True Story Of Glory Road: Texas Western Shocks Kentucky In 1966

ByLavinia E. Smith

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The 1965-66 Texas Western Miners basketball group represented Texas Western Higher education, now identified as the College of Texas El Paso (UTEP).

The crew was coached by Hall of Famer Don Haskins. The Miners made record by successful the 1966 NCAA College Division Basketball Event, getting to be the initial staff with an all-Black starting lineup to earn an NCAA National Championship.

The Miners roster consisted of 7 African-People in america. The squad also experienced 4 Anglo-People in america (Jerry Armstrong, Louis Baudoin, Dick Meyers, and Togo Railey and one particular Mexican-American Dave Palacio).

On March 19, 1966, the Miners defeated the Kentucky Wildcats (72-65) at Cole Field House on the campus of Maryland College in School Park, MD. The Wildcats have been coached by the famous Adolph Rupp aka “The Baron Of Bluegrass” and led by All-American guards Pat Riley and Louie Dampier.

The victory, in accordance to sportswriters, analysts and prognosticators was a “watershed event” simply because it encouraged other predominantly white educational institutions to recruit African-American players, ending many years of shameful and evil segregation.

In 2006, the motion picture Glory Highway, depicting the importance of this match, was released. out?v=uEd69QSBI0s

Inaccuracies In The Movie “Glory Road”

As with most Hollywood sporting activities biopics, though based on real occasions, there are quite a few inaccuracies in the film. Don Haskins was not some rookie mentor as the film portrays, he was in his fifth calendar year at the school. They weren’t some unheard of crew that arrived out of nowhere, as Haskins had led them to two preceding NCAA Tournaments.

Haskins deserves plenty of credit history for how he recruited and utilized his Black players – specifically men like Bobby Joe Hill from Michigan, Harry Flourney from Gary, Indiana, Houston’s David Lattin and Willie Worsley, a 5-foot-6 phenomenon out of DeWitt Clinton Large Faculty in the Bronx, NY – but Texas Western had African-Us residents on the roster in advance of he even arrived on campus.

As a issue of reality, when Haskins was unloading the going truck into his El Paso residence just after having the work, 1 of the team’s players that he inherited, Nolan Richardson, who would go on to develop into a legendary national championship-winning coach at the University of Arkansas in the 1990s, showed up to welcome and support him get positioned.

The movie erroneously paints a picture of a group of new recruits that normally takes a although to gel all through that 1966 season. In actuality, the nucleus experienced been on campus for a while, winning 18 video games the year ahead of although qualifying for the NIT in 1965.

The aesthetics also fall brief for the reason that the Miners performed in entrance of sellout crowds in a university arena that held 1000’s of fans, not in some rinky-dinky large faculty fitness center with several men and women dotting the bleachers.

Technical and creative licensing issues apart, the movie is important since it exposes the story of the crew that endured racism and changed the facial area of school basketball to a wider viewers, having to pay homage to an accomplishment that would radically alter the facial area of NCAA hoops.

Kentucky was a prohibitive favorite in the 1966 national championship sport: think Sonny Liston versus Cassius Clay in Miami in 1964, Mike Tyson versus Buster Douglass in Tokyo in 1990 and 40th Avenue Black versus Bootney Farnsworth in Let us Do It Yet again.

The crew was finally inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame. On February 6, 2016, the now University Of Texas El Paso Miners held a reunion for the 1966 players at the Don Haskins Center.

This was a landmark night and despite the fact that the 1954 Brown vs Board of Training selection and Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed racial segregation in the community faculty system, it was nevertheless widespread to discover all-white college or university sports teams, specifically in the South.

Examine Additional: Linda Brown From Historic Brown v. Board Scenario Passes Absent

The gain accelerated the progression of Black athletes in the South as perfectly. All-white leagues like the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southwestern Meeting, and Southeastern Meeting grew to become integrated inside the upcoming two years.

When questioned about his conclusion to start 5 African-American players, “Haskins downplayed the significance saying the greatest players perform, and I just desired to get the activity.” Haskins was a humble and non-public person and coach who did his greatest to stay away from the spotlight. He did his ideal to normally reiterate that pores and skin coloration was never ever an situation when he set his Miners on the floor with the really favored Wildcats.

“Haskins states I was only taking part in the finest players I experienced. It was what I had performed all yr.”

Haskins went on to develop several additional winning teams and NBA stars just before retiring from UTEP in 1999.