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Henry Logan
Historical Figures  

 

 

college days

records

professional career

works cited

Breaking the color barrier in little old Cullowhee

by:  Worth Corn

At first glance, a basketball star’s story is just that, a story.  Very few athletes have the opportunity to break down some form of barrier.  Asheville’s Henry Logan did for college basketball in North Carolina what Jackie Robinson did for Major League Baseball.  After completing high school, he enrolled at Western Carolina in 1964, becoming North Carolina’s first African-American collegiate athlete, and the first to play basketball for a “white” public institution in 1964.

College Days

In spite of the heightened racial tensions of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement, the gamble of recruiting an African-American athlete paid off.  Over the course of his four years in a Catamount uniform, which ended in 1968, he established four records and placed the university on a new plateau of recognition; this recognition came partly because he broke the color barrier, and partly because he was so good.  An All-American each of his years at WCU, Logan helped the United States take the gold medal in the 1967 Pan American Games.

The WCU Board of Trustees wrote that, “as the first African-American basketball player to be recruited by and play for a predominantly white institution in the Southeast, Henry Logan helped to open the door of opportunity for other African-American student athletes, both at Western Carolina and at many other institutions.” The board continued, “Henry Logan brought national attention to the university and created among students, alumni and fans an enduring spirit of loyalty to Western Carolina.”

Records

As for his school records, Logan scored 60 points in a game against Atlantic Christian in 1967.  He also holds the record for most points in a season (1,049), a career (3,290) and highest career points average (30.7).

Professional Career and Recognition

After his tenure in Cullowhee, Logan advanced to professional basketball from 1968 - 1970.  On the pro circuit, he played for the Oakland Oaks, Washington Caps, and Virginia Squires; while this makes him seem like a journeyman, these three teams were actually the one-in-the-same.  Each year that he played, the franchise moved.

In 2000, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame inducted Logan as member of its 37th class.  Others in his induction class included Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Carolina Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson.

Works Cited

Information used for this article gathered from the following locations:
A Mountain Heritage: The Illustrated History of Western Carolina University
By: Curtis W. Wood and H. Tyler Blethen.
http://www.usabasketball.com
http://www.thetimesnews.com/2000/00-02/00-02-19/sports-5.html
http://www.wcu.edu/chancellor/index/BOTMinutes/1995-3os.htm