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An Evening of Celebration Banquet, Comedy Show and Dance will be held Feb. 17 [FRIDAY] at East Central University as part of Black Heritage Month.

The banquet will honor the trailblazing ECU students who were the first African American athletes to play on ECU teams.

The African American Heritage Committee Inc. and the ECU Office of Campus Life and Leadership are co-sponsors and will begin the evening at 7 p.m. with an exhibit celebrating the contributions of the trailblazer athletes.

Jackie “Tex” Rollins, one of the first African Americans to play on the ECU football team, will be the keynote speaker for the banquet that follows. Other “first” African American athletes to be honored are retired Air Force Col. David Bass, a two-time All-American basketball player and member of the ECU Athletics Hall of fame; Rollins’ roommate, Dr. Jimmie V. Scales; baseball player Dr. Donnie Nero, the retired president of Connors State College; bowling team member David Bush and varsity basketball player Dr. Teresa Washington.

In the fall of 1962, Rollins and Scales began their football careers at East Central State College. Rollins was drafted into the United States Army in 1967 and served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a combat medic with the 101st Airborne Division.  He returned to Ada to continue his education at ECSC and joined the Oklahoma National Guard.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in education, Rollins taught in both Ada and Byng Public Schools. At Byng he was an assistant basketball coach for Gene Davis.

Rollins earned a master’s degree in education at East Central State University and completed his second master’s degree at Central State University. He has taught at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City since 1988 and has been assistant football coach for all 10 of the footballs teams’ state championships, as well as the girls and boys head track coach.

For many years he was a high school football and basketball official, working the state tournaments for most of those years. He also officiated at the NAIA level in men’s and women’s basketball and was a Big 8 and Missouri Valley women’s basketball official. He also was a member of the team that officiated at the NCAA Division II National Football championship in 1995.

He has been an All State counselor since 1972 and was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame for distinguished service in 2000.

Following the banquet, BET comedian Corwin Oglesby will entertain the audience.  Corwin O., or to his friends and fans, "C-Dawg," is a fresh new face on the comedy circuit. His silly, care-free style of comedy is as much fun to watch as it is to hear.

His likeable, animated story telling and his flair for free-style hooks audiences and keeps them eagerly wondering what he may do next. He is a native of Atlanta, Ga., and follows the funny southern tradition of another Atlanta native, Chris Tucker.

Corwin O. is a regular host of The Uptown Comedy Club in Atlanta. He has shared the stage with Chris Tucker, Jamie Foxx, Steve Harvey and Monique. He continues to tour comedy clubs and colleges and is nationally recognized as a favorite on BET's Comic View.

Next, Roy “Musican” Henderson will DJ the dance. He is the owner and CEO of Musicman Entertainment in Oklahoma City.

The evening is open to the community and area high school and college athletes. Tickets are $7 for youths up to 12 years old and $12 for all others. To reserve tickets or request more information, call the ECU Office of Campus Life and Leadership at580-559-5231, The African American Heritage Committee at 580-332-4247 or email campuslife& by February 10.

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