Lakeshore News Tonight

Lakeshore Classic Brings Dr. Barnett Back to Gary, 1955

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November 27, 2013 — This week’s CN Lakeshore Classic high school basketball game for Gary’s Roosevelt and Indianapolis’ Crispus Attucks teams pays tribute to a legendary Indiana high school championship with social implications that linger today.

Indiana was a central focus point of high school basketball in the sporting world, and it’s 1955 tournament featured Indiana’s first high school championship game played by two all-Black teams.  Each team also included future professional players, Dick Barnett of Roosevelt and Oscar Robertson of Attucks.

Dr. Barnett joined Renetta DuBose on “Lakeshore News Tonight” to talk about his experience at that game, calling Robertson the best player against whom he played.

Barnett is an educator with an earned doctoral degree, who says he became serious about education at Madison Square Garden, where his jersey number is retired by the National Basketball Association’s New York Knicks, for whom he played.

Barnett says he played the 1955 Indiana championship game, which Attucks won, for fun of the game as a youth, without realizing its impact then as a social, racial, even economic statement.

He says “dreams have been my guiding light ever since I left Gary, Indiana,” where he spent time at the Friendship House in Gary tossing a ping-pong ball into a tin cup that began his skill for basketball that took him to a state title game, a professional athletics career, a doctorate, and around the world before returning to Gary this week for the Lakeshore Classic.

Lakeshore Classic events include:

Friday, November 29, 2013

12:00 p.m. (noon)(CST) CN Lakeshore Classic Corporate Luncheon-

Speakers, Oscar Robertson and Dr. Dick Barnett. $50.00 per person

6:00 p.m. (CST) Reunion Reception and Roundtable featuring players from 1955

Saturday, November 30, 2013

1:00p.m. College Basketball Indiana University Northwest vs. Holy Angels College (South Bend)

4:00 p.m. Tribute to the pioneers of 1955.

6:00 p.m. Indianapolis Crispus Attucks vs. Gary Roosevelt

8:00 p.m. Gary West vs. Indianapolis Shortridge

Tickets can be purchased at the following locations:

Gary Chamber of Commerce

Gary Genesis Center

For more Information contact Jan  Bowden – (219) 885-7412

 

Dick Barnett played nine seasons for the Knicks, earning two NBA championship titles, after playing his rookie season in the American Basketball Association for the Cleveland Pipers owned by George Steinbrenner.  ESPN lists the left-handed shooting guard Barnett among the ten greatest Knicks of all time.

Oscar “Big O” Robertson is listed among the 50 greatest players in NBA history, after playing as an Olympic gold medalist in 1960.  He was the 1961 NBA rookie of the year, 12-time NBA all-star, NBA MVP, and he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with one NBA championship.

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