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Civil Rights Summit Shines Light on Strong's Historic Hire

Updated: Thursday, April 10 2014, 04:39 PM CDT

As a child growing up in the segregated south, Bill Russell's mother wanted him to play in the front yard in hopes of exposing him to ignorance and hate at an early age

"They will say things to you, good or bad," recalled Russell. "But it has nothing to do with you. It has to do with them and their perspective."

What started in Russell's front lawn very well may have changed the overall landscape of sports. 58 years after Russell was hired as the NBA's first black head coach, Charlie Strong tackled Texas history as he became UT's first African-American head coach in any sport.

"This is a historical day," Strong admitted when he was introduced on January 6. "It was a historical day when the president was named the President of the United States also. There is always going to be a first somewhere, so this had to be the first."
 
Manor high school head football coach Sadd Jackson wasn't sure he'd live long enough to see a black head coach at Texas and Texas A&M at the same time. But Jackson says he hopes the door has been opened thanks to an open mind and not strictly skin color; a sentiment Hall of Famer Jim Brown backs

"Coach Strong feels like he was the best man for the job at Texas and not because he's an African-American, but just because he's a good football coach," Jackson said.

"Those who chose your coach and chose him for the right reasons did not choose him because he is black," Brown proclaimed. "And if you did, you did the wrong thing."

Those lessons Bill Russell learned on his front lawn and he shared just across this LBJ lawn Wednesday, prove that when it comes to opening a closed mind about civil rights: the grass is always greener on the other side.

by Adam Winkler

Civil Rights Summit Shines Light on Strong's Historic Hire


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Scores & Schedules

January 31, 2015 08:09 GMT

Latest Scores; upcoming games

NBA

Friday's Games

Philadelphia 103, Minnesota 94

Atlanta 105, Portland 99

Houston 93, Boston 87

Toronto 127, Brooklyn 122, OT

Cleveland 101, Sacramento 90

New Orleans 108, L.A. Clippers 103

Dallas 93, Miami 72

Utah 110, Golden State 100

Phoenix 99, Chicago 93

Saturday's Games

Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Sacramento at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Houston at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Cleveland at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Portland at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Denver, 9 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 9 p.m.

Phoenix at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Game

( 6) Arizona 57, Oregon State 34

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky vs. Alabama, 7 p.m.

( 2) Virginia vs. ( 4) Duke, 7 p.m.

( 3) Gonzaga vs. Memphis, 10 p.m.

( 5) Wisconsin at Iowa, Noon

( 7) Villanova at DePaul, 2 p.m.

( 8) Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, Noon

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(10) Louisville vs. (13) North Carolina, 7 p.m.

(12) Wichita State at (18) Northern Iowa, 4 p.m.

(14) VCU vs. Richmond, 2 p.m.

(15) Iowa State vs. TCU, 2 p.m.

(17) West Virginia vs. Texas Tech, Noon

(19) Texas at (20) Baylor, 6 p.m.

(21) Georgetown at Creighton, 2 p.m.

(22) Indiana vs. Rutgers, 3:15 p.m.

(24) Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, 8 p.m.

(25) Butler at Marquette, 2 p.m.

NHL

Friday's Games

St. Louis 3, Carolina 2, SO

Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1, OT

Colorado 3, Nashville 0

Vancouver 5, Buffalo 2

Chicago 4, Anaheim 1

Saturday's Games

Washington at Montreal, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Detroit, 2 p.m.

Arizona at Ottawa, 3 p.m.

Dallas at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

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Florida at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Los Angeles at Boston, 7 p.m.

Columbus at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Calgary, 10 p.m.

Chicago at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

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( 9) Florida St. 82, Georgia Tech 62

(11) Arizona St. 68, Colorado 60

(19) Princeton 96, Harvard 46

Saturday's Games

( 7) Oregon State vs. Southern Cal, 5:30 p.m.

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(19) Princeton at Dartmouth, 6 p.m.

(25) Chattanooga vs. Mercer, 3 p.m.

NFL

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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