Ramblers by Michael Lenehan
Loyola Chicago 1963 - The Team that Changed the Color of College Basketball

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Today basketball is played “above the rim” by athletes of all backgrounds and colors. But 50 years ago it was a floor-bound game, and the opportunities it offered for African-Americans were severely limited.

A key turning point was 1963, when the Loyola Ramblers of Chicago took the NCAA men’s basketball title from Cincinnati, the two-time defending champions. It was one of Chicago’s most memorable sports victories, but Ramblers reveals it was also a game for the history books because of the transgressive lineups fielded by both teams.

Ramblers is an entertaining, detail-rich look back at the unlikely circumstances that led to Loyola’s historic championship and the stories of two Loyola opponents: Cincinnati and Mississippi State. Michael Lenehan’s narrative masterfully intertwines these stories in dramatic fashion, culminating with the tournament’s final game, a come-from-behind overtime upset that featured two buzzer-beating shots.

While on the surface this is a book about basketball, it goes deeper to illuminate how sport in America both typifies and drives change in the broader culture. The stark social realities of the times are brought vividly to life in Lenehan’s telling, illustrating the challenges faced in teams’ efforts simply to play their game against the worthiest opponents.

About Michael Lenehan

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Michael Lenehan is an award-winning journalist who was the longtime chief editorial executive of the Chicago Reader and a contributing editor of The Atlantic. He is a board member of the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies and the Medill School of Journalism's advisory board.
Published February 18, 2013 by Agate Midway. 299 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ramblers


My former boss at the Reader, Michael Lenehan, recently published a book on the team: Ramblers: Loyola-Chicago 1963—the Team that Changed the Color of College Basketball.

Jul 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Ramblers: Loyola Chicago 1963...

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