Ref Reminisces about the Glory Days

1 decade 1 year 10 months ago Thursday, January 26 2006 Jan 26, 2006 Thursday, January 26, 2006 11:36:57 PM CST January 26, 2006 in Sports
loading

There was a racial divide in college basketball that reached a peak in the 1966 Championship. Texas Western and its five black starters beat Kentucky and its all-white team.

Black and white are also the colors Thornton Jenkins wore during the game, he was one of the referees. Jenkins played basketball for Mizzou in the 1940s, was an assistant coach, and started officiating college hoops in the 1950s.

"Once you start officiating and get a reputation, you can go anywhere you want," he explained.

Reputation took Jenkins all the way to the 1966 Championship between powerhouse Kentucky and a team from Texas Western--the first to start all black players.

"A lot of talk about Texas Western because of there makeup," he said. "Further south, there weren't any black players in those days, some north, but none south."

Kentucky only had white players, and in Maryland's Cole Fieldhouse, just about the entire crowd put its support behind the boys in blue.

"You heard a few slurred remarks in the crowd. You can imagine what they were when everyone in Kentucky is white and all these kids were black," Jenkins said. "They didn't have a chance to make many remarks because Texas Western got out in front and stayed there."

Jenkins says all of the hatred stayed in the stands.

"We never had any trouble with anybody, players, anyone."

Now the movie Glory Road is coming out about the 1966 championship. And Jenkins can't wait to see if it follows history.

"How surprised everybody was. The press, the fans, almost everybody."

Jenkins says it took time for the game to go from black and white, to color.

"They didn't make much of the game at the time. After it was over is when the thing began to snowball, and when we got to saying that was some kinda game. Make a lot of history."

Jenkins went on to referee one more championship game in 1968, and retired three years later. He says he wanted to quit on top. That Texas Western team also beat Kansas in the 1966 NCAA Tournament.

MU's first black basketball player was Al Abram in 1956.

More News

Grid
List
NEW BLOOMFIELD - A two-vehicle car wreck Saturday left one dead and two others injured, according to the Missouri State... More >>
34 minutes ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A six-year-old held a hot chocolate stand Saturday outside of a Hy-Vee in Jefferson City to help two... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Wyss Medical Foundation donated $2 million to the Missouri Orthapaedic Institute for the work of lead orthopaedic... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- On Friday, the Columbia Police Department inducted eight new recruits, the largest class of officers in years. The... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:03:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JACKSONVILLE - An estimated 400 people attended a wreath laying ceremony Saturday at the Jacksonville State Veterans Cemetery. It... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduation day is long awaited by many and Amy Kiso Bledsoe is no exception. Bledsoe was... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri struggles with the epidemic of opioid abuse, no place in the state has been... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:10:14 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A furnace malfunction caused a fire in a trailer home on Pratherville Road Saturday morning. Gale... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:05:48 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — People returning to Kansas City after being released from prison will get a 90-day supply... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:25:12 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Firefighters responded to a shed fire off of Highway 40 near Rocheport Saturday morning. Boone County... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:04:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the University of Missouri-Kansas City say students will soon have access to state-of-the-art... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:16:45 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Cat cafes have popped up across the world in cities including New York City, London and Tokyo, and... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:36:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some Jefferson City kids are getting the chance at a Merry Christmas this year with the help... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:00:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A commercial real estate records company based in suburban Kansas City has abruptly shut down, leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department say a house fire that killed a cat Friday afternoon started in the kitchen.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
9pm 48°
10pm 47°
11pm 44°
12am 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld