Getting Open


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By Tom Graham and Rachel Graham Cody. Softbound

The Unknown Story of Bill Garrett and the Integration of College Basketball.

In 1947, the year Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball, Bill Garrett integrated big-time college basketball. Garrett was the best high school basketball player in Indiana that year, but no major university contacted him about a scholarship. Pressure from black leaders led Indiana University’s president Herman B. Wells to persuade coach Branch McCracken to give Garrett a chance despite a gentleman’s agreement barring black basketball players from the Big Ten. Garrett became the best player Indiana had ever had. Within a year of his graduationk, there were six black players on Big Ten basketball teams. The integration of college basketball had begun. This is the story of the people who helped move America toward getting open.