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Texas Western College Basketball Championship 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act Introduced


By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….

On Thursday, June 25, U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX16) introduced a bill (H.R. 2906) to honor the 50th anniversary of the Texas Western College National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball championship with a three-coin commemorative coin program. The proposed commemorative set includes a $5 gold coin, a $1 silver coin and a clad half dollar.

U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke (D-TX16)
U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX16)

In 1966, the Texas Western College Miners defeated the University of Kentucky Wildcats, 72-65, in the NCAA finals. Besides being the only time a team from Texas has ever won the NCAA basketball championship, the event is memorable because it was the first time the starting lineup of an NCAA championship team consisted entirely of African-American players.

After the Texas Western victory, southern colleges began recruiting African-American athletes to play, and by the next season every southern conference team was racially integrated.

Representative O’Rourke’s bill sets maximum mintages of up to 50,000 for the 90% pure gold $5 coin, 400,000 for the 90% pure silver dollar coin, and 750,000 for the clad half dollar. Designs “shall be emblematic of the game of basketball”, and the coins would come in both Uncirculated and Proof varieties. Only one branch mint would be authorized to produce each respective type of coin in the set.

If the bill were enacted, the 50th Anniversary of the Texas Western College Men’s Basketball Championship Commemorative Coin Act would authorize production in the year 2017 and would feature that date inscribed on the coin. No more Texas Western commemoratives would be minted after December 31.

Surcharges of $35, $10 and $5 would be charged for the gold, silver and clad pieces, respectively. After the Department of the Treasury recouped all expenses in relation to the production and marketing of the coins, all net proceeds would go to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Provisions in the bill allow for pre-orders and discounts.

The story behind Texas Western College’s 1966 championship season was previously featured in the movie Glory Road (2006).

Widget courtesy Govtrack.us


Hubert Walker
Hubert Walker
Hubert Walker has served as the Assistant Editor of CoinWeek.com since 2015. Along with co-author Charles Morgan, he has written for CoinWeek since 2012, as well as the monthly column "Market Whimsy" for The Numismatist and the book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (2020) for Whitman Publishing.

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