Something to Cheer About

The movie selection out there for kids is truly lacking.  Not 7 year olds but 11 year olds.  We were at a loss on what to do last night and ended up seeing an interesting documentary at the Quad called Something to Cheer About. 

A documentary done in 2002 about the Crispus Attucks Tigers, the first all-black basketball team in the 1950’s that went on to win State Champs of Indiana.  Crispus Attucks was a school built by the KKK  in Indianapolis to keep the blacks separate from the whites.  What the KKK probably envisioned is not exactly how it turned out.  Crispus Attucks had some of the best teachers in the state teaching there.  The basketball team, which was head up by a phenomenal man and mentor to these boys was Ray Crowe.

Ray Crowe taught these young boys how to be men.  The majority came from poor families and will tell you that if it wasn’t for Ray Crowe, they probably wouldn’t have even graduated from High School.  Instead, not only did they all go on to graduate High School and college.  There were scholarships and careers in basketball.  He not only changed their lives but he changed basketball.  He took the talent of the team and incorporated it into the plays that he ran.  The game became fluid.  Colleges and the NBA took notice too.  A few of them went on to play with the Harlem Globetrotters.  This coach and basketball team changed basketball forever.

This team traveled around Indiana at a time when the players couldn’t eat in restaurants, go to bathrooms, be in certain parts of town.  It wasn’t easy.  But they prevailed. 

Oscar Robinson was one of the players on this team.  Oscar Robinson is probably one of the top 10 players who ever played the game of basketball. 

Watching the interviews with the men who are now much older was really interesting.  Their perspective of prejudice then and the realities of prejudice and their perspective now. 

The movie is only a little over an hour.  If you have a kid who is really into basketball.  It is a slice of history portrayed through this documentary which is an eye opener. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Andy Swan

    Great movie and great story.

    They won the State Championship in 1955 and 1956….the “Big O” leading the way.


    Another cool part of the story is that in 1954 they were beaten in the State Semi-finals by Milan….which just so happens to be the team that the awesome movie “Hoosiers” is all about.

    Watch Hoosiers and then Something to Cheer about and you’ve got an amazing “underdogs to champions” afternoon lined up….all centered around 1950’s Indiana basketball!! 🙂