Luis A. Saenz
1966 NCAA Championship
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Tyrone Bobby Joe Hill was a guard for the 1965-66 Texas Western Miners basketball team that won the 1966 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.
Summary of Interview
He was originally from Michigan but was playing at a junior college in Iowa where Don Haskins saw him play and recruited him; he was not familiar with the city or school, he was surprised by the size and warm weather; he mentions that Jim Barnes and Nolan Richardson showed him around town and people were friendly. He describes his initial impression of Don Haskins was that he was nice, but at practice found out that he was very disciplinarian; he mentions that he thought the 1965-66 team was good, but they had a quiet confidence; he addresses the story that Don Haskins was nervous during the championship game while he and other players were confident, he admits he was pretty confident and relaxed; he discusses highlights of the regular season. Mr. Hill recounts that he did not personally experience any racism but heard stories from the other black players; he talks about the playoffs and close calls during the games against strong teams; he covers controversy from Don Haskins’ all-black starting lineup against University of Kentucky during the NCAA Championship, he mentions that he didn’t notice the significance of that until after game from media coverage; he describes having to leave Texas Western College after the season to be with this ailing father in Detroit; he describes the warm reception they received in El Paso after returning from the championship game. Mr. Hill closes with how schools in the southeastern United States started recruiting black players after the success of the 1965-66 Texas Western Miners basketball team, making it possible for many black players to attend college and make it into the National Basketball Association.
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Interview with Tyrone Bobby Joe Hill by Luis A. Saenz, 2002, "Interview No. 1646," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.