The Jay Graves Report

Why Coach Marvin Rea was Gary, Indiana Royalty! “We All We Got!”

Marvin Rea repped Gary, Indiana to the fullest! RIP playboy! Photo: Times

Earlier this mornin’ my wife called me from work and I wasn’t able to answer her call. Before I could get my phone out of my pocket she’d shot me over a text that read, “Did you see Marvin Rea passed away in a car accident?” I stumbled as I read it. As I’m standin’ there readin’ the text I immediately thought to myself, “Marvin Rea was G.I. royalty!”

For all of you cats that don’t know, Marvin Rea or Merv as we use to call him in high school, was the head basketball coach at Lighthouse College Prep Academy in Gary, Indiana. But well before he represented Lighthouse he repped the ENTIRE city like a real soldier is supposed to.

Let’s keep it real or all the way 100, whichever comes 1st! I said that he was royalty because he was one of the cats that made ALWAYS bein’ from Gary a proud moment. When I travel all over the country and sometimes out of it, I wear my “G” badge proud because of cats like Merv. Why? Because bein’ from this small midwestern steel city it’s like the “CMB” in the movie New Jack City “We all we got!”

People tend to look down their noses at duns from Gary but our royalty always held us up and made bein’ from Gary mean somethin’. I was two years ahead of Merv in school and I can remember bein’ a sophomore at Purdue in 1987 when he led the Velt to the semi-state basketball tournament at Purdue and then on to FINAL Four in Nap before losin’ in the semi-final.

We were so proud to be from G.I. and to show all of the other students our homeboyz that were in town to wreck shop at Purdue before goin’ on to the state finals! It made us feel important because of cats like Merv! ROYALTY!

Not only did he lead the Velt to the state finals but he won the Mental Attitude Award that year. Did I mention that he was an honor student too. Well yeah, throw that in too playa.

Ole boy showed up at Purdue the followin’ year as I’d transferred to IU that same semester. This little cat at like 5’7″ weighin’ a buck-O-5 tried out for Gene Keady’s Purdue basketball team without a hoop scholarship and told boyz he was goin’ to make the team. Even as a student at IU I told boyz that my homeboy was goin’ to make that team because they don’t make cats like G.I. cats everywhere. Sure enough, he made the squad and won a Big Ten title that same year!!! ROYALTY!!

He made bein’ from The G a proud moment bruh!!! Then he started coachin’ and his legend grew around the state when he took Thea Bowman Academy to four state title games in five years winnin’ two of them.

I live in Indianapolis and I couldn’t wait for Bowman to come down because once again he made a boy feel good to be from The G!!! Most people don’t understand the pride that people from Gary have for the city that raised them. The city that everyone else around this state looks down on.

Well playa…for the most part, it’s been sports that we’ve been able to make boyz respect The G when we’ve shown up. It’s been sports that made cats close their mouths and stay in their lanes. It’s been sports that leveled the playin’ field for us and cats like Merv have been an integral part of that process.

The pride that duns from The G feel when they either live there or when they leave the city comes from our royalty that represent us with their accomplishments. It gives everyone else a sense of direction to do the same for those watchin’ them too. Therefore, we’ve got to respect the royalty because they’ve earned it.

Here’s the crazy thing bruh, it doesn’t matter what school you went to or what hood you came out of. If you were successful in whatever you were doin’ you repped all of us. That’s royalty!! G.I. Royalty!!!

G.I. Stand Up and give my homie some love for holdin’ us down for so long. He’s now passed the torch to the next generation of royalty to rep Gary, Indiana to the fullest and stop me when I start lyin’!

Playas Thesaurus: 

1) Dun: noun – the person in question, dude, guy, etc. It’s whoever I’m talkin’ about and its non-gender specific.

2) Put it where the goats can get it: verb phrase – to make it as elementary as possible. To put it at ground level so everyone can understand it.

3) Ole boy: noun – the person that I’m currently talkin’ about.

4) CMB: noun – Cash Money Brothers from the movie New Jack City

The G is excluded from the endings of all words because the G is near and dear to my heart because I’m from “The G” which is Gary, Indiana. So I only use the G when I’m talkin’ about “The G!”

The caption under the photo is real talk today!


  1. Your article was a fitting tribute both to G.I. and Coach Rea . Thank you. It’s exactly how deep my feeling run for Gary, Ind, my home town and the spectacular way growi
    up there prepared and sent us out into tidehe world to slay ! So, well said, you pumped me up! The world wasn’t ready for us ! WestSide HS ’76 Howard U ’81

  2. I’m a white Bruh from the G….39Th and Virginia….moved to CP in 83…Love watching all the G games…go to a bunch of football games and basketball games…people look at me like I’m nuts… GI BABY!!!!RIP MARVIN!!!!

  3. Comin’ from the “DUB”, ECW that is,we understand the paths that have been laid by the outstanding accomplishments of our “Region” brethren in the world of the IHSAA. We honor and respect the pioneers of the “Velt”, inclusive of Coach Marvin Rea for overcomin’ the obstacles that stood in the way of success! Much luv and respect, a “Senator for life”

  4. Well put together my big brother…accomplished, acknowledged and recognized as a legend from the G!! Lets Continue to rep to the fullest! Wake up and stand up!

  5. You know those guys who went downstate that year carried GI and Panther Pride with them. They were just another representation of Gary Roosevelt that included the awesome track teams back then. I would see Marv at Gleason playing at golf and trash talking as usual. Another of the good ones has gone. Good to hear you Jay.

  6. Mar””
    was a Michel Jackson of basketball
    To the city of Gary, Indiana rest in peace coach and thanks for being there for Mathis

  7. Best one I’ve read big bro. My stomach still feels funny hearing this my nephew was on that first title team and marvin told me they would win a title when those boys were just in the 6th grade.

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