Kentucky Wesleyan University, 1957
The All-American City Basketball Tournament was held at Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1957. On January 2, Iona was scheduled to play Ole Miss in the second game, but prior to tipoff, Ole Miss Coach Bonnie Graham pulled his team off the floor because the Iona team had an African American player, Stanley Hill. As the Ole Miss players left the court, Hill stood in the middle of the floor feeling hurt and humiliated. Coach Graham had received a call from Mississippi Governor James P. Coleman ordering that Ole Miss not play any team that had an African American player. The Iona team was awarded a 2-0 forfeit. Later that night, Ole Miss players went to Hill's motel room and apologized. The forfeit was erased from the Ole Miss athletic records, making it look as if the team had never participated in the tournament. In 2001, Iona and Ole Miss were paired in the NCAA Tournament. Stanley Hill was flown to Kansas City to watch the game as a guest of Ole Miss; it was a gesture to heal a 44-year-old wound. Hill sat beside Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove. Iona lost the game 72-70. For more see "News and views; the night Ole Miss walked off the floor rather than play basketball against a team with a Black player," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 04/30/2001, issue 31, p. 83; and "Former Iona basketball player honored as University of Mississippi gestures to heal racism," Jet, 04/02/01.