MIKE MANDEL MOSAIC TILE PUBLIC ART PROJECTS
City of El Paso, Sun Metro Station El Paso TX, 2010
One inch porcelain and glass tile
(2) murals 15' (h) x 18' (w)
The murals commemorate a milestone in civil rights history. On March 19, 1966, Texas Western College (now The University of Texas at El Paso) changed the face of collegiate athletics by starting an all-Black lineup for the first time in NCAA championship history. The Miners, led by legendary Hall of Fame Coach Don Haskins, upset the University of Kentucky Wildcats 72-65 for the national title. The win symbolized a breakthrough for Blacks in college sports.
The game has been defined as one of the most socially meaningful victories in the history of sports, often credited with initiating the desegregation of college basketball in the U.S. After the ’66 championship, college teams throughout the South began aggressively recruiting Black athletes, ending years of segregation and transforming college basketball.