Willie Cager

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Willie Cager is an American basketball player who was a member of the 1966 Texas Western (now UTEP) college basketball team that won the 1966 National Championship. He was coached by the Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins.[1][2] Texas Western started an all-black starting lineup, against the all-white University of Kentucky.[3] In Texas Western's championship game victory, Cager had eight points and six rebounds.[4] The school's website describes him as "A skilled low post player" during his career.[4] Raised in New York City, Cager was nicknamed "Scoops".[5] He suffered from a heart murmur during the 1965–66 season; when he recovered enough to play, Texas Western was forced to use him sparingly, in four-minute shifts.[6] After playing at Texas Western, Cager was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in the 12th round of the 1968 NBA draft. However, partly due to his health, he never played as a professional.

Cager resides in El Paso, and has three children: a pair of sons and a daughter. In El Paso, he works for the Ysleta Independent School District's after school basketball program as a coordinator.[4][5] He has a charitable foundation, the Willie Cager Foundation, which aims to fund building construction in El Paso.[4]

Forty years after Texas Western's 1966 championship, the film Glory Road was released. Damaine Radcliff played Cager in the movie.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cummings, D. L. (1996-03-28). "Color Barrier Broken In 1966". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  2. ^ Norwood, Robyn (2008-09-08). "Coach helped integrate NCAA hoops". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  3. ^ Fitzpatrick, Frank. "Texas Western's 1966 title left lasting legacy". ESPN Classic. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Willie Cager". University of Texas at El Paso. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  5. ^ a b Leiber, Jill (2006-01-12). "'Glory Road' film sparks talk with real stars". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  6. ^ Kranhold, Kathryn; Helliker, Kevin (2006-07-25). "Cardiologist helps athletes get back in the game". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  7. ^ Biancolli, Amy (2006-02-02). "Well-worn inspirational tale still worth the trip". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-06-26.