How A Pre-Game Handshake Changed Basketball History

basketball block

Photo: AP

40-eight years ago, Harkness and Gold shook hands on a basketball floor in East Lansing, Mich., and the world took notice.Gold, who died of cancer at 68 Wednesday in West Liberty, Ky., was the captain of the 1963 Mississippi State team that sneaked out of Starkville, against the governor’s and state government’s mandate, in order to play in the NCAA Tournament against Loyola of Chicago, captained by Harkness, one of several African Americans on the Loyola team.

“I remember we shook hands and nodded at one another; no words were spoken,” Harkness said.

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