Statue of TCU’s first Black athlete being built as part of Race & Reconciliation Initiative

Drew Davison
·2 min read

TCU is constructing a statue in honor of the first Black basketball player in Southwest Conference history.

The school announced plans on Wednesday to put a statue of former basketball standout Dr. James Cash in front of Schollmaier Arena as part of several actions following its first-year report from its Race & Reconciliation Initiative (RRI).

Among its first-year report actions, the school wrote: “Commitment to install a memorial statue of James Cash, Ph.D., the first Black student-athlete at TCU and first Black basketball student-athlete in the Southwest Conference.”

The basketball program honored Cash before the Oklahoma State game in February as it celebrated Black History Month.

Cash had a standout career with the Frogs from 1966-69, finishing with 1,026 points and 856 rebounds, making him one of only four players in program history with 1,000 points and 800 rebounds.

Cash helped TCU win the Southwest Conference championship in the 1967-68 season, and then reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. That’s still the deepest March Madness run the Frogs have made.

Cash reflected on his TCU career in February, saying: “TCU provided a solid foundation for challenges I would face, and things I would do later in life. During my junior and senior years, I experienced many highs and lows. Among the highs were winning the SWC championship, beating Kansas State in a Sweet 16 game, and being recognized as an Academic All-American during my senior year.

“Among the lows were experiencing the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. Being on the campus of TCU with the teammates, friends and classmates during the midst of the civil rights revolution provided a grounding for many decisions I would have to make later in life. I particularly remember discussions we had following the Chicago Democratic Convention demonstrations and the Tommie Smith/John Carlos protest at the Olympics. On many occasions I thought back to those discussions to inform how I should view an issue or decision I was facing.”

Cash, who was inducted into the SWC Hall of Fame in 2014, graduated from TCU with a degree in mathematics. Cash went on to receive masters and doctorate degrees from Purdue.

Cash had a successful career in academia, joining the Harvard Business School faculty in 1976 and becoming the school’s first Black tenured professor before retiring in 2003. He currently holds the position of James E. Robinson Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School.

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