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President Obama To Welcome Loyola 1963 Men's Basketball Team

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 11, 2013 8:40PM

Image courtesy Loyola University.

Members of the Loyola University Chicago 1963 national championship men's basketball squad will meet with President Barack Obama this afternoon, capping a two-day tour of Washington, DC.

The Ramblers made history 50 years ago for starting four black players against a Cincinnati Bearcats team that had two blacks in their starting lineup, a pivotal moment in the integration of college sports. The Ramblers also faced an all-white Mississippi State in the basketball tournament, a team that defied Mississippi's governor who didn't want them from playing against integrated teams. That game was later called "The Game of Change."

The story of that Loyola team was chronicled by author Michael Lenehan earlier this year in the book Ramblers: Loyola Chicago 1963 — The Team that Changed the Color of College Basketball. Chicagoist interviewed Lenehan in March on the occasion of the book's release.