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Basic Black; Coach Mike Jarvis


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Basic Black
Coach Mike Jarvis
Program Number


Series Description

THe series was formerly known as Say Brother. Series title change as of 1/8/1998. This series is black produced and is one of public television's longest-running series that is rooted in and reflects the culture, concerns, achievements and history of people of African descent. Also includes controversial issues, African American artists, and events of special interest to the African American community.

Series release date: 1/8/1998

Program Description

In his 30-year career, basketball coach Mike Jarvis has won countless games, awards, and accolades. But perhaps his proudest achievement is the success of the young men he coached.

A Cambridge native, Jarvis is currently head basketball coach at St. John’s University in New York and most recently coached George Washington University for eight seasons. But it was at his alma mater, Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, that he first made a name for himself as a talented coach. As head coach there from 1978–85, Jarvis was named Massachusetts High School Coach of the Year four times and led the team to three Division One State Championships. He also coached Patrick Ewing, who went on to become a basketball legend.

BASIC BLACK talks to some of Jarvis’s former players from Cambridge Rindge and Latin about the profound impact the coach had on their lives. Billy Ewing (not related to Patrick) calls Jarvis a role model; although Ewing only played for the coach for one season, Jarvis had an enormous impact on him. "He probably did more for me than I did for him," says Jarvis with typical modesty. Karl Hobbs, another former Cambridge student, was so influenced by Jarvis that he followed Jarvis’s career path. Now a coach at the basketball powerhouse University of Connecticut, Hobbs worked with Jarvis when the two coached at Boston University.

BASIC BLACK also talks to Jarvis and to his wife, Connie, about his career and the impact he’s had on young players. Making a difference in the lives of young people, says Connie, is as important to her husband as winning.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Social Issues
Chicago: “Basic Black; Coach Mike Jarvis,” 06/10/1999, GBH Archives, accessed May 27, 2024,
MLA: “Basic Black; Coach Mike Jarvis.” 06/10/1999. GBH Archives. Web. May 27, 2024. <>.
APA: Basic Black; Coach Mike Jarvis. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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