A dedication ceremony was held in honor of Russell Ellington at A.E. Beach High School. Community members, family, students, staff, alumni, and faculty gathered to dedicate Beach's athletic complex to Ellington's legacy.
The program included reflections from elected officials, a performance by Monica Daughtry, and words from various speakers including the school’s principal, Mr. Derrick Muhammed, Superintendent Dr. Thomas B. Lockamy, Jr., and Mayor Eddie Deloach.
Russell Ellington's family were also in attendance as guests shared their experiences with the late giant. They spoke of the impact he made across the globe and in his community. The turnout at the ceremony was proof of the many lives he touched.
BACKGROUND: RUSSELL ELLINGTON
Mr. Russell Ellington was a Georgia native. He left his home in Wadley, Georgia to come to Savannah at the tender age of twelve years old. In 1956, Ellington graduated from Beach High School and then went on to be very successful at Morris Brown College.
For two years, Russell played for the New York Giants before injuries interrupted his career. He brought his talents back to Savannah as the boys' basketball coach at Beach High School. During his 15 year tenure, his teams won 5 state championships. One of those victories came during the first year the Georgia High School Association was integrated.
Mr. Ellington also coached at Savannah State University (then College), Savannah Tech, and Morris Brown. Additionally, he toured with the Harlem Globetrotters as the head coach for 9 years, traveling to 122 countries. Russell completed his career back at Beach High School. In 2005, the Bulldogs finished with a 28-3 record and a trip to the state quarter-finals. In May 2007, he was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Russell Ellington was beyond qualified for this honor and it with great pleasure that his name will forever be associated with the rich history of Beach High School.
For more pictures from the event, click here.