Noontime’s Black History Month: The 1966 Texas Western Miners

By Matt Noonan

The Texas Western Miners celebrate a 1966 NCAA Championship victory. (PHOTO COURTESY: University of Texas at El Paso Flowsheet student yearbook/blackpast.org)

Our Black History Month celebration on the men and women that have and continue to shape the world of sports returns – we’ll be posting a few times each week, including this evening where we are honoring the Texas Western Miners men’s basketball team, which captured 1966 NCAA D-I Championship.

The Miners were a team many of us learned about in the 2006 movie Glory Road – coach Don Haskins started five African American players, who led the squad to an exciting (and very impressive!) 72-65 victory over the University of Kentucky.

The Wildcats entered the final contest of the 1965-66 school year as the favorite.

Let’s learn a bit more about the Miners, who represented Texas Western College, which is now the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Getting to know the Texas Western Miners:

  • Coached by Don Haskins, who was inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame, led the Miners to their first and only championship with an upset win over Kentucky.

    Texas Western started five African American players against a Kentucky program that did not integrate until the 1970-71 season. Tom Payne became the first African American to compete for coach Adolph Rupp. Payne would play just one season for the Blue and White before turning pro one year later where he spent one season with the Atlanta Hawks.
  • Prior to their 1966 NCAA Championship, the Miners made back-to-back appearances in the national postseason in 1963 and 1964. In 1964, they advanced to the the Sweet Sixteen, but lost to Kansas State. They did win, however, the Regional third place game against Creighton.
  • The Miners posted a 28-1 record during the 1965-66 season. Their only loss occurred at the end of the regular season against Seattle.

    Following their end of season setback to the Red Hawks, Texas Western rattled off five-straight wins, including a pair of overtime victories against Cincinnati and Kansas. Their win over the Jayhawks – an 81-80 victory in double-overtime – secured Texas Western a spot in the national semifinals against Utah.
  • The 1965-66 Texas Western Miners squad featured seven African American student-athletes: Bobby Joe Hill, Orsten Artis, Willie Worsley, Willie Cager, Nevil Shed, Harry Flournoy, and David Lattin.
  • As many historians and sports writers noted, the Texas Western victory over Kentucky opened the door for even more African American student-athletes to play sports at the collegiate level, not just basketball, but also football, track, baseball, and others, according to Dan Wetzel.

Articles and Links on the 1966 Texas Western Miners:

On This Date In History: Thursday, April 16th, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to Thursday, everyone!

As usual, we hope everyone is doing well and staying safe – we know better days are ahead, of course.

Let’s kick-off a brand new day – well, more your mid-to-late morning (or afternoon) – with a new historical post.


On This Date in History: April 16th, 2020

  • 1987: Michael Jordan netted 61 points in a 117-114 setback to the Atlanta Hawks and became the first player in 24 seasons to score 3,000 points in a single-season since Wilt Chamberlain accomplished the feat.

    “I think it’s a great compliment to be mentioned in the same sentence as Wilt and a great achievement,” Jordan said, via the Los Angeles Times. “It caps off a great season for me.”

  • 1990: The Milwaukee Brewers pounded the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park by a score of 18-0. The game, which took place at 11:06 a.m. on Monday, April 16th, saw the visitors produce 18 runs on 20 hits while recording just one error. Boston registered just three hits in nine innings.
  • 1992: The New York Rangers concluded their 1991-92 regular season campaign with 50 wins, thanks to a commanding 7-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers would advance to the 1992 postseason, winning just one round – their opening series against the New Jersey Devils – before falling to the Penguins in six games in the semifinals.

    The 50 wins translated into 105 points, which was the most recorded by any team in both the Patrick Division and Wales Conference.

  • 1997: The Chicago Cubs lost their 12th consecutive contest, falling to the Colorado Rockies at home by a score of 4-0. Chicago would not register a win until Sunday, April 20th when they beat the New York Mets in the second game of a double-header. Chicago would conclude its 1997 campaign with a 68-94 record.
  • 2018: Yuki Kawauchi won the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:15.58 while Desiree Linden finished first in the women’s race with a time of 2:39.54.
  • 2019: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson becomes the highest-paid signal-caller, inking his name on a $140 million, four-year extension. The new deal, which runs through the 2023 season, includes a $65 million signing bonus, along with a no-trade clause and $107 million in guaranteed money.

Daily Noontime: Friday, March 27th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

We have officially reached our favorite day of the week: Friday!

As usual, we hope everyone is doing well, staying safe, and thinking optimistically. I know I may sound like a broken record, but we will get through this and come back stronger than ever – I believe it!

Let’s cap another crazy week with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – again, be well, stay safe, and have a nice weekend, everyone.


Noontime’s Headlines for Friday, March 27th, 2020 

  • Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of the Major League Baseball season But due to no games being played by the coronavirus (COVID-19), NBC Sports did a simulation of the 2020 season on “MLB The Show 20” video game, which saw the Boston Red Sox finish their campaign with just 79 wins.
  • If there is no baseball this season due to the coronavirus, then Mookie Betts will be a free agent, not a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Additionally, the Sox would lose a few members of this year’s team, including Jackie Bradley Jr., Kevin Pillar, and Collin McHugh to free agency.
  • In honor of Opening Day – again, yesterday! – ESPN posted its power rankings, which found the Red Sox ranked 19th out of 30 teams. That is not good!
  • Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge seems to be staying busy during this unusual time, but also admitted in an interview with the Boston Herald that he doesn’t “feel really scared” about the coronavirus.
  • Besides answering who will play quarterback this season for the New England Patriots, the team seems to have additional question marks surrounding multiple positions on both sides of the ball.

On This Date in History

  • 1942: Joe Louis KOs Abe Simon and wins the heavyweight boxing title.
  • 1962: Jacques Plante ties the record for winning his sixth NHL Vezina trophy.
  • 1977: Chris Evert won her fourth and final WTA Tour Championship by a score of 2-6, 6-1, 6-1, against England’s Sue Baker. The tennis match was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
  • 1995: Forrest Gump was named the Best Picture at the 67th Academy Awards.
  • 1998: The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks competed in front of 62,046 fans at the Georgia Dome, which was the largest crowd in NBA history. The Bulls won the game, by the way.

Daily Noontime: Friday, February 7th, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Friday, everyone – we made it to the end of the work week!

Sure, it is cloudy outside our window, but luckily the snow (and slush) has disappeared. It’s going to be a rainy morning before it gets quite chilly this weekend, but next week should be a bit warmer – something to think about.

Anywho, have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and enjoy time with family and friends!


The Boston Sports Scoreboard

  • The Boston Bruins will enjoy another off day before hosting the Phoenix Coyotes tomorrow afternoon at the TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m.
  • The Boston Celtics return to the hardwood this evening to host the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m. Boston will not feature any new players in their line-up as they did not make a trade yesterday at the NBA Trade Deadline.

The Noontime Headlines (and Links)

  • Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said they could not find a trade yesterday prior to the deadline. (Boston Globe)
  • A “We want Tacko!” chant broke out last week when the Celtics were playing the Golden State Warriors(Boston.com)

  • The XFL begins this weekend and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones is the face of the league. (ESPN.com)

  • The XFL hopes to capture the attention of football fans during the end of winter and early spring. (NPR.org)

  • Jake DeBrusk apparently trolled Charlie McAvoy after he scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday. (NESN.com)
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred gave a hint about how the league will discipline the Boston Red Sox for sign-stealing. (NBC Sports)

VIDEO OF THE DAY: We didn’t share any links about Tom Brady and where he will be playing next season – the mystery continues – but apparently Colin Cowherd seems to know where the six-time Super Bowl champion will be playing next fall. 

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Hello, Tuesday – how are you?

It’s rather cloudy (and overcast) outside our window this morning. Will the sun come out today?

While we anxiously await for the sun to come out, let’s dish out a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – have a wonderful day, everyone!


The Boston Sports Scoreboard 

  • The Boston Celtics continued their winning ways last night by defeating the Atlanta Hawks, 123-115Jayson Tatum recorded 28 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in the win, while Gordon Hayward finished with 24 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
  • The Boston Bruins will look to continue their second-half momentum this evening when they host the Vancouver Canucks at 7 p.m. Boston has won back-to-back games since the NHL All-Star Break – they have outscored their last two foes, 8-2.
  • Boston University and Northeastern University each won their respective opening round Beanpot Tournament games – the two teams will meet next Monday (Feb. 10th) in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Boston College and Harvard University will skate in the consolation game next Monday, as well, at 4:30 p.m.

The Noontime Headlines (and Links)

  • Apparently, Tom Brady to the Tennessee Titans rumors has been “debunked.”  (ProFootballTalk.com)

  • The Boston University men’s ice hockey team stunned the Eagles of Boston College last night in the second game of the 68th Beanpot Tournament. (BU.edu)

  • Brendan van Riemsdyk netted the clincher yesterday against Harvard University, which secured Northeastern University a spot in next Monday’s championship. (USCHO.com)

  • The Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade could include some snow, so make sure to bundle up if you plan to attend! (KansasCity.com)

  • Could Tom Brady become the new owner of the Miami Dolphins(ProFootballTalk.com)

  • Los Angeles Times columnist believes the Los Angeles Dodgers should acquire Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox. (LATimes.com)

VIDEO OF THE DAY: This Super Bowl commercial makes us laugh, but also smile at the same time. And it also makes us want to dance, too!