W-S Certified offers locals a chance to continue basketball careers

W-S Certified offers locals a chance to continue basketball careers
December 03
00:00 2015
Members of Winston-Salem Certified are looking forward to the teams second season in the East Coast Basketball League (ECBL). Last year the team finished in a tie for second place.

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

Over the years, the city of Winston-Salem has been known to breed some of the most well-known basketball talent in the nation.

From L.A. Clippers’ superstar Chris Paul, all the way down to the nation’s top high school recruit Harry Giles, the city has a tradition deeply rooted in the hardwood.

Although some stars make it to the big time right after college or high school, often the majority of the talent in the area is overlooked for one reason or another, until now.

Winston-Salem Certified offers a venue for basketball talent in the area who may have been overlooked by professional or college scouts. The team competes in the East Coast Basketball League (ECBL) and features a number of players who were stars at a number of local high schools including Winston-Salem Prep, Parkland, and Glenn.

The ECBL is governed by the league’s team owners and promotes a network model in which teams are involved with area communities and local businesses.

According to team representative Byron Knapper, the ECBL is very competitive and has teams spanning from Petersburg, Virginia, down to Savannah, Georgia.

“The league is very competitive and official,” he continued. “The players use the league as an avenue to help guys gain exposure for overseas purposes and so on.”

Last season was the team’s first year competing in the semi-pro league and they managed to finish in a tie for second place in the very competitive Northern Division, which features teams from Fayetteville, as well as High Point.

Knapper and a number of players from last year’s team believe now that they have a year of competing in the league under their belts, they now know what it will take to win it all.

“Last year I think the players were still getting a feel of how teams in the league played.” he said. “This year with a few more additions to the team, I think we will have what it takes to win it all.”

With the season set to begin in the spring, W-S Certified has held a number of tryouts and open gym events in recent weeks. The tryouts are open to anyone over the age of 18 who has graduated from high school.

For more information on W-S Certified or the ECBL, contact Byron Knapper by email at, or by phone at (336) 926-5444.

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