The Loyola Ramblers Wonder Five: 1963 NCAA Mens Basketball Champions

Porter Moser
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terxirocrapen.cf/illegals-crisis.php And everyone's back from that team, including dynamic guards E. Matthews and Jared Terrell. Now, after four victories — three coming in the final seconds — the Ramblers are the talk of college basketball. They're just the fourth seed to reach the Final Four and they'd become the first to reach the national championship game if they were to knock off Michigan on Saturday.

A big believer in asking for advice, Loyola-Chicago coach Porter Moser is in the process of tapping into his friends and associates in search of a few Final Four hacks. Moser did not want to reveal during a teleconference Monday with reporters to whom he was turning for tips. He did mention one person he would have liked to have been able to connect with during the last phase of the Ramblers' improbable NCAA Tournament run.

Atlanta — Porter Moser stood in front of the scarf-clad Loyola cheering section, a bit dazed but beaming from ear to ear. Ben Richardson scored 23 points, and 11th-seeded Loyola romped to a victory over Kansas State on Saturday night, capping off a remarkable run through the bracket-busting South Regional. Are you kidding me!

Townes had the ball in front of the Loyola bench in the final seconds Thursday night and the shot clock about to expire. Sometimes, it's tough to remember Drew Valentine — one of the hot, young basketball coaches in the country — is only Two last-second shots — two prayers answered — vaulted the Ramblers to the Sweet 16 and placed them right in the national spotlight. Look around. You think this is good? Well, it's gonna get even better,'" guard Ben Richardson said. It took the Ramblers a long time, and last-moment shots in consecutive games, to go from what the coach termed a "grassroots rebuild" to the Sweet They believe.

He wanted his team to hear that anthem of the NCAA, to see what the payoff could be for their sweat, their aches, their pains. And he wanted his players to believe the idea of a tournament run was anything but madness. Whether they went to a fancy restaurant or a greasy spoon, it was always a local joint and never some middle-of-the-road national chain. There was no such thing as a quick bite, either, even if his boss insisted they were going for just that. He liked to talk ball. He liked to talk movies, politics.

But it was an event," Moser said. Porter Moser. Loyola-Chicago coach Porter Moser says he is staying April 16, Loyola-Chicago Last season: Nickname: Ramblers. Coach: Porter Moser. Conference: Missouri Valley. The Ramblers know what comes next: Everyone else's best shot. Sports brought that out. You realize that, My goodness, these guys are all right.

I would have thought that 90 to 95 percent of those students were racists.

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Had the story ended there for Harkness, his life would be full, and the invitations to banquets, Halls of Fame and the White House would still be pouring in. He was a two-time All-American and captain of a national championship team, enough to assure him of at least a footnote in the history of college basketball.

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Harkness was so involved in mainstream community activities and so popular with so many white people that some of the more radical members of the city's black community suspected him of being an FBI informant. They looked shaky at times in the second half, but No. He could have gone to St. A photo of the midcourt meeting between the two was displayed to the left of the casket. Harkness, still believing he had more to offer than he had shown with the Knicks, wrote a letter to Bob Collins, The Indianapolis Star's sports editor, inquiring about a tryout. Despite that prominent place in history, basketball success has been hard to come by in the ensuing decades.

But that was just the beginning. H arkness completed his college career on a puffy white cloud. He had been the captain of a team that won the NCAA championship with a dramatic overtime victory, and was voted a consensus first-team All-American after the season. The glow continued into the Spring. And then, on April 30, his hometown Knicks drafted him with the ninth overall selection — the first pick of the second round — in the NBA draft. It seemed a perfect fit. Harkness would be going home, playing in Madison Square Garden where he had led his high school team to the city championship five years earlier, and the Knicks would seemingly benefit from adding a local kid who had achieved national fame.

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It didn't work out. The Harkness had played small forward in college, but struggled to make the transition to guard in the NBA. He played in just five games, scoring 29 points, before he was released. The transition to a new position, the pressure to perform in his home city and already-aching knees had limited his production.

He had options, though, and assets: a college degree, All-American status and the solid reputation that goes with being a team captain. He landed a sales job with Quaker Oats in New York, then was transferred to Chicago, with a territory on the north side. Part of his role with the company was to run youth clinics as well, emphasizing physical fitness. He also was experiencing his own Robinson-like moment as the company's first black salesman, breaking more barriers. He was earmarked for promotion, and seemingly destined for a management position, and still was able to scratch his playing itch by playing semi-professional ball for a championship team in Benton Harbor, Mich.

He seemed settled into his new life with his wife and infant daughter when, three years later, he read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a new professional league.

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It would be called the American Basketball Association, it intended to compete against the NBA, and Indianapolis was one of the cities planning to start a franchise. Harkness, still believing he had more to offer than he had shown with the Knicks, wrote a letter to Bob Collins, The Indianapolis Star's sports editor, inquiring about a tryout. The letter was passed on to Pacers management. I don't ask for a contract or anything else.

All I want is a chance to try out. I'm willing to quit my job if you'll give me that chance. It was a huge risk on Harkness' part. What if he didn't make the team? What if the league didn't survive? Quaker Oats had warned him, telling him there was no guarantee of getting his old job back. The company had invested in him, put him on a track toward management — no small thing for a black man in But Harkness couldn't get basketball out of his mind. Robinson's words had convinced him to take the risk of going out for his high school team, and it had worked out beyond his expectations.

Why not try again? Harkness joined an open tryout the Pacers put on in June. Harkness was among those caught off-guard. He finished poorly in the sprints, and vomited. His name no longer carried weight, either. The first mention of him in the local newspapers came after one of the public scrimmages, when he had scored 10 points.

Still, the Pacers' first coach, Larry Staverman, saw enough to invite him back for the next phase of pre-season preparations in September. The front office arranged a summer job for Harkness with the Indianapolis Urban League, which allowed him to stay in the city and work out at the Downtown YMCA to get in shape while his family stayed behind in Chicago. He ran, he swam, and he played pickup games. When training camp opened at St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, he was winning sprints and playing much better.

He wound up the team's fourth-leading scorer in six exhibition games, averaging When he was told he had made the team, he walked into the tiny, dingy locker room at St. Mike Storen, the Pacers' first general manager, wasn't aware of the risk Harkness had taken to try out for the team, and doesn't recall the discussion that led to keeping Harkness on the roster. But he does remember the intangible qualities Harkness brought to the team. It was clear he had a great head on his shoulders.

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Those were contributions that he would make to a team environment in addition to his basketball skills. Harkness' brief career with the Pacers isn't remembered for intangibles, though. It's remembered for a fateful fling in Dallas that won a game and vaulted him into history. It came in the Pacers' 15 th game, on Nov. John Beasley had scored on a short jump shot with one second left to give the Chaparrals a two-point lead and seemingly securing the outcome.

But Oliver Darden flipped a short inbounds pass to Harkness, who heaved a high-arcing left-handed hook toward the opposite basket. It was one of those moments when life seemed to shift into slow motion. As the ball sailed through the air, the Dallas players were still celebrating Beasley's shot and echoes from the cheers of the intimate gathering of fans could still be heard. The final buzzer sounded, too, and then the ball miraculously smacked the backboard and dropped through the basket. The immediate reaction among the Pacers was that Harkness had tied the game and forced overtime.

The ABA had installed a three-point shot, but this wasn't a jump shot taken from behind the three-point line.

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This was a lucky heave. But it counted just the same, and gave the Pacers a victory. It was first recorded as a foot shot because it was taken just a couple of feet inbounds on a foot court, but it was later realized the rim stands four feet inbounds, so it was adjusted to 88 feet.

1963 Loyola Ramblers

It stood as the longest shot in the history of professional basketball until Baron Davis hit what was reported to be an footer at the third-quarter buzzer in But that shot didn't win a game. I didn't aim it or anything. I knew I could get one shot off, though, so I let it fly. There's no video record of the shot. The game was not televised, and television stations in those days didn't shoot highlights at games.

Loyola of Chicago joining Missouri Valley

The attendance was listed at 2,, but Storen, who attended the game, estimates fewer than a thousand were on hand. I remember sitting in different locations around the arena and hearing our radio announcer Jerry Baker call the game. It was very depressing. It turned out to be the highlight of Harkness' professional career, and his only three-pointer in five attempts.

Two nights later, the Pacers played Oakland at the Coliseum. Before the game, a member of the United State Marine Corps color guard pinned a sharpshooting medal on Harkness' jersey in a pre-game ceremony before the Pacers' smallest crowd of the season to date, 5, Harkness scored eight points in a victory that improved their record to That turned out to be the high point of the season, however. They finished as the rest of the league — which hadn't been as well-organized or conditioned before the season began — caught up, and they were swept by eventual champion Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs.

The following season started well for Harkness. Although still a reserve to start the season, he was voted a co-captain along with newly acquired center Mel Daniels by his teammates. But nobody has more heart. He is probably the Pacers' best defensive guard and his savvy makes him surprisingly effective offensively. He eventually was moved into the starting lineup, and scored 16 in a loss at Oakland that dropped the record to Staverman was fired the morning of the next game in Los Angeles, coached it anyway, and got a win as a parting gift.

When Leonard took over upon the team's return home from the three-game road trip, Harkness remained a starter. He scored 11 points in Leonard's debut, a loss at Minnesota on Nov. When he tried to fake Chico Vaughn, he felt a sharp pain in his back. He also got caught from behind on a fastbreak, something that had never happened before.

He stayed in the game, but couldn't move well enough to contribute. The body that had carried him through all those distance runs in high school and all those games on the asphalt courts of New York City was breaking down. His knees hadn't been good when he first made the Pacers' roster as a year-old, and his efforts to baby them had put too much strain on his back. He returned home after the game at Minnesota to try to rehabilitate his injuries while the team carried on with the remainder of its seven-game road trip.

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The Loyola Ramblers' Wonder Five: NCAA Men's Basketball Champions eBook: Dick Triptow, Frank Hoffmann, Joe Meehan: usowujeq.gq: Kindle. Ramblers: Loyola Chicago The Team that Changed the Color of College The Loyola Ramblers' Wonder Five: NCAA Men's Basketball Champions.

He rejoined them for a home game against Dallas on Nov. Finally, on Dec. The roster limit for ABA teams that year was 12, but they could only take 10 on the road to keep expenses down. Harkness could have been kept for home games, at least, and given time to try to recover, but to his surprise he was cut loose. Years later, however, he recognized it had been a blessing he got out before doing further damage to his body.

Harkness stayed on with the Pacers' front office the rest of that season, working as a college scout and an analyst on some television broadcasts. A year later, in , Storen took over as general manager of the Kentucky Colonels and offered Harkness a front office position there. He turned it down, preferring to stay in Indianapolis.

He had more worlds to conquer. He became the city's first black professional fund-raiser, working for the United Way. He was a co-founder of Black Expo. He became the state's first black television sportscaster for the local ABC affiliate. He gave morning reports on radio station WTLC. He multi-tasked like a mad man for a while, going to the radio station early in the morning, working for United Way during the day and handling weekend sportscasts on Channel He admits he wasn't a natural for television.

He only did it to break down another social barrier and perhaps open an opportunity for someone else - and, admittedly, recapture a few rays of the limelight basketball had once provided. I was scared to death. Being the first black hire really played a part in it. I was willing to try anything like that. But the pressure of being the first black and wanting to do so much, I started to feel the way Jackie felt.

Harkness was so involved in mainstream community activities and so popular with so many white people that some of the more radical members of the city's black community suspected him of being an FBI informant. He gradually gained widespread acceptance, and never backed off his community involvement. He has coached or mentored countless city kids over the years with various organizations, far out of the spotlight.

He can't help but wonder what would have become of him if not for those few, simple syllables Jackie Robinson had directed his way in the summer of ' I thought that was great. One of those opportunities came from his friendship with Gold, the Mississippi State captain whose handshake with Harkness had set flash bulbs popping on that historic day in East Lansing. The Loyola and Mississippi State players, and their wives, became friends after reunions brought them together. Harkness attended Gold's funeral service in Kentucky in He was the only black person in attendance, but embraces ensued and tears flowed.

A photo of the midcourt meeting between the two was displayed to the left of the casket. Nothing could have crystallized the ultimate meaning of that historic tournament game in better than that private moment in the funeral parlor.