For more than a century, basketball at what is now the University of Memphis has in many ways mirrored the struggles and successes of the city of Memphis itself. Sometimes for better or for worse, Tiger Hoops tells a story about Memphis.
Tiger Hoops is a story of striving for success, struggling from self-inflicted wounds and battling racial divide. It is also an inspiring story of racial unity and civic pride.
The University of Memphis men’s and women’s basketball teams have been a vehicle for relevance and respect for Memphis since the school’s founding as West Tennessee Normal School in 1912 to its evolution to Memphis State University in 1957 and later to the University of Memphis in 1994.
From the days of legendary coach Zach Curlin to the 1928 women’s team winning the initial tournament of the Mississippi Valley Conference to the glory days of Larry Finch, Ronnie Robinson and Gene Bartow to the unforgettable era of Penny Hardaway, Memphis basketball has often times been the glue that has held this diverse city together. It has been a source of interracial unity that helped Memphis heal from the scars of the Sanitation Strike and King assassination.
The exhibit features eclectic memorabilia, photos and artifacts from Tiger fans, former players and coaches.
Tiger Hoops is a story rich in history both on the court and off. Whether you’re a Memphis Tiger fan or not, you’ll find this exhibit enlightening and inspiring.