High School Sports

Watch this Dunbar basketball flashback from 1977 state tournament

Sporting his Naismith Hall of Fame blazer, Robert Hughes attends the UIL boys state basketball tournament, March 10, 2018. From left is former Dunbar student Daniel Tate, and Robert Hughes Jr., the current Dunbar coach.
Sporting his Naismith Hall of Fame blazer, Robert Hughes attends the UIL boys state basketball tournament, March 10, 2018. From left is former Dunbar student Daniel Tate, and Robert Hughes Jr., the current Dunbar coach. Eric Zarate

The good folks at SMU's film and video collection today posted WFAA footage from the 1977 Fort Worth Dunbar versus Dallas South Oak Cliff boys basketball title game.

It was the last UIL basketball state tournament game played at Gregory Gymnasium on the University of Texas campus. The event moved to the brand-new Erwin Center a year later.

It was also the first Robert Hughes-coached team from Dunbar to make the University Interscholastic League tournament, although Hughes teams at I.M. Terrell won three Prairie View Interscholastic League titles in the days of segregated schools.

Hughes, who won a boys national-record 1,333 career games and last year made it to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, would need nine more trips to Austin before winning a UIL title in 1993.

Here's a Star-Telegram description about the '77 season in a Hughes Through the Years feature that commemorated his 1,000th victory in February 1993:

1976-77, Dunbar 39-2: James Griffin, Cletis Hubbard, Michael Whatley, Thomas Glenn and Jeffrey Kirvin start on what some consider the best Dunbar team ever. The Wildcats advance to the state tournament with a 68-63 victory against El Paso Eastwood, the No. 1-ranked team in Texas, in the regional final. They knock off Houston Westchester, 86-74, to advance to the state championship game. The title appears to be theirs when they take a 67-62 lead against South Oak Cliff with six minutes left, but Dunbar loses, 78-71. Both losses this season come against South Oak Cliff; the other was an 80-78 overtime defeat in the Dr Pepper tournament.

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