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Loyola Chicago basketball pioneer Jerry Harkness dies at 81

FILE - Team captain Jerry Harkness right, and other members of the 1963 Loyola men's basketball...
FILE - Team captain Jerry Harkness right, and other members of the 1963 Loyola men's basketball championship team meet Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, left, during a halftime ceremony honoring the 1963 Loyola and Mississippi State teams in Chicago, in this Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, file photo. Harkness, who led Loyola Chicago to a barrier-breaking national basketball championship and a was civil rights pioneer, has died. He was 81. The school announced Harkness passed away Tuesday morning, Aug. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)(Paul Beaty | AP)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 10:11 AM CDT
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Jerry Harkness, who led Loyola Chicago to a barrier-breaking national basketball championship and a was civil rights pioneer, has died.

A two-time All-American at Loyola, Harkness was part of the 1963 team that won a national championship with four Black starters and played in what became known as the Game of Change.

State laws prohibited Mississippi State from playing integrated teams, but the team slipped out of town to play Loyola in East Lansing, Michigan.

Harkness appeared in an iconic photo taken before the game, when he shook hands with Mississippi State captain Joe Dan Gold. Jerry Harkness was 81.