'Glory Road' comes to Fresno State

Fresno State

February 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
As part of African American History month a man who played a role in one of the biggest games in college basketball history stopped by Fresno State Friday night.

A scene re-enacted in the film Glory Road captured the moment the Texas Western College Basketball Team made history in 1966. The Miners broke racial barriers when they won the NCAA national title with the first all-black starting lineup.

Harry Flournoy talked about what it is like to be part of a groundbreaking team.

"It was one of the hardest movements I've felt to this point," former Texas Western player Harry Flournoy said.

Flournoy was just one of seven black players on the team who faced adversity as an athlete during a period when it was uncommon to see African Americans on the court. But through it all they succeeded. The team beat an all-white team from the University of Kentucky. And from that experience Flournoy's been able to inspire other students.

"I've had people who say it's inspired them to be the best they can be, that's what it's all about," Flournoy said.

Flournoy served as the team captain that year. He spoke to some of the Fresno State men's basketball team Friday night.

"Basketball is really simple. Two things you gotta have. Skill and will," Flournoy said.

The Bulldogs say the lessons they learned from meeting the legend are ones they'll keep with them as long as they play.

"It's one of those great experiences getting to meet someone who has been thru so much breaking down barriers so freshman like us can play," freshman point guard Emmanuel Owootoah said.

Flournoy also served up a little humble pie to the Bulldogs, sharing memories from that magical 1966 season, which also included a couple of games against Fresno State.

In addition to the visit from Flournoy students watched the Disney film "Glory Road". It was part of the Cineculture Class at Fresno State. Disney is the parent company of ABC30.


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