|James Outlaw was Ballard Hudson High School’s last great basketball player prior to the merger of that school with Willingham to form Southwest as part of integration. The 6-foot-0 guard was a Parade Magazine All-American his senior season, averaging 34 points per game. He led the Maroon Tigers to a berth in the GHSA state tournament where they lost 75-64 in the semifinals to eventual champion Decatur. Ballard Hudson finished fourth in the state after losing 75-70 to Carver-Columbus in the consolation game. During his senior season, Outlaw scored a career-high 53 points against Willingham. He also averaged more than 30 points per game his junior season.
After he completed his prep career, Outlaw joined his high school coach, Warren Reynolds, at North Carolina A&T. Reynolds was named head coach at A&T after the 1970 high school season. At A&T, Outlaw was a two-time all-conference selection. He averaged 16.6 points per game as a junior and 24.9 as a senior, which was the seventh best in the country in Division I basketball. He scored 448 points as a junior when the Aggies finished 16-11 and 647 as a senior when they ended the year at 16-10. He was drafted by a team in Munich, Germany, but the league it was a member of never got going, and Outlaw’s playing career ended. He did, however, remain associated with basketball for a brief period of time scouting and recruiting for A&T.