Historic events in basketball UPDATE

Fifty years ago, 1963, the Loyola Ramblers won the NCAA basketball championship. A memorable team in more ways than one: the Ramblers, with four African-American starters, played the all-white team from Mississippi State, who fled the state and their governor, breaking the white-only rule of many Southern (and probably some Northern) teams. Loyola then went on to win the championship against Cincinnati. The civil rights movement was in high gear that year in Chicago as elsewhere (and Chicago needed it as much as any place). Today President Obama will meet with those team members and university officials to remember the great event. Here is the Chicago Tribune.

Also today, serendipitously, there is an obituary of one of the Missisipit State players who defied the govenor and played LU: "Leland Mitchell, Who Defied Racism on the Basketball Court, Dies at 72."

HT: Barry Hillenbrand

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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