Jerry Harkness

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Jerry Harkness
Jerry Harkness 1963 basketball portrait.jpg
Harkness in the 1962–63 season
Personal information
Born (1940-05-07) May 7, 1940 (age 80)
Harlem, New York
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolDeWitt Clinton
(Bronx, New York)
CollegeLoyola (Illinois) (1960–1963)
NBA draft1963 / Round: 2 / Pick: 9th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career1963–1969
PositionPoint guard
Number21, 15
Career history
1963–1964New York Knicks
19671969Indiana Pacers
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA and ABA statistics
Points618 (7.2 ppg)
Rebounds233 (2.7 rpg)
Assists156 (1.8 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Jerald B. Harkness (born May 7, 1940) is an American former professional basketball player. He played for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Indiana Pacers of the American Basketball Association (ABA). Harkness attended Loyola of Chicago, where he was captain of the 1962–1963 team that won the 1963 NCAA Title. He is a civil rights activist.

Early life and career[edit]

Harkness was born in Harlem. Before playing in the professional leagues, the 6'3" Harkness was a star at DeWitt Clinton High School and Loyola University Chicago.[1]

Harkness angling for a lay-up against Mississippi State in the 1963 NCAA Tournament

At Loyola, he served as captain of the team that made a run through the 1963 NCAA Tournament to win the national championship. In the first round of the tournament, Loyola defeated Tennessee Tech by 111–42, which as of 2020 remains the largest margin of victory (69 points) in an NCAA Tournament game. In the second round, Loyola faced Mississippi State in a historic match now known as the Game of Change. Facing Loyola's lineup with four black starters, Mississippi State defied segregationists by participating, breaking an unwritten law against Mississippi teams competing against teams with black players. Harkness was enshrined in history as he shook hands Joe Dan Gold, the white captain of Mississippi State, prior to tip-off. In a 2013 interview, Harkness told NPR of the handshake: "The flashbulbs just went off unbelievably, and at that time, boy, I knew that this was more than just a game. This was history being made."[2] Loyola beat Mississippi State, then sailed past Illinois and Duke to reach the tournament final. Loyola then upset the Cincinnati Bearcats in overtime to win the 1963 NCAA Basketball Championship.[3] Harkness and the other four Loyola starters played the entire game, without substitution.

He then advanced to the pros after being drafted by the New York Knicks in the 2nd round (10th pick overall) of the 1963 NBA draft. Harkness played one season (1963–64) with the NBA's New York Knicks. He then played two seasons (1967–1969) with the ABA's Indiana Pacers.[4]

Though his professional career was relatively short, he left his mark in the record books on November 13, 1967, when he hit a 92-foot-long (28 m) game-winning buzzer beater to lead the Pacers past the Dallas Chaparrals. This is still the longest shot ever made in any American professional basketball game.[5]

Life after basketball[edit]

Harkness became the first African-American salesman for Quaker Oats.[6][7] In 1970, Harkness became the first African-American fundraiser in Indianapolis, working for the United Way of Greater Indianapolis. He was Indianapolis' first African-American sportscaster at WTHR (formerly WLWI) in the mid to late 1970s.[8]

He has also devoted much of his time to civil rights issues. He worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the early 1970s,[9] and he currently serves as executive director of the Indianapolis chapter of 100 Black Men, a national organization dedicated to supporting and training young African American males.[10]

Awards and honors[edit]

President Obama meets Harkness (second from left) and others from the 1963 Ramblers team in 2013.

On July 11, 2013, in the Oval Office of the White House, Harkness and former Loyola teammates John Egan, Les Hunter and Ron Miller met with President Barack Obama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the school's 1963 national championship.[11] To date it remains the only NCAA Division I basketball championship won by a university from the state of Illinois.[12] In September 2013, Harkness and the entire 1963 Loyola Ramblers NCAA Championship basketball team was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.[13] The 1963 Loyola Ramblers were inducted in the College Basketball Hall of Fame in November 2013.[14][15]

In June 2013, Harkness was awarded the Muhammad Ali Athlete Award.[16] He is a member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame[17] and the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jerry Harkness". Loyola University. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  2. ^ Corley, Cheryl (15 March 2013). "Game Of Change: Pivotal Matchup Helped End Segregated Hoops". NPR.org. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  3. ^ O'Neil, Dana (13 December 2012). "A game that should not be forgotten". ESPN.com. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Jerry Harkness". databaseBasketball. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  5. ^ Boys' Life Mar 1995. Boy Scouts of America, Inc. 1995. p. 13.
  6. ^ "Q & A WITH JERRY HARKNESS: 50 YEARS AFTER THE GAME OF CHANGE AND HIS TRIP TO THE WHITE HOUSE". Legends of Basketball. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Jerry Harkness plays game-changing role in basketball history (Part 2)". NBA.com. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  8. ^ "Black History Month: Hoosier history makers". Indy Star.com. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "Former Rambler Jerry Harkness to Speak at MLK Day Celebration". Loyola University. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Jerry Harkness". The History Makers. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Q & A WITH JERRY HARKNESS: 50 YEARS AFTER THE GAME OF CHANGE AND HIS TRIP TO THE WHITE HOUSE". Legends of Basketball. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  12. ^ "NCAA Champ Coach Rick Pitino Set for Hall of Fame Class of 2013 along with 1963 NCAA Champion Loyola Ramblers" (PDF). Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 30, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  13. ^ "NCAA Champ Coach Rick Pitino Set for Hall of Fame Class of 2013 along with 1963 NCAA Champion Loyola Ramblers" (PDF). Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 30, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "Loyola 1963 Men's Basketball NCAA Title Team To Enter The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame". Loyola University. Retrieved December 28, 2013., making it the first team inducted into the Hall of Fame.
  15. ^ "Loyola's 1963 Championship Basketball Team Inducted Into Hall Of Fame". CBS Chicago. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  16. ^ "Harkness To Receive Muhammad Ali Award At Giants Awards Dinner". Loyola University. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  17. ^ "A Hall of Fame night at the New York Athletic Club". New York Amsterdam News. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  18. ^ "Loyola 1963 Men's Basketball NCAA Title Team To Enter The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame". Loyola University. Retrieved December 28, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ramblers: Loyola Chicago 1963 – The Team That Changed the Color of College Basketball by Michael Lenehan, published by Agate Publishing, Feb 18, 2013.

External links[edit]