Former coach remembers Black Panther star’s younger years

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ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – One of the most anticipated movies of 2018 starts playing in theaters Thursday. Black Panther has already set records, selling more pre-sale tickets than any other Marvel Superhero movie. And, the star of the movie, Chadwick Boseman, is from Anderson.

Boseman has played notable figures in movies like Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall. In the latest film, Boseman is the king of Wakanada, but before this role, he used to be a king of the halls at T.L. Hanna High School.

“Friends with everybody…I don’t know of anyone that didn’t speak highly of him because he was a quality guy,” his former basketball coach, Wayne Jones, said.

Boseman played Varsity basketball under Jones all four years of high school.

“I thought he had a lot of potential,” Jones said. “Had a great attitude, the type of person and character that you would want on your team.”

Jones said Boseman, who graduated from Hanna in ’95, also ran cross country, was involved in drama, and did speech and debate.

“You gotta pull for a kid like him,” Jones said. “You gotta pull for a Chad Boseman who’s been driven to do all that he does.”

Jones remembers the first time he saw his former player on the TV screen in a small role on “Law and Order”.

“This guy walked up on the street and was talking to the police, and I said look that’s Chad Boseman,” Jones said.

He says he has supported every movie in which Boseman has acted, and he had already bought tickets to see Black Panther Thursday evening.

However, Jones isn’t the only person from the Upstate community cheering for Boseman’s success.

The Young Democrats of Greenville County held a fundraiser to be able to take kids to see the movie for free.

“It’s really good we have a local hero,” said the president of the Young Democrats of Greenville County. “I think it adds to that niche that’s needed to inspire those young kids to get involved academically to be inspired by this movie and know that there are no limits for them.”

Jones agrees and even hopes the star might consider a visit home, so younger kids can be motivated by the superhero in the flesh.

“They can say, ‘That’s him right there walking down the street’, like I noticed him on “Law and Order”. ‘Hey, that’s Chad Boseman.”

The Young Democrats will be taking 230 middle and high school students to see the movie on Monday.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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