Exhibit honors TSU hoops champs from 1950s

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 10:05pm

A four-day exhibit celebrating Tennessee State’s 1957-59 NAIA men’s basketball championships will be held at the Millennium Maxwell House hotel, beginning on Wednesday.

Organized by former TSU standout and Hall of Famer Dick Barnett, “No Dream Left Behind” pays tribute to the first college team (then called Tennessee A&I) to win consecutive national titles. Guest speakers and video testimonies from David Stern, Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, Dr. Harry Edwards and others will speak to the significance the all-black teams had in the midst of the civil rights movement.

“We wanted to talk about the whole program and the success that Tennessee State had as America was undergoing a metamorphosis in terms of social behavior,” said Barnett, who was twice named the tournament MVP before embarking on a 15-year pro career.

The free event will run from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Barnett plans to take the exhibit on the road in 2013 to other historically black colleges and universities.

For more than a year, the 75-year-old has been pushing for the Tennessee A&I national title teams to be enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. A documentary about that pursuit is scheduled to be released later this year.