Push to Recognize ’57-’59 TSU Championship Teams

Push is On for Historic HBCU Teams, Coach Honor

Written by Roscoe Nance, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com Friday, 16 March 2012 04:21

Better late than never is Dr. Dick Barnett’s philosophy.

That’s why the former NBA star is spearheading a campaign to have the 1957-59 Tennessee State basketball teams of which he was a member and John McLendon, their coach, enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Tennessee State, which celebrates its centennial this year, stepped into history in 1957 when it won the NAIA Championship and became the first HBCU to win a national title. The Tigers made more history when they won crowns in 1958 and ’59 to become the first

college team to win three consecutive national championships.

A film documentary is also planned.


The campaign tips off during Tennessee State’s homecoming this fall, with an exhibit at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. The exhibit is billed as “a celebration in pictures, live words, print, video and actual observations of the historical feat of the first team in college basketball history to win three consecutive national championships.”

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