Former Newark High basketball star Wilbert “TC” Ransburg will be enshrined in the Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame next month.
“When I first heard I was being inducted, I couldn't believe it,” said Ransburg, whose other honors include election into the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. “I play basketball just because I love it, not for the awards.”
Ransburg started playing basketball as a youngster at the Jackson Street Boys Club in Wilmington. He then played at Wilmington High School and Newark High before concluding his career at Middle Georgia College (now Middle Georgia State University).
Ransburg was a key member of Wilmington High’s 1978 state championship team that compiled a 23-1 record. He averaged 12 points per game coming off the bench as the team’s sixth man.
Following his junior year at Wilmington, desegregation forced Ransburg to attend Newark High in 1979. After a shaky start, he ended up leading the team in steals and assists while averaging 19.6 points per game. He was a first-team all-state selection and named Delaware’s player of the year.
“The year I spent there in ’79, it started as a lot of tension,” said Ransburg. “But as the year went on, basketball got me out of that tension. I learned to work with everybody else. It was one of the best years of my life.”
Mark Sills, president of the Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame, played against Ransburg on the playgrounds in Wilmington.
“TC was a very explosive offensive player and was a great ball-handler,” Sills recalled. “He was a tremendous shooter from the outside. He had an unbelievable step-back jump shot before James Harden of the Houston Rockets made it famous. TC was a very tough player to play against because of his relentless style of play and he was a team-first point guard. He was fundamentally sound and always cool under pressure. He was one of the greatest basketball players I ever played against.”
Other inductees include Mary Avery (Wilmington High); Purnell Ayers (Cape Henlopen); Jay Faulkner (Salesianum); Alonzo Frisby (Woodbridge); Preston Grace (Woodbridge); Teresa Hudson-Braxton (Dover); Andrew Miles (Sanford School); Juanita Parker (coach, administrator); Clarence Saunders (Middletown); Burton Watson (Wilmington); and Markishia Wise (Sussex Central).
The induction ceremony is set for 6 p.m. April 20 at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling Mike Brown at 302-898-9102.
All-State basketball teams
The 2018-19 All-State teams as selected by the head coaches and select members of the media were announced last week.
Glasgow High’s Mark Bradshaw and Caravel Academy’s Brandon Sengphachanh were second-team selections on the boys side. Honorable mention selections included Jah-Keish Demby (Christiana), Kevin Keister (Caravel) and Perren Gyan (Newark Charter). Na’Shon “Bones” Hyland of St. Georges was named player of the year.
Caravel Academy’s Sasha Marvel was a first-team selection for the girls. Her teammates Karli Cauley and Kendra Warren were honorable mention selections. Sanford’s Lauren Park was named player of the year.