WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) have joined their colleagues from Illinois to introduce a resolution that, in part, honors the 1963 Mississippi State University men’s basketball team for its actions to break down racial barriers.
The resolution honors the Loyola University Chicago men’s basketball team’s 1963 national championship and 2013 induction into the National College Basketball Hall of Fame. It also addresses the MSU team’s decision to play a racially-integrated Loyola team. The MSU-Loyola match up has been recalled as the “Game of Change” for its significance as part of civil rights history.
“The Mississippi State and Loyola teams, along with their coaches and school administrators, led with courage, sportsmanship and a love of the game of basketball. That contest a half century ago undoubtedly helped to move Mississippi and our nation forward in addressing the inequalities of our society,” Cochran said.
“Sports have always played an important role in breaking down barriers – from Jesse Owens to Jackie Robinson to Billie Jean King,” Wicker said. “The ‘Game of Change’ should be included in that list of seminal moments in American history. The matchup between Mississippi State and Loyola was a critical step toward erasing the racial divide. The courage of these young men and their coaches deserves to be honored.”
S.Res.194, introduced by Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), states that the U.S. Senate “honors the 1963 Mississippi State University men’s basketball team for their bravery and sportsmanship in rejecting racism and aiding in the civil rights movement in the State of Mississippi and the southeastern United States.”
In addition to the Mississippi Senators, the resolution was also cosponsored by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)