Sue McElligott

As Interviewed by Sofia Castano, March 24, 2019

Sue McElligott: In Her Own Words

Sue McElligott, a 73 year old woman, talks about diversity on her schoolís college basketball team in 1966.

When I was at Texas Western College, we had a white basketball coach by the name of Don Haskins. A lot of people called him the Bear, because he was kinda grumpy, but he was a fantastic basketball coach. In the year that our little team from our little known school had made it successfully to whatís called the NCAA basketball tournament. We advanced, and what was surprising to the nation was that this coach, Don Haskins, didnít recruit people on the basis of their skin color, but of their ability, and his leading team was all African-American. Wow. The starting members.

We went to the NCAA playoffs, and advanced, and advanced, and advanced, oh my goodness, to the end of the tournament. We were playing our final game against the University of Kentucky, which their starting lineup, they were all white, wow, and our starting lineup was all black.

Were there any members of white and black people on your opponents team? Or was it--?

No, they were all white.

Were there any white people on your team?

There were, there were some, but, they were good, but they werenít the starters. The starters were the most able, and in that team, it just happened to be all African-Americans.

And so we got a lot of, a lot of comments from a lot of people, and I still, we won the the NCAA tournament.

Thatís awesome!

We beat the University of Kentucky and there was a lot of write up about this little known school with all African-American starters, beat the all-white University of Kentucky. Iím telling you, University of Texas at that time, or was TWC, we were all so proud of them, and so our community was behind them all the way.