Jon Dawson: Former NBA star offers Black Friday clinic in La Grange

Morgan’s students practice retail survival ./ Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

In a matter of days, many Americans will gather to give thanks for their blessings. A few hours after that, many of those same Americans will push, shove and trample their way to holiday savings.

Every year the Black Friday sales grow more obscene. Whether it be a television or a cheese straightener (copyright George Carlin), businesses offer low prices to get customers in the door who in turn will fight anyone who stands in their way. Who knew there was a shortage of screens for people to stare at while eating crooked cheese?

A minor concussion may seem like a small price to pay for a television image so clear you can count the seams on Kim Kardashian, but medical care isn’t cheap. Justifying a $3,000 emergency room bill against $48 saved on a Bluetooth Q-tip dispenser is a tough sell, but a former NBA player from Lenoir County wants to prepare you for the Black Friday shenanigans.

“I was a power forward in the NBA for one season,” said Kevin Morgan, 48, of La Grange. “I was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets but blew out my knee at a buffet in the preseason.”

When Morgan returned to La Grange, he used his NBA earnings to start a security firm, a karate school, and a catering company.

“We can protect your property, teach you how to kick anyone that tries to steal it, and feed you afterward,” Morgan said with a chuckle. “Our motto is ‘protect, kick and eat’.

Last Christmas, Morgan’s sister Nicole was involved in a Black Friday incident that was the catalyst for his latest venture.

“I stood in line for three hours because Malwart was selling 42″ televisions for $150,” Nicole Brown said. “When the store opened the people ran to the televisions like they were the last helicopters out of Saigon. I used one of the karate moves Kevin taught me to keep people from yanking the television out of my hands.”

Hearing how his sister had to go all Bruce Lee just to buy a television, Kevin Morgan immediately started developing a business plan for a Black Friday training program.

“All these people standing in line for Black Friday deals have been freebasing carbohydrates for 24-hours straight,” Morgan said. “The tryptophan in the Thanksgiving turkey may have made them sleepy, but all the bread and the sugar in the deserts is the dietary equivalent of gunpowder just waiting to be detonated. By the time these people emerge from their food comas on Black Friday, they’re riding a sugar high that rivals any steroid currently floating around the LPGA.”

At the Morgan Black Friday Prep School, shoppers will learn the basics of self-defense, how to run an effective pattern to a cash register while carrying a television, and the art of throwing fellow customers off the scent of a great deal.

“What you want to do is tape a sign to the front of the store that says ‘ELECTRONICS DEPARTMENT CLOSED DUE TO LICE. ALL TELEVISIONS ARE CURRENTLY IN THE LAWN CARE DEPARTMENT’,” Morgan said. “This will give you a good 90-second head start. While everyone else is ripping apart bags of mulch looking for TVs, you’ll be safely on your way to watching adults argue over who made the best cupcake in HD on your new Samsung flat-screen.”

When the Bucklesberry Gazette visited Morgan at his Black Friday Prep School, he was in the process of showing a group of retirees how to post up for position while in line at a store.

“The older generation may seem frail but these folks have been through some stuff in their day,” Morgan said. “Just because you’re young and did a few jumping jacks in middle school, don’t assume you’ll be able to overpower the older folks. Just this morning I had to put 82-year-old Janet Sutton in time out for donkey punching one of her classmates in the schnoinkel.”

“We were running a drill whereby I was supposed to grab the new TV off the shelf and walk through a crowd with it,” Ms. Sutton said. “Some uppity college boy in the class tried to take the TV away from me, so I had to put him down. He’s one of those who pays a stylist $60 to make it look like he has a $5 haircut; serves him right.”

If you’d like to sign up for Kevin Morgan’s Black Friday Prep School, please send him a message on Facebook.

Jon Dawson’s books are available at

You can hear Jon on the Bryan Hanks Show Monday through Friday on WRNS:

The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston, and daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m. Archived shows are available at

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