Former News and Record sports writer Bill Hass remembering Gene Littles(High Point College)

from/courtesy of Bill Hass, long-time sports writer for the Greensboro News and Record:

Gene Littles was one of my favorite people to be around during my time as a sports writer at the News & Record.

I first saw him play at High Point (College, back then) when the Panthers wore those high socks with the vertical purple stripes. He was about 6-1, quick with a picture-perfect jumper — come to a stop, go straight up, release at the top of the jump. He could play point guard or shooting guard or, in the pros, excel as a third guard and was an excellent defender.

Gene was the only player to play all five seasons with the Carolina Cougars and rounded out his career with one season with the Kentucky Colonels.

When he got into coaching, I covered a lot of his games during his two years as head coach at A&T. I remember he took the Aggies into a game at nationally-ranked Cincinnati and they almost pulled off a monumental upset, but a last-second shot bounced off the rim. He went 40-15 in two seasons, twice winning the MEAC Tournament.

I was delighted when he was hired by the fledgling Charlotte Hornets as an assistant and later promoted to head coach, although he didn’t have much talent to work with. He moved around to several other teams in the NBA but I didn’t see him for a long time until his induction into the GCSHOF in 2006, when we spoke for a few minutes.

He was always friendly, cooperative and willing to talk, which I appreciated as a media member. He and his beautiful wife Rita made High Point their home for many years even when his career took him elsewhere.

RIP, Geno.

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