Loyola Chicago basketball pioneer Jerry Harkness dies at 81

Sports

FILE – This is a Feb. 20, 1963, file photo showing Loyola University basketball player Jerry Harkness. Harkness, who led Loyola Chicago to a barrier-breaking national basketball championship and a was civil rights pioneer, has died. He was 81. The school announced Harkness passed away Tuesday morning, Aug. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Cannon, File)

Jerry Harkness, who led Loyola Chicago to a barrier-breaking national basketball championship and a was civil rights pioneer, has died.

A two-time All-American at Loyola, Harkness was part of the 1963 team that won a national championship with four Black starters and played in what became known as the Game of Change.

State laws prohibited Mississippi State from playing integrated teams, but the team slipped out of town to play Loyola in East Lansing, Michigan.

Harkness appeared in an iconic photo taken before the game, when he shook hands with Mississippi State captain Joe Dan Gold. Jerry Harkness was 81.

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