In a 48-and-over full-court basketball game, several older men, like 50-year-old Brad Shells, who slam dunked with one hand, proved they still have it. Old English beat Fully Loaded, 81-77.
“I have a lot of respect for the OGs,” Fully Loaded Coach Jason “Boo” Robinson said. “Where everybody underestimated them, they came out, displayed their talents and let you know they could still compete with the best of them.”
Shells, who plays for the SQ Warriors, added, “I normally play with the younger brothers. This is the first time I ever played with Pep. He makes the game easy; he passes the ball, he hustles, plus he scores a whole lot of points.”
Oris “Pep” Williams, 56, led OE with 31 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and an assist. Teammate Shell dropped 26 points, 24 rebounds, four blocks and four assists, followed by 6-feet-7 Wayne Mobley, 58, with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
“The goal for the game was to take the country’s birthday and get guys, that ain’t been out here in a while, together for unity and fun,” said Aaron “Showtime” Taylor, who organized the game played July 2 on the San Quentin Lower Yard. “Pep and [Brad] are co-MVPs and [John] is the Most Outstanding Player for his team.”
Williams said that before he came to prison, the Contra Costa College basketball team picked him up, but he never played a game.
“The sky was the limit until I started messing with drugs,” Williams said.
In the first half, OE dominated. They gained a 19-point lead but Fully Loaded made a run led by John “Dunnie” Windham. He hit a jumper as the third quarter ended. It closed the gap to 62-52.
Shells answered early in the fourth quarter with a one-handed slam-dunk off a fast break, making the score 65-52.
Windham continued to ignite, nailing four three-pointers, a spin move layup and a short-range jumper.
“Box and one, box and one defense,” yelled OE coach Charles Ross. “Pookie [Charles Sylvester] you stay on [John] wherever he goes.”
Windham, 47, finished with 29 points, six steals, five rebounds, one block and an assist.
Fully Loaded closed the gap to within four points at 81-77 with 30 seconds left in regulation after Orlando “Duck” Harris passed the ball inside to R. “Mailman” Ratchford for a layup.
OE’s Sylvester attempted a shot instead of running the clock out. Harris rebounded the ball, giving Fully Loaded another chance to score with 10 seconds left, still down 4.
Harris passed the ball to Ratchford in the corner. He dribbled toward the rack, spun toward the rim but missed the layup.
Ratchford added 26 points, 12 rebounds, a steal and a block.
“Even though we lost, I still congratulate my team for coming back from a 19-point deficit,” Robinson said.
Coaches Donte Smith and Robinson drafted the teams. Smith picked: Williams, Shells, Sylvester, Mobley, Eugene “Shaylee” Williams, Brian Asey, Anthony Redwood and others.
“[Smith] picked the team,” Ross said. “I filled in as coach because he had to go on a visit.”
Robinson chose Robert “Bishop” Butler, Harris, Windham, Ratchford, Antonio Manning, Andre Yancy, Joe Demerson, Aubra-Lamont “Coocoo” McNeely, and Rodney Chapell.