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Legendary LeMoyne-Owen Basketball Coach Featured In International Black Film Festival

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102-year-old retired coach's documentary "1st Forgotten Champions: The Legacy of Jerry C. Johnson" featured in International Black Film Festival in Nashville, TN.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - EntSun -- The Jerry C. Johnson Foundation is pleased to announce that the independent documentary "1st Forgotten Champions: The Legacy of Jerry Johnson" has been accepted into the International Black Film Festival (IBFF).  This is the second film festival for the documentary by filmmaker Morreco Coleman.  The IBFF will be held online and the films can be viewed September 30 – October 4th. Check the website for showing dates and times, https://www.ibffevents.com/.

The International Black Film Festival is located in Nashville, TN and was established in 2006 to bring culturally diverse communities together to showcase their work as emerging and skilled independent filmmakers, actors, composers, screenwriters, directors, and other film professionals.  "1st Forgotten Champions: The Legacy of Jerry Johnson" is competing in the category of Documentary Long with eight other films and was recently a semi-finalist in the Burbank International Film Festival where it became a fan favorite.

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Coach Johnson served as the head coach of the LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) men's basketball team for 46 years. He has received many accolades but his most notable achievement and the primary subject of the documentary is his 1975 NCAA Division III Championship.  He became the first African American coach to win the championship and LOC the first HBCU.  Coach Johnson, who is now 102, retired from coaching in 2005 and left a legacy that remains unmatched.

"1st Forgotten Champions: The Legacy of Jerry Johnson" contains interviews with Coach Johnson, some of his former players and other head college basketball coaches such as Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway (University of Memphis), John Calipari (University of Kentucky), Josh Pastner (Georgia Tech), and William Anderson (LeMoyne-Owen).  The late Ben Jobe, award-winning coach of several college NCAA basketball teams appears as well.  Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen also share their thoughts on Coach Johnson and his rigorous basketball program.

Some of Coach Johnson's other achievements include:

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·        Ranked 1st Among Active Coaches with 821 wins (At the time of his retirement, only six coaches in NCAA history had over 800 wins)

·         VSAC Coach of the Year Four Times (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974)

·         SIAC Coach of the Year  Three Times (1999, 2000, 2005)

·         Fayetteville State Hall of Fame (1991)

·         SIAC Tennessee Coach's Hall of Fame (1995)

·         City of Memphis Lifetime Achievement Award (2005)

·        Coach Johnson coached eight players that played in the NBA and numerous college, high school, and junior high coaches.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/jcjfoundation1. You can also visit the IBFF https://www.ibffevents.com/.

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Source: Jerry C. Johnson Foundation
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