Coles, Arnold - Basketball, 2005
Coles distinguished himself in the Savannah sports community during the 1960s as one of the best basketball players of the era. He attended Beach High School, which won three basketball state championships in a row from 1963-1965. Coles played on that team and was selected All-City and All-State for all three years. At this time, black schools were invited to play in a prestigious National Tournament known as the “Nationals”. Beach was invited to play; and at that tournament, Coles was selected to the All-National Teams two years in a row and was named Most Valuable Player in 1965. After graduating, Coles attended Oral Roberts University. A fierce competitor, he led the conference in rebounding, averaging 12 per game, and also ranked second in scoring for his team, averaging 18 points per game. He was an all-around player, who played hard on both ends of the court. Coles joined the United States Air Force in 1967 and continued playing, making the All-Air Force basketball team from 1967-68.