Celebrating Black History Month: University of Kansas Firsts

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As you know, February is Black History Month, and ESPN had a nice feature story a couple of nights ago about Baylor guard Ishmail Wainright, whose grandfather Maurice King was the first African-American starter in Kansas basketball history during the 1954 season. Wainright debuted a custom jersey honoring his grandfather when Baylor visited Lawrence the first of the month, and if you haven’t seen ESPN’s piece, it’s worth checking out:

 

KU BALLS is proud to honor Maurice King along with other African-Americans and their notable firsts at Kansas:

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LaVannes Squires was the first African-American to play at the University of Kansas.
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Maurice King, whose signature is in the upper right of the program, was the first African-American starter at KU and played with some guy named Wilt Chamberlain on the 1957 national runner-up team.
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Al Correll was the first African-American captain at the University of Kansas.
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Lafayette Norwood was the first African-American assistant coach at Kansas.
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John McLendon, although not allowed to play basketball while he went to school at KU, studied under James Naismith before going on to become the first African-American basketball coach at a predominantly white university as well as the first African-American head coach in any professional sport.

To these and all the other African-American pioneers who helped blaze a trail at Kansas for everyone that came after them, a truly respectful Rock Chalk!

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