Administration Office
3251 Poplar Ave.,
Ste 200
Memphis, TN 38111-3613

Macon Cove Campus
5983 Macon Cove
Memphis, TN 38134-7693

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737 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103-3322

Fayette Center

Gill Center

Millington Center

Southeast Center

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901/333-STCC *

DATE: October 5, 2001

CONTACT: Calvin Burns, 901/333-5338 or Keith Gentry, 901/333-4114 or Marilyn Duncan, 901/333-4247

STCC's Sails Recovers From Surgery; Countdown Begins for 500th Career Win

Verties Sails, men's head basketball coach and athletic director at Southwest Tennessee Community College, will kickoff his 23rd season with the Saluqis on Friday, November 2, when he leads his team against Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee. At that time, the highly regarded Sails will begin the countdown for his 500th career win as head coach of the Saluqis. The veteran coach enters the 2001-2002 basketball season with an impressive 487-185 career record in the Tennessee Junior/Community College Athletic Association. (TJCCAA).

Just three months ago, however, the upcoming season and capturing his 500th win were not major concerns for Sails. On July 18, the 59-year-old head coach had double hip replacement surgery. "Facing surgery definitely was the most prominent thing on my mind several weeks ago," Sails acknowledges. "I wasn't thinking about wins or losses. I just wanted to wake up after surgery and see some smiling faces."

The veteran coach got his wish, and is now on the road to full recovery. Currently, Sails said he is at about 85 per cent of where he needs to be physically. "When we tip-off on November 2, I will be ready to go," he said.

Coach Sails and the Saluqis will be looking to build on last year's banner season, when they finished with a 23-8 record and made their second consecutive trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I National Championship Tournament. The personable Sails said he is counting on the play and leadership of his sophomore players to lead the Saluqis to another winning season.

The returning veterans include: 6'6 forward Lou Wright, 6'6 forward Cortez Stigger, 6'4 guard Larry Wells, and 6'0 guard Howard Cosby.

Some freshman players who are expected to have an immediate impact on the team are: 6'2 guard Lonnie Gibbs, 6'5 guard Jarmorrow Moragne, 6'4 guard Antwon Bess, and 6'7 center Zachery Bright.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.