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    The Coach of the "Secret Game"

    Coach Clement
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:35 pm

    There was a movng documentary on TSN this afternoon. It was entitled "The Secret Game" The game was played on March 12, 1944 in Durham North Carolina between a team from the United Negro College and a group of white students from Duke University.

    At the time it was highly dangerous for the athletes involved. There was a second game played shortly afterwards where the teams split up and black and white players played together on the same teams. Both these events were earth-shattering at the time. It would be close to ten years until Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in baseball.

    If you have the chance to see it I would highly recommend watching it. We have come a long way since that time but sadly I sometimes realize that we still have a ways to go.

    Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia on a great coach and an even greater man.

    John B. McLendon, Jr. (April 15, 1915 October 8, 1999) was an American basketball coach. Born in Hiawatha, Kansas, McLendon was an all-around athlete who chose basketball as his favorite sport. He studied in the 1930s at the University of Kansas, where he learned the intricacies of basketball from the sport's inventor, Dr. James Naismith. He did not actually play college basketball, as the KU varsity team did not accept African Americans at the time, and would not suit up its first black player until 1951.

    He went onto to become a successful high school and college coach, at schools such as North Carolina College, the Hampton Institute, Tennessee State A&I University, Kentucky State College, and Cleveland State University. While at North Carolina College, McLendon participated in The Secret Game, the first collegiate basketball contest where blacks and whites competed on the same floor. He was a three-time winner of the NAIA Coach of the Year award, and won three consecutive NAIA championships at Tennessee State, making him the first college basketball coach ever to have won three consecutive national titles. When he was hired at Cleveland State in 1966, he became the first African American basketball coach ever at a predominantly white university.

    McLendon also coached professionally, when George Steinbrenner hired him to be the head coach for the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League. McLendon's hiring made history, as he became the first African-American head coach in professional sports. In his, and the Pipers, only season in the league, the team captured the league championship. McLendon left the team after Steinbrenner traded a key player in the middle of a game and told him to go suit up for the other team. McLendon later went on to coach the American Basketball Association's Denver Rockets.

    Notwithstanding McLendon's coaching legacy and its impact on the game of basketball, he was only inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a "contributor", not as a coach. He was, however, selected in 2007 for the second entering class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame for his coaching achievements. He was also inducted into the Cleveland State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007, where his wife Joanna accepted the award on his behalf.


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    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:23 pm

    One segment of the documentary described how as the only black Phys. Ed. student in Lawrence, Kansas an attendant drained the pool after McLendon swam in it.

    He went back the next day advising that they would be mounting up a huge water bill if they were to continue in the same manner.

    Its called courage of conviction.


    _________________
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    "Winners find a way; losers find an excuse."
    "A true teammate knows it's not about being better than one another, but making one another better."
    Follow me on twitter: @coachclement
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:41 pm

    I do not want to open old wounds but it was not too many years ago that in a city in Southern Ontario some of our Scarborough Blues teams encountered considerable discrmination.

    It was a big issue at the time!

    We are not above reproach!


    _________________
    "If you want to play then practice, if you want to win then practice harder."
    "Winners find a way; losers find an excuse."
    "A true teammate knows it's not about being better than one another, but making one another better."
    Follow me on twitter: @coachclement
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    Toronto
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    Post by Toronto on Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:36 pm

    wait if you don't mind my asking coach what happened to the scarborough team?
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:30 pm

    As I said I would rather not open old wounds but I will just say this that at Provincials a few seasons back there were some very discriminatory and rascist comments made to some of our younger Blues players in a Central Ontario city.

    These comments were made by adults and the kids they were targetting were very young.

    So these things can happen in Canada as well as south of the border.


    _________________
    "If you want to play then practice, if you want to win then practice harder."
    "Winners find a way; losers find an excuse."
    "A true teammate knows it's not about being better than one another, but making one another better."
    Follow me on twitter: @coachclement
    bruins
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    Post by bruins on Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:45 pm

    saw the show, times have changed
    but on to your scarborough blues, at times have acting in such a classless way..i remember and incident when their coach insited a near riot at humber campus after one of his goons got tossed and he demanded his money back.
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    rerun
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    Post by rerun on Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:30 pm

    I saw the show as well. That was truly an amazing. I caught the tail end of it so I still don't know how they got the DUKE team to agree to the game. I can't fathom the racial segregation of that time period.
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:38 am

    [quote="bruins"]saw the show, times have changed
    but on to your scarborough blues, at times have acting in such a classless way..i remember and incident when their coach insited a near riot at humber campus after one of his goons got tossed and he demanded his money back.[/quote]

    Then direct your comment at the particular coach and team involved.

    The Blues as an organization do an amazing job of reprsenting their community.

    I am proud to be affiliated with one of the most respected and most successful organizations in the country.


    _________________
    "If you want to play then practice, if you want to win then practice harder."
    "Winners find a way; losers find an excuse."
    "A true teammate knows it's not about being better than one another, but making one another better."
    Follow me on twitter: @coachclement
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:46 am

    [quote="rerun"]I saw the show as well. That was truly an amazing. I caught the tail end of it so I still don't know how they got the DUKE team to agree to the game. I can't fathom the racial segregation of that time period.[/quote]

    They were students from the Medical College at Duke. There was some enlightened members on the team particularly one from Montana (the player with the glasses).

    Both teams were undefeated so the game just sort of evolved.


    _________________
    "If you want to play then practice, if you want to win then practice harder."
    "Winners find a way; losers find an excuse."
    "A true teammate knows it's not about being better than one another, but making one another better."
    Follow me on twitter: @coachclement
    caddykid5
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    Post by caddykid5 on Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:05 pm

    I saw this!
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:04 pm

    What did you think?


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    "Winners find a way; losers find an excuse."
    "A true teammate knows it's not about being better than one another, but making one another better."
    Follow me on twitter: @coachclement
    caddykid5
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    Post by caddykid5 on Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:10 pm

    Well. I probably wouldnt have played in that game because i was scared for the players even though I know it happened a while ago!
    The players (black and white) were very brave too compete in a game like this.
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    Post by Coach Clement on Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:21 pm

    I respect you for that comment! You show understanding beyond your years.

    When I was a kid I played on an all-black team with one other white kid that was scary too!

    But we were a hell of a team!

    I saw discrimination against my teammates but you gotta play through! And we did!

    It shaped me as a coach. Very Happy


    _________________
    "If you want to play then practice, if you want to win then practice harder."
    "Winners find a way; losers find an excuse."
    "A true teammate knows it's not about being better than one another, but making one another better."
    Follow me on twitter: @coachclement
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    RealBall
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    Post by RealBall on Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:09 am

    Very interesting Coach.
    What team was it you played for, did you grow up in Toronto?
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    Post by Coach Clement on Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:18 am

    It was in Toronto and in the Dundas and Bathurst area. It was called St. Chris (short for St. Christopher House).


    _________________
    "If you want to play then practice, if you want to win then practice harder."
    "Winners find a way; losers find an excuse."
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    Chongo1993
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    Post by Chongo1993 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:44 am

    [quote="Coach Clement"]I do not want to open old wounds but it was not too many years ago that in a city in Southern Ontario some of our Scarborough Blues teams encountered considerable discrmination.

    It was a big issue at the time!

    We are not above reproach![/quote]

    Last year at the OBA's in Kingston I was called a "Honky" by a member of the Toronto Heat or Fire team (I cannot remember which one it was) in the third division. Embarassed So yes I would have to agree with you!
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    DaKidMusclez
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    Post by DaKidMusclez on Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:18 am

    It has changed but its still not at the level where you would like it to be.
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    we.not.me
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    Post by we.not.me on Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:04 pm

    this stuff still happens. just go up north in ontario. i did not go to ofsaa for basketball, but i went to ofsaa for soccer in timmins and wow, i knew racism still existed, but not like that.

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