“Big O” Talks About Lakeshore Classic Tribute Weekend
November 30, 2013 — While Gary officials are set for a festive weekend with a basketball all-star, the Steel City is stealing the spotlight for a historic weekend.
Basketball and Black history were on the menu for the CN Lakeshore Classic corporate luncheon in Gary yesterday.
Local politicians and community leaders started the two-day event by honoring members of the 1955 Indiana high school state championship team from Indianapolis’ Crispus Attucks high school. Members from the all-black basketball team were a living reminder of history, including National Basketball Association Hall of Fame member Oscar “Big O” Robertson, “I think it means a lot for people to be able to talk about what happened many, many years ago, because, it’s been left out of our history.”
More than 3,000 people are expected to attend Lakeshore Classic events this weekend.
Gary Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chuck Hughes says the events provide a chance to advance the City’s culture and capital, “Just to get the city the opportunity to host these individuals, bring people into Gary, so they can see that, there are things to do here, and, that we can put on first-rate events.”
Robertson’s team beat Gary’s Roosevelt High School team led by future NBA player Dick Barnett in the state’s first all-black high school basketball championship game. Barnett won two NBA championships with the Knicks, who retired his jersey number.
Hughes knows all members of both 1955 high school teams are impact players, “These gentlemen who had attained national history, they were called by some people, the forgotten Hoosiers, and once the two-day activities are over, they will no longer be forgotten.”
The CN Lakeshore Classic events start today at 4 p.m. at the GenesisCenter with a tribute basketball game to the 1955 championship team. More information is available at www.garychamber.com.
By Hilary Powell