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Tennessee A&I championship teams inducted into Naismith Hall

September 10, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Three men’s college basketball teams from the late 1950s at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial Normal School have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The NAIA national champion teams were from 1957, ’58 and ’59, featuring Richard Barnett and John Barnhill. They were among 12 honorees in this year’s class, inducted last week in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Tennessee A&I later became Tennessee State.

Barnett was the fourth pick in the 1959 draft. He represented Tennessee State at the ceremony. He said it was wonderful for the teams to finally be acknowledged.

The Hall of Fame said the team “broke social barriers as they traveled to national tournaments and challenged segregation.”

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