Luis A. Saenz
1966 NCAA Championship
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Harry Flournoy played as a forward on the 1965-66 Texas Western Miners basketball team that won the 1966 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.
Summary of Interview
He was recruited by Coach Don Haskins from Indiana; his mother felt Coach Haskins would be a good mentor; he received good treatment from everyone in El Paso; he describes Coach Haskins practices as tough but stated that Haskins warned them in advance. Mr. Flournoy felt that at the time that the 1965-66 team was good and an improvement from the last year, but did not know whether they would make it to the NCAA Championship. He describes the poor treatment and racism he and other black players experienced from some of the crowds, as well as at restaurants and hotels, he states the team was used to it and focused on winning games. Flournoy recounts how tough competition was during the playoffs; he explains the excitement he experienced from playing and beating the University of Kentucky in the Championship game; he felt good after he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Notes how perception of black players in basketball changed after the allblack starting lineup beat Kentucky; he feels that it is unfortunate that some people don’t realize the struggle that black players from Texas Western and from Loyola University in Chicago experienced during the era that opened doors for black players later on. Gives credit to Coach Haskins and Henry “Moe” Iba for putting their careers on the line by starting black players in their games due to recognizing their ability; he is grateful to both men and the fans.
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Harry Flournoy by Luis A. Saenz, 2002, "Interview No. 1644," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.