October 19, 2012

Historic, Legendary 1961 Championship Basketball Team Honored

The only Louisiana men’s basketball team to win a national championship will be honored during weekend homecoming events

GRAMBLING, LA - Grambling State University’s historic, legendary 1961 championship basketball team will gather twice during this weekend’s homecoming activities as they receive long overdue recognition as they are presented with special championship rings.

During the university’s annual homecoming weekend, at least 13 members of the team that won the 1961 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Association (NAIA) basketball championship will attend special activities. The game took place at the Municipal Coliseum in Kansas City on March 18 that year. The Grambling Tigers played Georgetown’s Hoyas, winning 95-75. The 1961 Grambling State team is the only men’s team from any university in Louisiana to win a national basketball title.

The team will be recognized on Friday during a special reception at the Hobdy Assembly Center at 5 p.m. The invitation-only event is for members of the university’s Tiger Pride 250 Project, a group of donors providing financial support to promote and support Grambling State athletics. The team will receive championship rings during a ceremony at 1:45 p.m., just before the Tigers take on the University of Virginia-Lynchburg at 2 p.m.

Team members scheduled to attend events Friday and Saturday include Willis Reed, one of the top players of all time in NBA. Reed played center on the Tigers’ team, going on to become a two-time Most Valuable Player with the New York Knicks. He retired as the New Orleans Hornets’ vice president of operations after a career in NBA management. Other members attending include: Rex Tippitt, who works with the university’s intramural center; Charles Hardnett, a retired Atlanta recreation employee; Tommy Lee Bowens, a retired Mississippi state trooper and Herschel West, a retired math teacher. Also visiting Grambling will be Rufus Calhoun, Bobby Rick, Roosevelt Rankins, Robert Piper (represented by Arthur Hamlin) and Nanthalia McJamerson, a Grambling faculty member and family member representing Fred Hobdy, who coached the championship team.

For further information about becoming a member of the Tiger Pride 250 Project, contact Athletic Director Percy Caldwell at 318-274-4101 or caldwellp@gram.edu, or contact Assistant Athletic Director Aaron James at 318-274-2514 or jamesa@gram.edu. Write “Tiger Pride 250” in the subject line.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

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