The Raleigh Sports Club

The Raleigh Sports Club will soon enter it's 60th year of providing delicious Wednesday luncheons where 150 or more gather weekly to hear fascinating stories from riveting speakers representing all parts of the college and professional athletic scene.

Why Join?

Hear Directly from Athletes, Coaches or Athletic Administrators

Riveting Stories
Wolfpack Football Coach Dave Doeren helping us honor local student athlete, Braden Anghie a soccer player at Green Level High School

At the Raleigh Sports Club we introduce members to a wide and very impressive variety of speakers to our weekly meetings. On any given week, you could hear from Dave Doeren, head football coach for the Wolfpack, or other local active college coaches, athletes, or athletic directors, or speakers from the world of professional sports, or even Hall of Fame athletes or coaches who represent a fascinating range of teams – each with cherished memories and great stories to tell.

Student Athlete Of The Week

The RSC honors local high school student athletes for their achievements on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Wake County Coaches and Athletic Directors can nominate local high school student athletes for the RSC Student Athlete of the Week" award by completing this form:
Click Here

Colin Cleary
Colin Cleary of Apex Friendship High School was honored October 20, 2021 as an outstanding student and as a superb athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. The weekly award was presented by Rick Ulasewich of the Club Board of Directors.

The RSC honors local high school student athletes for their achievements on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

Talk Sports!

Talk Sports

The RSC has a wonderful southern style buffet. Long lines form to get some of the best food and hear some of the most prominent sports speakers in the country. Get there early to get a good seat.


For many years Mort's of Raleigh, NC has been donating the custom engraved plaque that is presented to the Student-Athlete who is honored each week by the Raleigh Sports Club. We appreciate Mort's gracious contributions to recognizing the amazing achievements of our local high school youth.

Please LIKE us on Facebook

Like us on Facebook!

You can follow Raleigh Sports Club on Facebook to learn about upcoming speakers, see stories and photos from recent meetings, share your comments and suggestions, and see the comments from other members. Please check in regularly and LIKE our Facebook page. If you see an upcoming meeting that would be enjoyed by others, please SHARE the notice with your Facebook friends.


Plans are underway for another great season of sports talk. The Speakers Tab shows the terrific job being done by Vice President Sally Greaser and your Board of Directors lining up sports personalities for us beginning with our opening speaker, Kevin Keatts, NCSU Head Basketball Coach. Speakers for the year include:

  • Coaches Keatts, Moore, Avent & Doeren from NC State
  • Coaches Scheyer, Pollard and Elko from Duke
  • Athletic Director Bubba Cuningham and former player Charlotte Smith from UNC
  • Mike Houston from ECU, Justin Haire from Campbell, and others listed on our Speakers Tab

Our weekly format will continue to feature the great food from The Forks, fellowship with other members and guests, our Student-Athlete of the Week honor, weekly pick sheets and informative talks with notable personalities from the local sports world.

Wednesday, August 30 is our first meeting, and that is always one of our most well attended, so please plan to arrive early to get a great seat.  We continue to meet in Bradley Hall at the Highland UMC, just inside the beltline, at 1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607.

Your Board made the difficult decision to raise our annual membership fee by $10 for this year but will hold the weekly cost for meals to $20 for members and $25 for guests.  Note that the weekly fee applies whether the member or guest chooses to eat or not.  This year we will also be offering packs of 5 weekly attendance cards that can be purchased for $100 and used at any meeting of the 2023-24 season.  Buy a pack and use the cards to bring your guests with you at the member price.

The Club is selling commemorative 60th Anniversary Shirts for $45 that will be available in Men’s and Women’s sizes and various colors to choose from.  Shirt orders may be placed during the first two weeks of the season.  We will hold a raffle for one of the commemorative shirts at the end of our first meeting.  Your membership must be paid in full to participate in the raffle.

You may print your membership form by clicking on this link.

We look forward to seeing you and a friend on August, 30 for fun and good food, fellowship and camaraderie, along with recognition of local athletic and academic prowess!  If you have contacts at any civic clubs where our board might speak about the Raleigh Sports Club and its history, please email or call our president, Ken Updegrave ( or 919-412-8389).


The 2022-23 season wrapped up again with a flourish at the North Ridge Country Club. The conclusion of our 59th year was also the perfect chance to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Wolfpack’s 1983 NCAA men’s basketball victory over Houston. To remind us of that event we were honored to have Dereck Wittenburg as our banquet speaker. Dereck played a key role with the Pack (making the “pass” to Lorenzo Charles for the winning dunk) and he now works for NCSU, does fund raising for both the Jimmy V Foundation and the Dereck Wittenburg Foundation, and has been the driving force behind the award winning ESPN productions of “Survive and Advance” plus the 10 episode history of the ACC Tournament. Dereck reminded us that he played during the same ACC era with Michael Jordan. He said that he and Michael went head to head guarding each other in several games. He concluded that anecdote with a wry smile and recounted that he had outscored Michael in each game they had played!

A wonderful feature of each banquet is the opportunity to celebrate and recognize four talented local student-athletes and one Wake County high school coach. As in past years, we honored the very deserving local high school student athletes each with a $2,000.00 scholarship and we recognized the outstanding Wake County High School Coach with an honorarium of $1,000.00.

2023 Raleigh Sports Club Scholarship Recipients

Kendall Keith
Kendall Keith, Wake Forest HS Softball and Golf Banquet Host – John Watkins
Nifemi Kalajalye
Nifemi Kalajalye, Athens Drive HS Indoor and Outdoor Track Banquet Host – Vince Matal
Hayden Henry
Hayden Henry, Holly Springs HS Men’s Baseball Banquet Host – Carol Pope
Madison Solomon
Madison Solomon, Millbrook High School Cheerleading Banquet Host –Rob Turner
Ned Gonet
Coach of the Year, Ned Gonet, Ravenscroft High School AD, Football, Baseball, Girl’s Basketball Coach Banquet Host – Rick Ulasewich


Our banquet program began with a stunning presentation of the National Anthem performed by local mother and daughter singers Charlena Lee and Albany Hooper. Following the delicious dinner and the presentation of awards to our student athletes and coach, we all enjoyed the heartfelt comments of Dereck Wittenburg who was introduced by his lovely wife, Jacqueline, a delightful speaker in her own right.

RSC Annual Banquet

We know that all who attended enjoyed this wonderful season ending celebration!


The 2022-23 Season has scored points with members

We have completed our 59th season as a club with 29 weekly luncheon programs, a flock of weekly student-athletes, and an outstanding banquet. It was clear that everyone had been ready for sports talk and camaraderie! Attendance was been up. We got positive comments about something brand new this year, featuring current college athletes as our speakers. We appreciated hearing them share their first hand experiences, achievements, and future plans. The Forks Cafeteria made sure that our food was delicious as always. The full list of speakers for the past season may be found by clicking on the Speakers Tab. Our 60th Sports Club season is being planned right now and will kick off with football in the fall. Check this website for details as they are ready to be published. We wish you all a happy and rewarding summer.

Upcoming RSC speakers are publicized in our weekly newsletter to members. These detailed descriptions of our meetings may be reviewed by using the links to past newsletters under the Archive Tab. The Speakers Tab also has a listing of last year's speakers along with names of the some of the famous speakers who have graced our stage during the past 58 years. We hope to have you join us soon for lunch and sports talk!

Robert Hinson Welcome
Club president, Robert Hinson, welcoming members as we began our 59th season of enjoyable Wednesday lunchtime gatherings.
Pat Holcomb being honored
At the final luncheon of the 2023 season, Pat Holcomb, the Club's longtime bookkeeper, friendly weekly greeter, and living "historical database," was honored and thanked with the presentation of flowers from both current and future Club presidents, Robert Hinson and Ken Updegrave.
RSC lunch crowd
The Raleigh Sports Club program is always preceded by a delicious luncheon prepared weekly by the very capable staff of the Forks Cafeteria.
Debbie Antonelli
Our speaker on Feb 15, 2023 was Debbie Antonelli, ESPN basketball analyst extraordinaire. She was terrific and shared many engaging stories. One was about the time she shot 100 free throws for charity every hour for 24 hours straight. For the four most difficult hours from 2am to 5am she was able to hit 400 out of 404 attempts! She said it's all muscle memory and concentration. With her as guests last week were Debra Morgan, WRAL news anchor, and Sylvia Hatchell, former women's basketball coach at UNC and long time Raleigh Sports Club member.
Randy Hood
Our speaker for Feb 8, 2023 was Randy Hood, head baseball coach at UNCW.Randy entertained the crowd with many wonderful stories including those from his year as a teammate of Michael Jordan when both played minor league baseball for the Birmingham Barons in 1995.
Lindsey DrewJ
Lindsey Drew, an outstanding student and softball athlete from Millbrook High School, was the honoree on January 25, 2023. She is shown her with her proud parents following the meeting.
Nifemi Kalejaiye
Nifemi Kalejaiye was our first recognized student-athlete of 2023. She has excelled as a student at Athens Drive High School as well as with indoor and outdoor track and field.
Tanner Thorson_ Jeff Gravely
Tanner Thorson, Student-Athlete of the week for Dec 7, 2022, was recognized for his achievements in the classroom at Wakefield High School as well as soccer and golf. With Tanner is Jeff Gravely, the informative and entertaining speaker for our luncheon.
Luke Jackson, Graham Boone, and Tommy Smith Jr.
Luke Jackson was recognized as the outstanding Student-Athlete of the week for Nov 9, 2022. He is seen here after the meeting flanked by our informative luncheon speaker, Graham Boone, Executive Director of Heels4Life, a new nonprofit organization that facilitates NIL (Name-Image-Likeness) opportunities for UNC football players. On the right is the Athens Drive High School head football coach, Tommy Smith, Jr., who introduced Luke and described his gridiron and classroom accomplishments.
Wade Warren
Wade Warren, student-athlete of the week, is the Broughton HS quarterback and pole vaulter who was recognized by Rick Ulasewich and the entire club for his outstanding accomplishments.
Hayden and Trent Hidlay
Speakers Hayden and Trent Hidlay, brothers who are All American wrestlers at NC State, entertained and enlightened us on the dedication required by their sport.
Jenna Van Matre Joe Giglio
The student-athlete for September 7 was Jenna Van Matre, cheerleading captain for Wake Christian Academy. She is shown here flanked by her parents and our knowledgeable and entertaining speaker, Joe Giglio.

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