Loyola legend Jerry Harkness

The Kent Sterling Show
Wednesday, March 28th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Back on the Kent sterling chose CBS sports 1430. With the national champion. The great Jerry hurt his former Indiana pacer former New York neck. And of course national champion in 1963. For the oil rambler is a you don't. I'm doing good been running the line but it's a good run and today. Well and speaking to good runs Loyola going on this run and win in the foreign road to get to the final four did you ever think the you're gonna see Loyola get back to another final four. I really do is hope for and I started to. Lose confident. I'm because it's been 33 years before they even bring into the tournament. And then we're talking about 55. Years before. The final four. So I had an I had kind of lost confidence I had I was hoping. Then I would be. Above ground compared to heed before they went in and I'm from bless that that has happened. Well and it's such a very special place Loyola university is and so people being exposed to it and and and people especially being exposed to what you guys went through. On your trip to the national championship. Did did you think in 1963. That it was back kinda seminal moment that we would reflect on 55 years later in the way that we are. Yeah am I yes and no I am per share your mind is all into so many other things. Winning a national title. Is also meant feels good but. After a year the next national title winner comes into being. And so we we were thinking man this is on time birdie will end in them we have another championship. Not so live Loyola a couple of reasons. And I think the main reason is because of our game would Mississippi State. I kind of took the day. The headlines and a man's been witness. Ever since the game change which ironically was. Authored by mine my son Gerald. But. The game it changes really kept us in the line. It was a it was a different time then but I read an interview with view where you said that your your kind of sad. At least over the last few years to see some regression. As far as race relations and now. You know hit a two week keeps thinking that we take steps forward. And then every once while we take a step back and we need to be reminded AA is you guys were in an aisle of the street value in the captain for Mississippi State. You guys became friends. And he thought you know that the Mississippi State guys were likely all racists and they probably had preconceived notions. And when you get together you just EU could find out the world as people. Well a year and a donor and knows them. That game. The Mississippi State Loyola game was more than just a game obviously it was history. And you go around so many points in your comments and let me face to mull it. But though one thing is. Not until you meet a person do you really know. And I man Joel's Dan Goldin the captain wood and shaken that it is a story in itself. When we came to shake hands or lose light bulbs just popped all over the place and I just got a little wall inside and I shook his hand then I could tell he was a good guy. Our guys they're just going to play against a bass and I've felt good about him by Tom. I kind Terry that. Hi I knew right away that this was more than a game I knew it right there. Then it was history in May when those plans bulbs come in that that hit me in almost like woke me up to. The environment and the situation we were under. Did you look at it. At the time he knows history but it was he a white basketball player. Or was he a basketball. Player ya it was a basketball player just lying to him I was just a basketball player and and that is a key. He's trying to beat me in a competitive way. And I'm trying to do likewise see him. And if we talked about the united because we became great friends I mean nine Joe's average friends. We became great friends we found out we had more in common. Memory and out of Pollack at Soss V. Number one. Heat he I was a man I was a mentor I really enjoy working with kids. He did he enjoy yeah he became a superintendent of schools and I became a mentor. But we had a lot to talk about. The other key thing is that we love family and we really had gotten into each other's family and so on him. Talking about that the third common thing. Is we both had cancer. I had colon cancer. And he had colon cancer. I had Joe's. I had an operation and I got rid of mine. Leading into our conversation. He had just gotten Kansas goes pretty. So he was and then I'm also. What really guidance is two. We started talking about doing things together and that's tore. And tell about our experience. We don't it was agreed idea we can tool around. United States speaking. And we really would gonna get into that. But even he got reels hill. And then he pants. And I had to hear from people from the school and everything. And I went to the funeral and a walk and it's an all white fuels. And I look over an opponent mayors all his family man telling me to come over and I go over and we saw it and make sought to hug him me and we start to cry and then I left there after that and I'm going to pick casket. And I walk over it and to decide who they casket is that huge picture of the united shaken hands. He warned they did there right and his casket. Hobo shaken hands. During the Mississippi State law the only game. They're not meant all the news of course. Players were there. And all of the coaches and management. Mississippi State. And after this there's comments were made. They came over and asked me to. The appalled. As a home run and gun offensive I'd love to saw I only thought in and wonderful. Then he's leaving. And I am. Integrating with the Mississippi here is to to take him to the burial ground. Turned Jerry Hart is about the 1963. Experience in the oil travelers back at the final four this weekend in. San Antonio in that like miracles sports. That will like easier playing sports the most important thing is to win and then as you look back. The most important thing was everything but winning. Yeah down because. Pin high started. All through home until recently. This guy. Changed my poet. Because I always was so excited to Benin and winning a national title I thought I was of the best thing that happened to me. Lately is the Mississippi State game by far it's not even close when you really think about what needed to maybe change America and a little way. And things happen and make you understand. As you move on in life for example. A year. After us. Mississippi State brought in their first African American student. Yeah no problem whatsoever they eased into it. Starting with the game of change. So he goes on me and you get Meredith then. Mississippi hand and all of those problems but so. That's just one example of what that game did end wide. Being together. Black and white can do. We'll come back to oil in a minute but I wanna talk about mentoring Kazaa think mentoring is really important and I know you had a great match her in your life is you were grown up. Just kind of a briefing Kenner with Jackie Robinson and now you dedicate your life to mentoring others in India it's really. How much would it be work to you or me or anybody if you could take like your experiences. In what you've learned over a lifetime. In in just kinda stick it into people's heads right so they have an understanding. Of what you've come to order. Because that's well put and that is so true yes today and give me an idea. I was interviewed here by ESPN. And I had my grandson here. And they asked me to do and peace with him. Showing new book to scrapbook. And they were just comment tape it. And I was shown a tomb and talking to them and he knew he was so articulate back to me as he's sitting there. And once it's finished he ran to his moments that. And he's five years old I was on television. So that experience. You know. Meant a lot and some time allotted K is especially in the in his city don't have those kind of experience that's small and minor but. He was on television. He can lead from that and I told me one day you going to be on TV you might be interviewing somebody in today. And he looked up at me and so on but. Just they jumped in my mind when you asked a question I just had to throw it to me and mentoring. You can give people. Some thoughts and and that the key thing that I tellem is that. I wasn't a good boy. All the time and I made some mistakes too but you gotta overcome them and then get back on the right track. And that lead into more mistakes. But some it is so I made a mistake that's it. I'm in bad I'm not gonna go to heaven so to speak but we all make him. And you you've got to give back and be positive coaches. And if you don't have somebody who reflects that positive feedback teal little bit in the in use urine and do what he had a YMCA in the Bronx. And Jackie Robinson walked selling you don't even know if you're gonna be able to play high school basketball but he says something kind of in passing and you're like okay. And Indy in the event infuses you with that kind of positive but he. Can no holes are and now I'm glad you brought that up is that. Iron. Was afraid to go out pull my high school team because of I was afraid to fail. And how was happy and a projects I have little projects team. There. And our opponent and an airplane in a Merrill's and I did well and and admirals and previously you article I'll put a high school team can only use scene you mentioned your last chance. As I'm happy warrior was I was insecure. And wasn't sure I could make it I was. Don't know I was good and I don't think I was good enough to make I scooting. So I was shootaround that because I enjoyed basketball and playing shoot around a top column on this guy taps me on the shoulder and knee. Attorneys say you know you're not bag. And then he leads me in my of course Momo wide open I had seen them in every poor me talk to us. But this is first time we talk to me directly. And the guy was Jackie Robinson. I said I'm going out but it team. I want all of who we're confident team made detained men I started. And then I was a top scorer and we won everything. I. Ten men a scholarship to Loyola Kane and hi how often think to advance guard work yet you wanna get. The first guy and Major League Baseball breaking barriers. Really one of my hero heroes. That give me that little bit of encouragement to move me on. Then I moved form. With the other loyal employee is can we win a national championship. Not only that. But we did something and then help the racial situation. And it started. Would mean the Jackie Robinson. Now. I don't know if that was just chance I think it was more than that and now I can go on wasn't a lot of those semi live so. I've always. I've been blessed and that's another thing I've gotten. A little closer. Two guard. As I look at my entire life a little bit more. And you could see what he did now we move maneuvered me in this certain situations. And I'm jealous holy blood. And you're Smart enough to listen. Right because it's not just the if if people talked to in telling his stuff and you don't listen to it it doesn't do you any good that you kept listening you kept breaking down barriers. Yeah now and I 2 AM the older I get. There's some good in net we only had no but. I could see in my life. Better because you can look at certain things and as I say Kim Howard came back together and and even this weekend and going and talking to the Loyola play is and that whole story in and this was all put together I really believe that I even go back. To the Cincinnati Loyola game and we're guy. We came from fifteen points down. And I've foul again and they are up one point. And if he hits both free throws is over because you only get and I am 108 seconds is not as you don't have a three point. Any miss a second he made the firs they have to. We got to rebound and I hit a shot to put us in overtime. And then we go about him when it so all of that is not by chance. Let me ask you about the city is is so far off the field of sports but at the history of Indianapolis and race relations relations. Is really interesting to me Andy can you go back to 1968. Right Doctor King shot. And killed and Bobby Kennedy speaks that night. And it in Indianapolis. They're riots everywhere writes in Detroit and Chicago and LA. But no rights and Indianapolis is this unique city where it comes to race relationships her her MI just. Overplaying that is have my ignorance of history. I. I really and this is just my opinion. I think. The leadership. And a black leadership here in Indianapolis. Was not strong. I mean days maybe they should have been outlets necessarily. Rioting but at least marching. And letting people know hold of that change handsomely made. And they didn't. And this city has changed for the good but when we got here. As Indiana Pacers nine do it at all. I may detain me give you just one example. And I start calling around new. To get a place this day. And come live ask me on the phone on your black person you know hum black and so while we don't have any real I would go well. And I couldn't get a place and I'm in May and I was looking at places that I thought and I. Qualified to be in. Seoul. We couldn't get places and I want me only one there rather. Polymer Darden had probably filing got a place and he's only prompt. He threatened to sue them. And made him come medals. I couldn't get in the medals which is 38 street right here. We couldn't get in new man whose apartment is it was just Meehan bill. And whatever happened mayor is that. Matthew age who. From Michigan. State I don't believe while anyway his wife went up and act signed the lease and got in. When. Matthew came over there. They were fit to be time. Because his his wife was light and had gotten a man so when we came to him I had no we got. You know some we gnome no room and I mean it's brand new but we don't you don't qualify. And other things that we ran into it Indianapolis. But Indianapolis has improved. Substantially. Paying put. Is not easy. And they won't times I guess we point out here where. They. They would go to places where there were joyous. Days where African American could go. Like Coney Island something like you know talking to Jerry Hart this captain of the 1963. Oil a team wide ranging conversation and it's what. These conversations are just so much fun and so it enlightening to me. Is in doubt. Like youth bed the thing I think that my son got out of sports that was great it was something that we talked about before. And that's that the scored a knowingly collar. In that you just play against one another and when he coming quote close proximity to each other and you get to know each other. There's not that level of oh you know he's different that kind of thing in in so I think it's 42 wonderful we kind of we touched on it a little bit before but there's no difference today. Then there is 55 years ago in in that kind of experience the one on one thing of getting in no one enough. A perfect example is Jackie Ginn. Was a guard parent on our championship team there were four African Americans and Jack was light. And we were listening to each other is that an abuse and I've been just just how about a week or two ago. And he did this story in the newspaper. And how shocked but I can understand it. Haiti and and Vinny African American Koreans. Disguise a team he didn't know any African Americans. Until he came though Loyola. We were his first. Experience. Sonoma cockroach. You know they can't miss it. He had me he had been around. And of course I understand. And ironically you know this all comes together. Is when it came marched. Came Mars in market park which was all white then retain. That was the area. That Jackie and came from. And Jackie him later on what the experience of violence. Didn't feel the same way those in his community fell. About African Americans coming into the community. What do you think happens this weekend do you think oil has got a chance although I. Can I hope so I really do and I want them to be at least Michigan because I got a guy we're based best of friends all over Darden. Who. Played with me at with the Indiana paces. We've been gone back and forth on the phone and everything even hear all of them meat came up. The connection to. Michigan and Loyola we didn't know until the last minute course where they work their way through the bracket. That they would be planning Java so this is important and they win this one. What are you looking forward to most in San Antonio is that the gains is again together with you guys again he'd just sought an Atlanta you guys. You guys are close to guys get together quite a bit country. We really do and I am a matter of fact. Before you came in the door I was can read called Jack the seeing who's coming and called chock courage Marquardt and Rochelle. And that's on American bankers Cummings on call and around mostly. Who's come into the games so that is important. And you set up an early oh all for. Speaker here is that. We're gonna meet with other guys. Good times. When they played on Loyola seeing. Like to its morning. Over five years you've noted that nineteen. Nine B guys. Am really we hadn't gotten with them and really so this is not an opportunity. That all looked formal play is a lawyer you'll get together. And looking forward to the sweet sixteen group are groove and only other groups. That my son's kind of on the fence whether his co owner not because he thinks well I was there last weekend why really wanna go into my pocket. By another plane ticket hotel room was woody tell my son about going back and connecting with a bunch of oil against. This happens and not that often. I say it this year has been so we're like you say we we do it together but to meet only other guys and get a chance. The talk about the years experience even though they might not have of course and I even or winning racquet. But there experiences. As a part of low Loyola. I'm a non. Perfect thank you so much I appreciated all thank you and secretary Arkansas. Loyal of plays Saturday night six on nine. We'll continue talking about it throughout the week great to connect with with cherry darkness.