Memphis celebrates two basketball state champions East, Hamilton

Memphis celebrates two basketball state champions East, Hamilton

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis high schools won two of the three Tennessee state basketball championships on Saturday.

Thursday, East High School and Hamilton High School held a news conference at city hall to celebrate them bringing two gold balls back to Memphis.

Douglass High School and Whitehaven High School were celebrated as well. Both finished runners up in their state title games.

"We have the best basketball in the state of Tennessee as it was shown last week in the tournament. I think it was good look for everybody, and it shows how hard we really work to get somewhere we want to be," Whitehaven senior Cameron Jones said.

This is East's third consecutive state title under former coach Penny Hardaway, who's since left to accept the University of Memphis head coaching position.

"Just want to thank Coach Penny, and all my teammates for being great sports, and just being great people period," East senior Alex Lomax said.

"Congrats to my coach. Like, it's great for the city of Memphis, and just for me to win a state championship. It was great for me, because it was my first one. It was just a blessing," East junior James Wiseman said.

Hamilton's win brought the school its second gold ball in four years. Continuing the Wildcats winning tradition was a goal for second year head coach William Smith.

"I didn't want the program to be just even or normal. I didn't want any of that. I wanted it to have the spirit and the tradition that coach Hayes, that went to Douglass and was previously at Hamilton. The Todd (Day)s, the Keelon (Lawson)s, all of that to come into fold," Smith said.

East now looks for a new head coach with top talent returning next season.

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