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Loyola’s connection to Fleming County, Kentucky

Photo by Rich Clarkson, NCAA Photos

With Loyola now in the Final Four, you’re going to hear a lot about their 1963 National Championship squad, specifically “The Game of Change” between the Ramblers, who started four African Americans, and an all-white Mississippi State team that defied their governor and snuck out of the state to play them.

The captain of that Mississippi State team was Joe Dan Gold, who famously shook hands with Loyola captain Jerry Harkness before the game, the photograph of which became an iconic image of the civil rights movement. Gold, a Benton, Kentucky native, went on to become the basketball coach and principal at Fleming County High School. He passed away in 2011, but Harkness came to Fleming County last week to commemorate the 55th anniversary of The Game of Change, posing with Gold’s widow, Rosemarie:

CBS reportedly sent a crew with Harkness to document the occasion, so don’t be surprised if you see Fleming County pop up during their coverage of the Final Four. Very cool.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

3 Comments for Loyola’s connection to Fleming County, Kentucky

  1. kygolfkat51
    5:16 pm March 26, 2018 Permalink

    Mississippi State won the SEC championship in 1959, 1961 and 1962, but each year, the Maroons watched Kentucky represent the league in the postseason, victimized by an unwritten but largely enforced Mississippi rule that prohibited state schools from playing against integrated teams.

    • Eazy
      8:19 pm March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Typical of Mississippi. What an awful state. People don’t give UK enough credit for integrating before the rest of the SEC and most of the South.

  2. mhs1964
    6:05 pm March 26, 2018 Permalink

    State had some really good teams back then, coached by Babe McCarthy, who I think later coached the Kentucky Colonels. I remember Bailey Howell as one of the greats.