Clem Haskins: Breaking Barriers

Clem Haskins, Author, Marc Ryan, Author Sports Publishing LLC $24.95 (238p) ISBN 978-1-57167-143-1
Haskins has been known to basketball fans since his career at Western Kentucky, where he was named to several all-American teams in each of his three years, and his nine-year stint (1966-1976) in the NBA with Chicago, Phoenix and Washington. More recently, he has won headlines coaching at his alma mater (head coach since 1980) and at the University of Minnesota, where his teams won the NIT in 1993 and went to the NCAA Final Four last year. But as this candid autobiography shows, written with Ryan, who directs media relations for men's athletics at Minnesota, there is more to the man than his life as a cager and a coach. One of a Kentucky sharecropper's 11 children, he was imbued with conservative and religious principles as a child that, he notes, he tries to instill in his players. In addition, he has broken racial barriers with a minimum of publicity: he was the first black student at his Kentucky high school in 1961, drawing the opprobrium of the community's whites and blacks, and the first black head coach at Western Kentucky and Minnesota. Besides having to put aside hate mail, Haskins has endured being spat at and snubbed in restaurants and hotels. His story of quiet courage is inspiring. Photos not seen by PW. 45,000 first printing. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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