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16th Pro- Am season but the first without legendary announcer Jackie Bowe

The voice of the Spartans spent his summers behind the mic at the Pro- Am summer basketball league until his passing last November.

NORFOLK, Va. — Sunday concluded the 16th Hampton Roads 7 Cities Pro-Am basketball season at Norview High School for the final playoff tournament to decide the champion. Next Season and Love Yours competed in the final game where Next Season would come out victorious, 88-75. 

On the championship team were Marquis Godwin and Jordan Nesbitt from Hampton University, who we should see play big roles on the Pirates squad next season. Ben Stanley of Old Dominion was also on the team, who was named league MVP with a 27 ppg average. 

After a two- year hiatus due to the pandemic, organizer Eric Rogers was extremely happy with the turnout this summer but one thing wasn't the same. 

A member of the Pro- Am family is missed this season as the late Jackie Bowe was the announcer for the league since its inception in 2005. This is the first tournament without the Norfolk legend's captivating voice in the background calling games, and most of all, making people laugh. 

"It was difficult not having him back when we opened up in July. We've kind of dedicated our season to Jackie and I think we made him pretty proud," said tournament organizer, Eric Rogers. "He was the first African American to call the men's NCAA. His legacy is huge."

He was the voice of Norfolk State football and basketball whose career as an announcer spanned 50 years. As Rogers noted, Bowe also made history when he became the first African American to serve as PA announcer for the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Final Four, from 1999-2003.  Bowe brought his charm and witty personality to the Pro- Am and Rogers has sported a pin of Bowe on his shirt at every tournament this season. 

Bowe's presence is irreplaceable and his mark on the Hampton Roads community will not be forgotten. 

"Everyone knows him, all the sports guys know him. We're just going to pick up the pieces and continue prayerfully in his honor."

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