Three weeks from tonight, I’ll be part of an event at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson that will commemorate and explore the 1963 Mississippi State-Loyola NCAA tournament game, the one that serves as the climactic event of my book.
Rick Cleveland will lead a conversation with former Mississippi State players Doug Hutton, Larry Lee and Bailey Howell. (I’ll be in it, too.) We’ll talk about that MSU-Loyola game with Doug and Larry, who were members of the team that went to East Lansing, Mich., to play in it. And we’ll talk about it with Bailey, who was also at the game, but in the stands. (The greatest player in Mississippi State’s history graduated in 1959 and didn’t get a chance to do what his 1963 counterparts did, and that’s play in the NCAA tournament. So he drove over from Detroit, where he was playing professionally at the time, and watched.)
I’ve been looking forward to this ever since Rick, who is in his first year as the Hall’s executive director, brought up the idea in a summertime phone conversation. Doug, Larry and Bailey were three of the best interview subjects I encountered in the two-year process of researching “Champions for Change.” And we all know how Rick can help tell a Mississippi story, don’t we? The timing is perfect: Mississippi State and Loyola will face each other in a rematch of sorts of that 1963 game on Saturday, Dec. 15.
I’ll remind you a few times before Dec. 10 but I wanted to make sure it was already on your calendar.
Where: Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, 1152 Lakeland Drive, Jackson (Map)
When: Monday, Dec. 10. I’ll be signing and selling books starting at 5 p.m. and the program will start at 6:30. I’ll be around after the program, too, in case you want a signed copy.
Admission: Free. I’ll make a donation to the MSHoF from the book sales proceeds from the night.