Friday, April 12, 2024

HBCU Basketball Team Gets White House Visit Decades After Winning Championship

An HBCU basketball team finally got to visit the White House after winning the national championship over 60 years ago.

According to Vice President Kamala Harris, Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University men's basketball made history in 1957 when they became the first HBCU team to win a national championship. The Tennessee A&I Tigers would go on to also become the first college team to win three back-to-back national titles, Harris said.

Surviving members of the team — Dick Barnett, George Finley, Ernest Jones, Henry Carlton, Robert Clark, and Ron Hamilton — were invited to the White House for the first time to commemorate their historic achievement. On Friday (April 5), Harris hosted a private ceremony for the Tigers in the Roosevelt Room where she paid homage to the team's victories. The Tigers also received a tour around the White House and gifted Harris a custom jersey following the ceremony.

Vice President Kamala Harris releasedthe following statement on Threads:

The Tennessee A&I Tigers men’s basketball team broke barriers on the court while fighting injustice off it. In 1957, they became the first HBCU to win a national championship before becoming the first team to win three in a row. It was my honor to welcome them to the White House for the first time.


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