Essay on Don Haskings: A Basketball Coach with a Vision

688 Words 3 Pages
Don Haskins was the head basketball coach at Texas Western College from 1961 to 1999. Growing up in the 1940s, he had a love for basketball but he lacked raw talent. His friend, Herman Carr, who was black, was a better player and they had played many games together during the course of their primary school years. Haskins was always bothered by the fact that Herman had to drink out of the coloured fountain, and use different restrooms. He did not understand why he was being treated as inferior despite being a superior player. When they graduated high school, it disturbed Haskins to learn that Herman did not receive a scholarship to attend university, simply because he was black. This was a tragic realisation that would haunt Haskins …show more content…
He was obligated to play his best players during a championship, no matter the repercussions. Haskins himself received the most backlash after the game. He received over 40,000 hate letters for starting an all black team. The head coach of the Kentucky team started rumours that Haskins recruited some of his black players from the Tennessee State Prison, when in reality it was a college in Tennessee. Sports Illustrated reported that he took advantage of the black players on the team and accused him of using black basketball players who were not students. Before playing a game in Dallas, the team received death threats to their hotel rooms. Several black players and Haskins got calls saying that if they played they would get shot. Fortunately, the FBI was able to protect them from these threats and they played the game anyway. Even though the game had an abundance of negative backlash, it had an impact on the future of basketball. Black players were starting to get recognised as equally talented as the white players. Many colleges started offering scholarships to black players who were proven to have exceptional skills in the sport and it was becoming less uncommon for a team to start more than one or two black players. With the increase in collegiate level black basketball players, the professional league started recruiting more black players as well. People were starting to lose sight of the mentality that black

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