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How a dedicated coach helped initiate integrated basketball
The University of Kansas's men's basketball team is one of the oldest and most successful in the history of college basketball; the very inventor of the sport, Dr. James Naismith, was KU's first coach. Its long and illustrious history began in 1898 and includes some of the biggest names in the game, from legends like Wilt Chamberlain to "secret weapons" like Andrea Hudy, the only female strength and conditioning coach in the division. Longtime Jayhawk enthusiast Kenn Johnson offers up a unique and in-depth look at the players, coaches and other personalities who helped make the University of Kansas basketball program the unparalleled tradition it is today.
Today, black players compose more than eighty percent of the National Basketball Association?s rosters, providing a strong and valued contribution to professional basketball. In the first half of the twentieth century, however, pro basketball was taintedøby racism, as gifted African Americans were denied the opportunity to display their talents. ø Through in-depth interviews with players, their families, coaches, teammates, and league officials, Ron Thomas tells the largely untold story of what basketball was really like for the first black NBA players, including recent Hall of Fame inductee Earl Lloyd, early superstars such as Maurice Stokes and Bill Russell, and the league?s first black coaches. They Cleared the Lane is both informative and entertaining, full of anecdotes and little-known history. Not all the stories have happy endings, but this unfortunate truth only emphasizes how much we have gained from the accomplishments of these pioneer athletes.
Introduction: A new game -- America goes to war, 1941-1942 -- The color line falls, 1942-1943 -- Wartime basketball, 1943-1944 -- The big man cometh, 1944-1945 -- Looking toward the future, 1945-1946 -- Epilogue: Basketball arrives
The storied history that is KU basketball is revealed in this compilation of the most critical moments and important facts about past and present players, coaches, and teams. Most Kansas basketball fans have attended games at Allen Fieldhouse, seen highlights of a young Paul Pierce, and remember watching the Jayhawks cut down the net in 2008. But only real fans know the origins of the Rock Chalk Jayhawk Chant, where the Jayhawks played prior to calling Allen Fieldhouse home, and can name the former Jayhawk who went on to earn the Republican nomination for president. Scattered throughout the pages are pep talks, records, and Jayhawks lore, including lyrics to “I’m a Jayhawk”; stories from Wilt Chamberlain’s years at Kansas; Phog Allen’s 39 seasons on the Kansas bench; Roy Williams’ memorable 15-year run, including three trips to the Final Four. Whether a die-hard fan from the days of Larry Brown or a new supporter of Bill Self and Mario Chalmers, readers will find that this book contains everything Jayhawks fans should know, see, and do in their lifetime.
Winner of the 2016 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing The true story of the game that never should have happened--and of a nation on the brink of monumental change In the fall of 1943, at the little-known North Carolina College for Negroes, Coach John McLendon was on the verge of changing basketball forever. A protégé of James Naismith, the game's inventor, McLendon taught his team to play the full-court press and run a fast break that no one could catch. His Eagles would become the highest-scoring college team in America--a basketball juggernaut that shattered its opponents by as many as sixty points per game. Yet his players faced danger whenever they traveled backcountry roads. Across town, at Duke University, the best basketball squad on campus wasn't the Blue Devils, but an all-white military team from the Duke medical school. Composed of former college stars from across the country, the team dismantled everyone they faced, including the Duke varsity. They were prepared to take on anyone--until an audacious invitation arrived, one that was years ahead of anything the South had ever seen before. What happened next wasn't on anyone's schedule. Based on years of research, The Secret Game is a story of courage and determination, and of an incredible, long-buried moment in the nation's sporting past. The riveting, true account of a remarkable season, it is the story of how a group of forgotten college basketball players, aided by a pair of refugees from Nazi Germany and a group of daring student activists, not only blazed a trail for a new kind of America, but helped create one of the most meaningful moments in basketball history.
This book examines the American Basketball League and its short history, beginning with its conception in 1959–60 and its two seasons of play, 1961–1963. The league was the first to use a trapezoidal, wider lane and a 30-second shot clock, as well as the 3–point shot. With a team in Hawaii, the league created an adjusted schedule to accommodate the outsize distance. Many players such as Connie Hawkins and Bill Bridges and coaches such as Jack McMahon and Bill Sharman later found their way to the NBA after the collapse of the league, but it took more than 15 years for wide acceptance of the 3-point shot. John McLendon and Ermer Robinson were the first two African American coaches in a major professional league as they both debuted in the ABL.

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