“It was recognized as the biggest stage in the game,” he added.
Even before then, it had been the effective home court of City College. It was also where, in successive weeks in March 1950, the Beavers twice beat Bradley to win the N.I.T. and the N.C.A.A. tournament — competitions that were then held in approximately equal esteem.
The hardcourt success of City College, which was founded to educate New Yorkers who could not otherwise have afforded college — and was duly called “the Harvard of the proletariat” — was, The Times wrote then, “a vindication of the democratic process.”
In the N.I.T. quarterfinals that year, Beavers Coach Nat Holman pointedly trotted out a starting five composed exclusively of blacks and Jews against the Kentucky team of Adolph Rupp, who resisted putting black players on his roster. City College won by 39 points.
“It’s been mentioned so many times here,” the current Beavers coach, Tom Green, said, referring to City College’s past success. “We ourselves…