Ramblers: Loyola Chicago 1963 -- The Team that Changed the Color of College Basketball

Ramblers: Loyola Chicago 1963 -- The Team that Changed the Color of College Basketball

5.0 2
by Michael Lenehan
     
 

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Today basketball is played “above the rim” by athletes of all backgrounds and colors. But 50 years ago it was a floor-bound game, and the opportunities it offered for African-Americans were severely limited.

A key turning point was 1963, when the Loyola Ramblers of Chicago took the NCAA men’s basketball title from Cincinnati, the two-time

Overview

Today basketball is played “above the rim” by athletes of all backgrounds and colors. But 50 years ago it was a floor-bound game, and the opportunities it offered for African-Americans were severely limited.

A key turning point was 1963, when the Loyola Ramblers of Chicago took the NCAA men’s basketball title from Cincinnati, the two-time defending champions. It was one of Chicago’s most memorable sports victories, but Ramblers reveals it was also a game for the history books because of the transgressive lineups fielded by both teams.

Ramblers is an entertaining, detail-rich look back at the unlikely circumstances that led to Loyola’s historic championship and the stories of two Loyola opponents: Cincinnati and Mississippi State. Michael Lenehan’s narrative masterfully intertwines these stories in dramatic fashion, culminating with the tournament’s final game, a come-from-behind overtime upset that featured two buzzer-beating shots.

While on the surface this is a book about basketball, it goes deeper to illuminate how sport in America both typifies and drives change in the broader culture. The stark social realities of the times are brought vividly to life in Lenehan’s telling, illustrating the challenges faced in teams’ efforts simply to play their game against the worthiest opponents.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR MICHAEL LENEHAN'S RAMBLERS:

"The Loyola Ramblers have too often been forgotten for their role in basketball’s cultural history. They remain a significant, uplifting story." —Frank Deford

"Getting to know the stories behind the scores and the personalities off the court is what makes Ramblers much more than a conventional sports book. It makes it a classic.” —Chicago Tribune

"Ramblers is about much more than a particular game. It is about the second-class citizenship endured by black players...and it is about the determination of those who went about changing those conditions. Michael Lenehan recognizes the necessity of context...and fortunate for his readers that [he] has seen fit to remind us of this nation’s often disgraceful and sometimes encouraging history as it has been reflected in one of our most popular games." —Bill Littlefield, Only A Game, WBUR Boston

"Ramblers passionately evokes the beauty of a great game in a time of great change, and works as a metaphor for changes taking place across the nation as well.... A dynamic, emotional study of one college basketball team’s role in the Civil Rights movement.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“A riveting read of sports and its role in breaking the color barriers, Ramblers is a must for any history and sports collection focusing on Civil Rights and black history.” —Midwest Book Review

"Ramblers is a worthwhile read chronicling a memorable upset and, perhaps more importantly, a triumph of character over cowardice that had repercussions way beyond the basketball court." —Cincinnati Herald

"Author Michael Lenehan pulls together all the disparate threads that produced Loyola’s serendipitous championship run." —Associated Press

"Gripping and revealing." —Chicago Reader

"If you’re interested in the history of [Chicago], interested in the history of college basketball in the city, and racial history—in not just the city but the country—then you should check out [Ramblers].” —Laurence Holmes, WSCR-AM host and NBC5 Chicago anchor

"Lenehan’s success is in the telling of the greater history surrounding the Ramblers and their impact on sports during the height of the Civil Rights movement. The vivid description of the central figures is also endearing.... It’s [his] attention to context and nearly endless detail that make Ramblers worth reading." —Slam Online

“For sports fans, Lenehan’s book is a page-turner; for those interested in the pace of social progress, the book offers a perspective—that of the student athlete—integral to the Civil Rights movement but largely overlooked up to this point.” —Newcity

"...Ramblers is an easy, fascinating, and at times illuminating read for the avid fan. The less knowledgeable, who will find it valuable as a crucial chapter in the history of the struggle for civil rights, can also gain a beginner's appreciation of the game’s finer points. It tugs at the reader’s heartstrings while providing a clear-eyed look at the sometimes shameful, sometimes constructive role of sports in our society." —TriQuarterly

"Ramblers is the dramatic, deeply engrossing, and meticulously researched story behind the 1963 NCAA basketball tournament.... With the 50th anniversary of the Ramblers' championship victory just around the corner, this is an important story that needs to be told.” —ChicagoNow

"Excellent." —Joe Posnanski, NBC Sports

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572847217
Publisher:
Agate
Publication date:
02/18/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Lenehan is an award-winning journalist who was the longtime chief editorial executive of the Chicago Reader and a contributing editor of The Atlantic. He is a board member of the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies and the Medill School of Journalism's advisory board.

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Ramblers: Loyola-Chicago 1963 - The Team that Changed the Color of College Basketball 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dipped her head. Touched noses with Brokenpaw.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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