Humble beginnings tell the story of Marvin L. J. Blye, a Charleston native and 1984 graduate of Burke High School. Blye will be inducted into the 2020 class of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Hall of Fame. The induction takes place February 28, 2020 in the UMES Student Services Center Ballroom in Princess Anne, Maryland. The reception begins at 6:00pm followed by a ceremony and dinner at 7:00pm. Blye joins this elite group which includes another Charleston native, Art Shell, a Bonds Wilson High School graduate and the first African American head coach in the NFL. Blye said “I am humbled to be inducted into the UMES Hall of Fame. It is truly an honor and a blessing.”
Blye’s basketball career as a forward and guard began at Charleston High School under the leadership of Coach Ernest Nedd. At Burke High School his career continued under the leadership of coaches Earl Brown and John Wilford. During Blye’s matriculation at Burke, he was a member of the leading high school basketball team in the history of South Carolina. The undefeated team became the 1984 Class AAAA South Carolina Champions ending with a record of 30-0 (a record is still unchallenged today).
Blye’s career in basketball started early in his life when he realized that athletics was a conduit for education. His desire to go to college was ignited after listening to his sister, Dr. Louester Robinson, and the stories she shared about the importance of education and college. She was the first sibling in their family to attend and graduate college. Blye wanted to follow in her footsteps and make his parents, Joseph and Anna Blye, proud. He knew he had to excel in education and athletics. Blye’s athletic performance was not only exceptional in basketball, but also in baseball. He said, “No matter what, the opportunities are endless, and it starts with you and ends with you.”
In 1984, the athletic department at UMES recruited Blye and he was able to attend college at no cost. He majored in Accounting and proved to be an all-around athlete. Blye played four outstanding seasons on the men’s basketball team (1984-1988). He was recognized for numerous conference awards, including Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, All-Rookie Team (1984-85) and All-Conference twice (1986-87, 1987-88). Additionally, Blye joined UMES’s exclusive 1,000-point club during his junior season (1986-87). Over the course of his career he appeared in 99 games and recorded 1,355 point (13.7 ppg), 501 rebounds (5.1ppg), 248 assists (2.5apg) and 181 steals (1.8spg). When asked about his basketball career he said, “This journey was God’s blessing and favor that provided my ticket to life.”
Blye graduated from UMES in 1988, with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He received a Master’s in Business Administration in 1993 from Wilmington University. He is a doctoral candidate in the D.B.A program with Walden University. Blye is happily married to Nafisah and is the Chief Fiscal Officer for the Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc. He has held several leadership and faculty positions in accounting in Baltimore, Maryland and the surrounding area. He is an active member of the East Baltimore Church of Christ congregation in Baltimore, Maryland, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the Rotary International, member of the National Association for Black Accountants and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Blye’s philosophy in life is, “Service to others. Help others and think of others more than yourself.”