Feb 012007
Authors: Anica Wong

To usher in Black History Month, Nevil Shed shared a part of his life that wasn’t shown in the movies.

Shed, a speaker Thursday night in the Lory Student Center, was one of 12 men who made history on and off the court and is now being hailed in the movie “Glory Road.”

“We played together and we worked together,” he said. “We had to come together.”

Forty-one years after their victory, the story of the Texas Western Miners is being played out on the silver screen.

The movie “Glory Road” chronicles the 1966 Texas Western Miners’ season and climaxes at the NCAA Championship game between the Miners and the Kentucky Wildcats.

An all-black starting lineup for the Texas team was pitted against an all-white Kentucky lineup. Coach Don Haskins and the Miners made history that year with a win for the underdogs and an even more important victory in the fight for equality for southern minorities.

“That was a ‘we’ team, not a ‘me’ team,” Shed said. Before he was a national champion, Shed was just another kid from the Bronx.

Growing up in New York, Shed faced adversity ranging from drug abuse that stole the life of his best friend to racism determined to break his spirit. But Shed never faltered

“I can do anything I want to do if I put my heart in it,” Shed said.

Today, Shed is a retired athlete. He has met the president and tasted “presidential wine,” his image has graced Wheaties boxes and he is awaiting induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Shed now devotes his time to motivate others into following their own dreams.

“Dreams do come true. The process is simple; one must walk by faith,” he said. “You have to believe that it can be done.”

Shed’s message of simple determination has taken him beyond the sports world and into black history. He continues to motivate both kids and adults alike.

Fort Collins residents Barbara and C.A. Davis came to hear Shed because they were students at CSU when Texas Western came to take on the Rams.

“CSU almost beat them that night. Bobby Joe Hill hit a buzzer shot to beat us,” C.A. Davis said.

Robert Lewis, the coach for the Kinard Junior High School boys basketball team, brought the 7th and 8th graders to see the movie and hear Shed speak.

“I wanted to show them what true character is,” Lewis said. “This is a great experience for the students to see all the things that people have done before them so they can enjoy something simple, like basketball.”

Staff writer Anica Wong can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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