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Clarence Walker

Clarence Walker, Indiana State

In March of 1948, Clarence Walker became the first African American player to play in a collegiate basketball National Championship when he played in the NAIB National Championship at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, playing for Coach John Wooden’s Indiana State Sycamores. 

 

During that tournament, Indiana State advanced to the National Championship game, falling to Louisville. During Clarence’s senior season (two years after Coach Wooden departed for UCLA), the Sycamores won the 1950 NAIB National Championship. During his time at Indiana State, Walker kept a diary, of which he titled “Jim Crow”, outlining the hardships of being the only African American player on his college basketball team – and one of the rare players in college basketball at a non-historically black college - in the 1940’s. Walker broke the color barrier in college basketball national championships, helping to further desegregate college basketball in America.

Please see below the induction of Clarence Walker into the 2018 SCB Hall of Fame