By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Hoop Legend, Civil Rights Pioneer
One of the winningiest coaches in the history of the sport, “Big House” was a walking encyclopedia of basketball knowledge and history. At one point during the tournament, Coach Gaines introduced me to a diminutive coach named John B. McLendon Jr.
I had always heard in passing of the man known as “Coach Mac”, but I never really knew of his accomplishments and his contributions to the game of basketball.
One of only 60 black students at the University of Kansas in the 1930s, McLendon studied under the legendary Dr. James Naismith, the father of basketball, and they became close friends.
Yes, the same man that would later become the owner of the New York Yankees.
With Black History Month coming to a close and the 2010 CIAA Tournament set to begin later this week, it’s important that “Coach Mack” and his contributions to the game not be forgotten.