Fort Worth city officials have scheduled pep rally Thursday to recognize the basketball-related achievements on the national stage this spring by TCU, Texas Wesleyan University and former Dunbar High School coach Robert Hughes.
The pep rally, arranged by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and the Fort Worth City Council, is set for 5 p.m. Thursday in Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth.
Fans will have a chance to celebrate TCU’s championship in the 2017 NIT, Wesleyan’s 2017 NAIA men’s national championship and Hughes’ election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
TCU secured the NIT title by knocking off Georgia Tech, 88-56, in the championship game March 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The triumph marked the first title for the Horned Frogs’ men’s basketball program in a national postseason tournament and allowed TCU to post a 24-15 record under first-year coach Jamie Dixon, a former Frogs player. The previous season, TCU finished 12-21.
TWU earned the NAIA national title, the second in school history, with an 86-76 victory over Life (Ga.) in the March 21 championship game in Kansas City, Mo. Rams forward Dion Rogers, the tournament MVP, scored a team-high 28 points in the championship game.
Hughes, 88, was voted into basketball’s Hall of Fame as part of the 2017 class on April 1. He set the national record for career victories by a high school coach (1,333) during 47 seasons at Dunbar and I.M. Terrell high schools in Fort Worth.
Hughes’ teams won five state championships: two UIL titles at Dunbar and three titles in the Prairie View Interscholastic League at Terrell during an era of racial segregation. Hughes will be enshrined as a Hall of Famer during ceremonies in Springfield, Mass., on the weekend of Sept. 7-9.