Monday, September 10, 2007

Glory Road Leads To Springfield, Mass

I don't know how many of you went to see the movie, "Glory Road" last year, but for those of you who didn't, here is a brief run-down. It was the story of the 1966 Texas Western Miner Basketball Team that won the NCAA national basketball title. You might ask what was the big deal? Doesn't someone win this every year? What made this team so special? Well, this team started 5 black players in the NCAA finals game against an all white Duke team. Now teams had started one black man in the tournament before, occasionally a team would have 2 black starters, but this was the first team to start an entire black line-up. The movie goes into how coach Don Haskins recruited the team, the obstacles (racism) that had to be overcome and of course the games.
I was well aware of this team (Texas Western College is now the University of Texas at El Paso , or UTEP) but wasn't aware that after this color barrier breaking season, the team was not invited to the White House like all the other National Champions before and after them. The Movie brought this to light and it was rectified last year when President Bush invited them over for dinner.
If you have not seen the movie, I would suggest you rent it. It is full of laughs and tears and the movie actually makes you cheer during the basketball scenes. It won an ESPY last year for best sports movie.
Finally on Friday, the entire 1966 Texas Western Basketball Team was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Without this movie, I don't think that this would have happened to a very deserving squad of men. So thank you Disney for making this movie.

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Anonymous said...

On the radio

I was listening on the radio about the team inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame forty years later. About time.

Have a fine TEXAS evening.


In_spired said...

Loved this movie!!

I haven't been on the UTEP campus but understand there is a street by the name of Glory Road.

Thanks for the updated information about the induction into the BB Hall of Fame!

Paul Champagne said...

tlrb ... about time for the HOF, but a disgrace that this team wasn't invited to the White House till 40 years later. Kind of wierd that LBJ of "The Great Society" did not recognise this achievement by black athletes. Well that's the Democratic Party for you, words speak louder than actions.

inspired ... They renamed the street Glory Road in December of 2005 during a screening of the movie prior to the actual release.

soccer mom in denial said...

I haven't seen the movie but love the Hall of Fame. It is an honor they deserve.

Paul Champagne said...

soccermom ... One they deserve and one long overdue.