WSSU to Honor 1967 Men's Basketball Team, First Black College Team to Win National Basketball Championship

Fifty years ago, the Winston-Salem State University men's basketball team won the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship as the first black college team to win a NCAA national championship. The 1967 team was led by legendary Head Coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines.

Winston-Salem State finished the regular season with an impressive 30-1 mark, but ended up third in the CIAA Tournament behind North Carolina A&T and Howard University. After being invited to the NCAA Tournament, the team breezed past Baldwin-Wallace University (91-76), Long Island University (62-54), and Kentucky Wesleyan University (85-73) to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship Game where

they defeated Southwestern Missouri State University, 77-74. All-CIAA, All-American, and future NBA legend Earl "The Pearl"

Monroe averaged 41.5 points per game and was named NCAA Division II Player of the Year.

Over the course of the weekend (February 3-4), Winston-Salem State University will recognize the achievements of their 1967

1967 Winston-Salem State Men's Basketball Team

Earnest Browne Steve Smith
Vaughn Kimbrough Donald M. Williams
John D. Lathan Williams English
Percy Lesure David Green
Allen McManus Frank Hadley, Jr.
Earl Monroe Johnny Watkins
James Reid James Funches
Eugene Smiliey Head Coach: Clarence "Gaines
National Champion Men's Basketball Team. Events include an invitation-only reception, a fundraiser, and the basketball game on Saturday against Saint Augustine's University.

Golden Anniversary Reception

WSSU will honor the 1967 championship team on Friday evening, Feb. 3, at an invitation-only reception with special guest retired CBS sportscaster Billy Packer. Members of the team, including Earl Monroe, will be recognized along with the family of Clarence E. "Big House" Gaines.

Bond. Score. Win!

On Saturday, Earl Monroe will keynote the Second annual Bond. Score. Win! a fundraiser for WSSU athletics. Players from the 1967 team also will be recognized. Tickets for the event are available at The event funds scholarships for student-athletes.

Men's Game vs. St. Augustine's

WSSU athletics will honor the 1967 team with special throwback jerseys during the men's game at the Gaines Center. During halftime of the game, the Rams will officially retire the jerseys of Earl "The Pearl" Monroe and the late Cleo Hill. The two legends are the leading scorers in Rams' basketball history. The game starts at 4 p.m. Tickets are available at:

Events are a kickoff for the WSSU's yearlong 125th anniversary celebration. For more information, please visit