Beloved Coach

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Former Coach Norvell Lee
RALEIGH — At the stroke of midnight Tuesday, the first basketball practice of theseason started at St. Augustine's. Last season the Falcons celebrated asthey won the CIAA championship for the first time in school history.

"We had a little celebration in the gym and I think some of the studentswere happier than we were," said Rashad Coggins, Falcons player.

The happiness was short lived. Five months later Coach Norvell Lee died ofa heart attack. Coach Lee's cousin Marlon Lee came to the school becauseof him.

"Even though I was fortunate enough to have a father still living hemeant a lot to me as a second father," said Lee. "He guided many guys not only on the basketball court but in everyday life."

Assistant coach Chris Kennedy had worked with Norvell Lee since 1983 whenLee coached high school hoops.

"Obviously we are going to miss Coach Lee's fire and passion, he lovedthis school and he loved basketball," said Kennedy.

As the Falcons get ready to start a new season, there is no doubt thatLee will be missed, but the team and the school must go on without him.

"We are going to work hard and whatever happens we hope we are successfulwith it," said George Williams, athletic director.

"Coach Lee won't be on the sideline, but we know he will be looking downon us," said Kennedy. "He will be with us, we will dedicate our season tohim and we are going to defend our CIAA championship the best of ourability."

Lee had coached at St. Augustine's college for 4 seasons.

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