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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Classic a fitting tribute to legendary namesake

Friday, December 2, 2011

Marvin Newton was one fierce competitor on the basketball court, a prolific scorer who could put the ball into the basket from anywhere he wanted -- with amazing ease.

Playing in an era before the 3-point arc was even a thought, Newton averaged over 30 points per game, a stat that cements him as one of the all-time great Arkansas high school basketball players.

But if you were to ask the late Viola School District Superintendent what he was most proud of, his answer would have nothing to do with sports.

Newton would always comment on the thrill he got out of seeing students at Viola High School receiving their diplomas -- with their sights on making their mark out in the "real world."

As those students progressed from Kindergarten to that eventual graduation day, Newton was there each and every step of the way.

Matter of fact, there was probably a good portion of those students who never fully understood just what kind of an athlete that Newton was back in the day.

And that was okay by him.

He was more concerned about the progress his kids were making than talking about his own personal exploits back in the 1950s.

And that's why the Marvin Newton Classic is such an outstanding idea.

While there's no way that his legacy -- on and off the court -- at Viola will ever be forgotten, this gives everyone a chance to reminisce about just what kind of a man Marvin Newton was.

I'm sure he would approve.

Especially since proceeds from the Marvin Newton Classic will help fund scholarships for student athletes from Viola and the other participating schools.

-- TM