Skip to main content

A Life of Glory: One of Simplicity and Truth

Don Haskins.

38 Seasons with the University of Texas-El Paso.

719-353 record.

Seven Western Athletic Conference Titles.

1 National Title.

With all those accolades, many still know him as the coach from the Disney movie and his biography, Glory Road as well as his famous decision to start five blacks against Kentucky University in the 1966 NCAA Championship game. The title, very fitting for the biography and movie, as Don Haskins led a life of glory: One of simplicity and truth.

Haskins was a man of respect, honor, and integrity as he represented and expected the same qualities in and from others that he held for himself. He did so without discrimination of gender, color, race, creed, nationality or anything else society attempts to divide itself with.

In a time when discrimination and segregation was as thick as the Texas heat he enjoyed, Haskins turned a small school in south Texas into an NCAA powerhouse through hard work, sacrifice, and what was then considered, controversial recruiting - recruiting blacks.

In a time when such an act was considered unthinkable, Haskins recruited all over the United States, and used his pipelines for many inner city talent to fill out his roster. In his biography, Haskins stated that was not trying to make a political or social statement, but was "just looking for the best basketball players."

Haskins did the same whether he coached on the NCAA level, or in his earlier days coaching High School Girls basketball.

He treated everyone equally.

And that was his most impressive accolade of them all.

Haskins, like Jackie Robinson, was a true pioneer in intergrating the sport of basketball through his coaching and mentorship. Often, his work goes unnoticed because of the success of many athletes beyond his time. Nonetheless, Haskins never thought so. In fact, Haskins never liked to talk about himself, his accolades, or his place in history. That's just the type of man he was, which makes him more revered (Biography is highly recommended).

Despite his humiltiy, Haskins not only helped pave the way for a better game today, but helped blacks during the sixties (and all that came with that time) when hope was all there was. Haskins, like Robinson, went through the fire, receiving hate mail and death threats because of his beliefs and qualities. Despite the rough roads, Haskins stayed the course and opened doors for blacks to athletics and education.

All of it because he believed that people were just that - people. Nothing more, nothing less.

He simply treated everyone equally.

And because of that, Haskins paved a glorious road for an integrated sport- a better sport-and a better nation.

Don "The Bear" Haskins (1930 - 2008)

Recently Read Posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/19/22

3 Up 1. Father's Day and Juneteenth - A combined weekend of all-sort of celebrations, reflections, and appreciation. Sending gratitude and good vibes to all fathers, substitute fathers, step-in fathers, mentors, and figures who have helped shape the lives of many.  Also, take some time to reflect and think through the reflective day that is Juneteenth - new to so many - of the horrific start to our country's existence, and the freedom that came after a century of captivity.  2. Ashley Adirika - This is a dope story. It's the kind of story that is amazing and quite frankly, inspirational. Adirika, a Florida teen, graduates high school with offers from all Ivy schools and many more top institutions in the country. If that wasn't enough, Ashley also started her own non-profit organization to help mentorship for young women.  Unbelievably amazing.  3. Steph Curry - My dude was cooking! Steph continues to be one of my favorite athletes, and such a joy to watch. I was there

Dope Sports Threats - Nike City Connect Series (Milwaukee Brewers)

Before we dive into the Milwaukee Brewers Nike City Connect uniforms, I want to give some major props to the Brewers organization for handling the Lorenzo Cain situation . Allowing Cain to remain with the team long enough to reach the 10-year milestone, despite a subpar performance and every intention to designate him for assignment, is classy.  Of course, that 10 years (and 5 years with the same team) gives Cain added incentives to his pension as a Major League player. The Brewers didn't have to do that. Classy stuff.  As for these new threads, it's tough for Nike to surpass the aesthetics of the Brewers' current everyday design. The pinstripes, the combination of blue and yellow, the arc of the font across the chest - all of it just feels like the very best of old-school-baseball-in modern-age-aesthetics. And yes, there is the beautiful, amazing, fantastic logo that sits atop the hat is a baseball glove, wrapped with the secret message of "MB" (Milwaukee Br...yo

Grappling w/ School Safety Updates

I never once thought this would be a part of my experience as a parent. I've grappled with future conversations, thought about how I'll help my multi-racial son through the world that will surely be complex in how it views him, and yes, brace myself for those conversations - you know the ones. Those conversations that my parents had with me, a child of color, in disarming my presence in specific spaces.  Never did I expect to find myself grappling with the reality of the new topic for that awkward sit down to make the first imprint on life memories - son, here is what you need to do if there is a mass school shooting ... I have made no secret here on this site - my upbringing was not pure, was not clean. Not me per se, but I was certainly exposed to my fair share of violence, drugs, and various matters that desensitized and jaded how exposed my experiences really were. My academic environment - specifically high school - was a challenge. Underfunded, overcrowded, excessive v

Dear Son, First Swell of Pride

--- 3 Years, 9 Months --- Dear Son,  It's been a while since I've dropped a note to you - actually I haven't done so since your last birthday. The last nine months since then have been trying, tremendous, and of course, VERY interesting. We've been able to witness your personality come to be, your talents begin to blossom, and overall, you begin to establish yourself very early in this world.  After all, COVID continues and really has been a dominant presence in your life. While masks as of this writing are no longer required in school, over the past few months your mother and I have had you home again, a lot - much like the start of the pandemic - after variants of COVID closed your school repeatedly (and frequently), and for a brief moment had society on edge.  Regardless, we made it. And during those stints of 8 days, 10 days, or whatever the state mandate was at the time for the latest recent closure, I learned not how much you missed school, but truly, how much you