Throughout Black History Month, the American-Statesman will take a daily look at the black athletes who have had a lasting impact in Texas’ athletic department. Today, we are writing about basketball player Jimmy Blacklock.
One year after Sam Bradley integrated UT’s basketball program, Texas signed Blacklock out of Tyler Junior College. Blacklock quickly became Texas’ first black star in basketball. As a junior during the 1970-71 season, Blacklock led Texas in scoring and was named the team’s MVP. The following season, he was a captain for a 19-win squad that won a share of the Southwest Conference’s championship.
In 2018, Blacklock told the American-Statesman that he had mixed feelings about his time at Texas. He dealt with racism on the road and felt isolated while on campus.
“I think had I been a player of a different race, (the experience) would have been beautiful, incredible, but I wasn’t,” Blacklock said. “I loved the ball-playing, I loved the education. Socially, it was a disaster.”
After earning a degree in business administration, Blacklock went onto play in over 2,500 games for the Harlem Globetrotters. He is now in his fifth year as a full-time coach for the Globetrotters. Inducted into UT’s Hall of Honor in 2016, Blacklock will he honored as a “Globetrotter Legend” when the team’s ongoing tour makes a stop at the Erwin Center on Feb. 28.
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