Monday, September 23, 2013

Texas Western Miner Basketball Championship 1965-1966

In the season of 1965-1966, Texas Western won the NCAA championship.  Don Haskins was having difficulty recruiting talented players, so recruited seven African American players, and thus set himself up for a run at the national championship.  The were undefeated, except for the last game of the regular season.  At that time Texas Western was independent, and had to be invited to the NCAA.  They beat Kansas in the regional championship in double overtime.  Th overcame Utah in the semifinal, setting up the championship game against Kentucky, an all white team.  When Haskins started five black players in the championship game, it was the first time an all black starting line up played in a championship game.  In fact he played all black players in the final, and the proved victorious.  This story is about overcoming odds.  The odds against Texas Western included their lack of experience in pressure games, lack of experience in playing disciplined ball, but also overcoming race issues.  In the championship game they were the more disciplined and the more talented team.  I watched the movie Glory Road, but it is the after movie interviews which were significant.  There are shots of talking to Pat Riley (player for Kentucky), Don Haskins, and many of the players for Texas Western.  This is an important story in our history.

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