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Coach Haskins on the Bench
*On this date, in 1966, Texas Western University made history in the NCAA division one basketball tournament.
Coached by Don Haskins, with a team that started five Black players, defeated the University of Kentucky coached by Adolph Rupp for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball Championship. the starting five for the Texas Western "Miners" included Bobby Joe Hill, Willie Worsley, David Lattin, Orsten Artis, and Harry Flournoy.
Previously, an all-Black team had never played an all-white team in a NCAA title game. The game began with a message. Informed by Haskins that Rupp had vowed five Blacks would never beat his team, Texas Western center David Lattin had a point to prove.
On the Miners' second possession, he took a pass from Bobby Joe Hill and, as Haskins had suggested, slammed a forceful dunk over Kentucky's Riley. "(Lattin) said, 'Take that you white honky,'" recalled UK's Pat Riley. "It was a violent game. I don't mean there were any fights but they were desperate and they were committed and they were more motivated than we were."
The Miners nursed the lead, pulling ahead to stay when Hill converted consecutive steals from Kentucky's guards. Those two layups gave the Miners a 16-11 advantage. They never trailed again.
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