Gil McGregor returns to Hoke County to speak at Youth Day

Former NBA player and announcer discusses his roots

Gil McGregor (center) poses with his high school coach at Hoke High, W.K. Morgan (left) and Demarious McNeill, President of the Hoke County Missionary Union (right), before speaking at the Union’s Youth Day. (credit Hal Nunn)

Gil McGregor is a Hoke County Native and former NBA, CBA player, Broadcaster, Wake Forest Demon Deacon, and Hoke County Hall of Fame Inaugural Class Inductee 2012. He was drafted in the 6th round (89th overall) in the 1971 NBA Draft and played for the Cincinnati Royals.

McGregor spoke at the Hoke County Missionary Union Youth Day at Mt. Pisgah Resource Center in Hoke County Sunday January 14, 2024.

He attended Upchurch High School, (now Upchurch Elementary) an all-black high school during his freshman and sophomore years in 1964 and 1965. He said, “then the state of North Carolina had the Freedom of Choice Act and as a result of that, I went to Hoke County High School for my junior and senior years in 1966 and 1967.” In 1967 he was rated one of the Top 50 basketball players in the United States.

Going from Upchurch High School to Hoke County High School gave him a chance to be in two communities and he said, “it gave me an opportunity be a member of two communities and to try and mesh those two communities together for the good of all the babies in those communities. This place called Hoke County is special in that way, and if we put our resources, our energy behind our babies then like this child of Hoke County, that Raeford wasn’t going to be the last place I was going to live.”

McGregor had a chance to play ball in France, Italy, Belgum and live there and travel, and then be a broadcaster for an NBA team that took him around this great country and still involved with basketball. He said, “that’s what I want to talk to these kids about today, our babies and get them encourage to go out and find their way in this world and bring that back to this place called Hoke County.”

Gil went on to say, “my junior year we lost the state championship by three points and that helped put Raeford on the map.”