Bailey Johnson Champions News Graphic

Celebrating The Champions From The Bailey Johnson School

Released July 18, 2023 05:27 PM
On July 17, 58 years after winning the 1965 Georgia High School Basketball Championship, the men of Alpharetta’s Bailey Johnson School finally received the recognition they deserved.  In front of a packed house at Alpharetta City Hall, the seven surviving members of the team received championship rings and team jackets from Alpharetta’s mayor and city council.

With the introduction of each member of the team, the crowd erupted with cheers.  If onlookers closed their eyes, they could easily have been transported back to February 27, 1965, and the final moments of the championship game that the men of Bailey Johnson School won 85 – 49 to cap their 14 and 2 season.

Back then Georgia schools were divided by segregation, and the Bailey Johnson School was the only school for Black students for all of North Fulton County as far south as Dunwoody.  So, when the young men of Bailey Johnson brought Alpharetta’s first state basketball championship home there was no parade, no hometown crowd lining the streets, not even recognition from the school system.

“Those were not proud days in our community’s history, and we cannot and should not try to rewrite or forget that,” said Alpharetta Mayor Jim Gilvin.  “But we are proud of what these men accomplished, proud of who they are, and we are proud to stand here with all of you today and celebrate them as one community.”

Congratulations to the alumni of the Bailey Johnson School and the men of the 1965 Georgia High School Basketball Team!

Willie Brown
James Emerson
Charles “Leroy” Grogan
Arthur Manning
Aubrey Manning
Al Martin
Claude McCann
Melvin Peters
Larry Strickland
David Taylor
Jimmy Taylor
Larry Wells
Coach Jerry D. Hobbs