Harvard men's and women's basketball spent time with David Lattin and Willie Worsley of the 1966 Texas Western men's basketball team, and Pat Riley, President of the NBA's Miami Heat. (Marcus Halevi)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Last Thursday, the Harvard men's and women's basketball programs were in attendance for the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal presentation ceremony hosted by The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.
The W.E.B. Du Bois Medal is Harvard's highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. It is awarded to individuals in the U.S. and across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African American culture and the life of the mind.
Among those honored this year were David Lattin and Willie Worsley of the 1966 Texas Western Miners men's basketball team, the first NCAA championship team to start five black players. On hand to present the medal to Lattin and Worsley was Miami Heat president Pat Riley, who starred for the University of Kentucky team that lost to Texas Western in that memorable championship game.
Before the medal ceremony, Riley, Lattin, and Worsley spent time with both Harvard teams at a private event.
"It was inspirational," said women's basketball head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. "It's one thing to watch 'Glory Road' and think it's a powerful film, but I am so proud that our young women had the opportunity to meet David Lattin, Willy Worsley, and Pat Riley in person. They all had such valuable experiences and advice to share! Harvard is a special place with amazing events happening all of the time, but this was a truly special evening, one the student-athletes and I won't soon forget."
Others honored with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal were actress Pam Grier, Ursula Burns (CEO of Xerox), hip-hop artist Lana Moorer, Harvard senior Admissions Officer David Evans, television writer and producer David Simon, and opera legend Jessye Norman.