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Mack’s Paul Goree: “Deacon for Defense”

Mack’s Paul Goree: “Deacon for Defense”

Pauline and Paul Goree at the 2016 100th Anniversary of the Center Street Missionary Baptist Church, pastored by Allen C. Langston, Jr.

Paul Goree was a substitute point guard on the 1958/ 1959 McClymonds (Mack) Warriors basketball team.

From 1958 through 1962 Mack won 110 games and lost only once and was considered to be the greatest high school basketball team in the country. That team will be honored with a celebration organized by Virtual Murrell and Joe Ellis October 11 at Scott’s in Jack London Square.

Goree, who stands just 5’ 6”, stood out tall amongst his peers and teammates because the “strength of my game was that I was the fastest and my defensive skills kept us ahead  and we held on to our leads when I substituted for the great Aaron Pointer or the dominant Cha-Cha McKinney.”

Laughingly he said “you could call me a deacon for defense since I now serve as a deacon at the Center Street Missionary Baptist Church in West Oakland where Pauline Teasley, my high school sweetheart and wife of 57 years, sings in the choir. She also sang in Mack’s choir when we were students.”

Goree sees a definite parallel between his Mack Warriors team and the present-day Golden State Warriors. He compared the strength of their coach Paul Harless who taught us competitiveness, a fast-pace style and a merciless defense, with Steve Kerr’s emphasis on the same selfless passing  approach to the game. “We won the most games, like Golden State did because everybody got along and there were no ego struggles. But, his own ego and self-confidence remains today, even if he expresses it in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Instead of comparing him to NBA standouts Mugsy Bogues, Spud Webb or Nate Robinson, all his size or shorter, he jokingly said he wishes he could play like Stephen Curry.

Goree, who hails from Rustin and Arcadia, La., where sugar cane grows abundantly, understands the historical significance of his family name. President Obama visited Goree Island off the coast of Senegal, the place where Africans passed through “the door of no return” and were sold as slaves and shipped to America.

He served 4 ½ years in the US Air Force and was stationed in Africa during part of his duty. He worked as a welder for C&H Sugar Company in Crockett before retiring.

Pauline Teasley’s family hails from Pine Bluff, Ark., and she is still an active entrepreneur operating “Pauline’s Creations” beauty salon at 3811 Macdonald Avenue in Richmond, not far from their home in El Cerrito.

Paul and Pauline have three sons and four grandchildren, all residing in the Bay Area.

Ron Linzie, an assistant pastor at Goree’s church, and a former basketball player, said “Paul Goree would have been a starter on any other team but he was blessed to have played with an all-star lineup that had the strength of numbers from 1958-1962 that included  Ray Freeman, John Brumfield, Aaron Pointer, Howard Foster, Edward Thomas, James Hadnot, Paul Silas, Joe Ellis, Charley Lomack, Richard Cartwright, Charles “Cha Cha” McKinney, David Reed, Charles Aikens, Fritz Pointer, John Aikens, Wendell Hayes, Woodson Foster, Howard Foster, James Tolliver, A.C Taylor and Therlo Watson.”

“During my four years at Mack I only remember losing one game,” said Goree. “I enjoy visiting today’s NBA Warriors games because they resemble us and play like our great teams.”

Game recognizes game.


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  1. Joe Harris

    9 September

    Great post!
    I liked it

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