Raleigh’s legendary Chavis League back after pandemic-related hiatus

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — One of the longest-running basketball leagues in the nation is back up and running.

The Chavis League in Raleigh is a must-see through the years, attracting some of the best basketball talents that have ever passed through the Triangle and North Carolina, period.

For nearly 50 years, the event has been a staple in the Raleigh community. Fans pack the stands hoping to see the next up-and-coming star.

“These guys come in, you see a lot of young guys that you’ve never seen before and they try to make a name for themselves here,” said Chavis League Director Chris Moore.

But it’s those players who had already made a name for themselves that gave the Chavis League its reputation. A who’s who of NBA All-Stars have passed through the tiny Emery Gym since the league found its home here some four decades ago.

“Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, LeVelle Moton, Roger Ray, John Wall, PJ Tucker, and DeVonte Graham has played here,” said Moore rattling off the names of some of the all-time greats who have competed at the Chavis League.

Former North Carolina Central guard Poobie Chapman has fond memories of the Chavis League. He played here and as a kid watched his dad become one of the best players in the league. Those early years still bring a smile to his face.

“I was a kid, a young kid just running around the gym, in the stands, on the stage,” said former NC Central star Poobie Chapman. “There’s a basketball court out back that when my dad would lose, me and my best friend and brother BJ would be outside. The family feel of it all, there wasn’t even a problem on where I was. He knew I was with family somewhere and eventually I was going to pop up.”

Don’t be surprised if down the road a third-generation Chapman plays in the Chavis League. Poobie’s son Emanual is just warming up.

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