Dick Barnett whispers loudlyPublished 1 month ago Views (12) News
When you call his cell, or he calls you, the gravelly voice responds both as a statement and fact.
Dick Barnett – Dr. Dick Barnett – an owner of two championship rings with the Knicks and a Doctor of Education from Fordham University, is nothing but relentless when he wants to accomplish something worthwhile.
Now 85 years of age, Barnett is the focus of a decades long obsession to tell the story of the first college basketball team to win three consecutive national championships. And no, it’s not John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins.
It’s Barnett’s team.
His squad, the Tennessee A&I State College Tigers (now Tennessee State University), is one of the many Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) across this nation whose sports exploits have been forgotten.
During the 1957-59 three-peat, the Tigers went 99-10 with team captain Barnett winning back-to-back NAIA tournament MVP awards.
“They wouldn’t put us in the NCAA tournament,” recalls Barnett, a native of segregated Gary, Indiana. “We wanted to play Bill Russell (of San Francisco University). They wouldn’t even put us in the Garden for the NIT.”
TSU has had it’s share of name athletes like the NFL’s Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Richard...
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