Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame
Basketball Coach and Mentor - St. Cecilia’s Gym
Sam Washington was born in Detroit, Michigan and was a three-sport star at Detroit’s Western High School. He played football professionally for the AFL’s New York Titans and in the Canadian Football League before returning home to Detroit. It was 1967, and while the streets of Detroit were ablaze from the rioting, Sam Washington sought to provide shelter to the youth of Detroit by creating basketball leagues at St. Cecilia’s gym. This small and unassuming gymnasium became a safe haven for Detroit’s youth and eventually a place to measure yourself again the best basketball players the country had to offer. Basketball players, whether in high school, college or professional would come from near and far to test themselves at St. Cecilia’s “The Saint”. Washington didn't just send you out to play but he worked on developing you and teaching you the game, he was a coach and a mentor to thousands of Detroit’s youth. To this day, St. Cecilia’s is still the place to play basketball in the summer. Sam Washington was inducted into the Hall of Honor section of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Sam Washington passed away on Nov. 19, 1988 at 53 years of age.