Integration of College Basketball
Black students had played basketball at historically African-American colleges since just after the sport’s inception in 1891, and at majority white northern universities shortly after that, but southern states continued to refuse black players the opportunity to play well into the 1960s. Southern teams were required to refuse to face off against northern teams with black players. In 1963, Mississippi State won their conference championships and ignored the warnings of segregationists, advancing to play in the NCAA championships against teams with black players. This act helped interracial sports competition become more widely accepted in the South. That same year, the University of Kentucky announced that its athletic programs would be open to students of any race. Desegregation spread slowly until, in 1966, a Texas Western all black starting squad defeated an all white squad. In the following nine years, southern basketball was almost entirely desegregated.