For Immediate Release
July 9, 2009
Hilton White- Great Coach and Recreation Leader Who Changed the Face of College Basketball to be Honored at Renaming Ceremony, August 1, 2009 at Caldwell Park and Playground.
On August 1, 2009, at 11 AM, at 163 Street and Caldwell Avenue, educators, former basketball greats, elected officials and residents of the Morrisania community will be coming together to honor Hilton White, one of the Bronx’s true heroes, by renaming Caldwell Park and Playground “Hilton White Park and Playground” and Caldwell Avenue between 161 and 163 street “Hilton White Way”.
Hilton White was a Parks Recreation leader and basketball coach in the Morrisania section of the Bronx in the 1960’s who not only helped guide hundreds of young people in a positive direction, but who changed the history of college basketball, and through it, changed the course of American History. Two years ago, a movie called “Glory Road” received wide acclaim for its depiction of the 1966 basketball team from Texas Western University which won an NCCA championship with an all black starting five. Three of those five starters, Willie Worsley, Nevil Shed and Willie Cager, were members of Hilton White’s legendary basketball team “The Falcons” which practiced in Caldwell Park and Playground. When these young men and their teammates defeated an all white University of Kentucky team for the National Championship, it sent a message to college basketball coaches around the nation that they could no long ignore Black talent, and opened scholarship opportunities for thousands of African American players all over the nation
Hilton White played a major role in shaping that talent pool through the Falcons basketball program. Emphasizing academics and character building as well as basketball, he sent scores of young men and women to colleges around the nation, many of whom returned to the Bronx as teachers, social workers and youth recreation leaders. The values Hilton White stood for, hard work, team spirit, personal responsibility and a passionate commitment to excellence, remain as viable today as they did 50 years ago and the renaming ceremony we have organized aims to keep Hilton’s White’s legacy alive for future generations of Bronx youth. On August 1, 2009 Hilton White “alumni” from all over the country, some former college and professional basketball players, all people who made a difference in their communities through their guidance and mentorship of youth, will be coming back to the playground where Hilton White once coached his teams, to honor this great Bronx coach and leader.
We invite all members of the print and broadcast media to cover this historic event.
Please contact Elijah Swinton (201) 286-2600, Marguerite Chappell (646) 245-6997 or
Dr Mark Naison ( 917) 836-3014 for further information about the event.