It's Still Basketball Season at The Museum
Open until April 4, 2021
Sponsored by Wells Fargo
Over the past 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.
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1972-1973 Basketball Guide
Star Players Larry Finch and Ronnie Robinson with Coach Gene Bartow. The 1972-1973 team’s success is credited with helping to heal the city’s racial wounds in the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968. (Artifact on Loan from the Collection of Mike Olmstead)
1985 NCAA Tournament Program signed by the team
The 1985 Memphis State Men’s Basketball team rose to national prominence with their appearance in the Final Four of NCAA Tournament. Soon after, Head Coach Dana Kirk was caught up in a gambling and corruption scandal and was fired by the University. Assistant Coach Larry Finch was promoted to Head Coach and a significant era in the college’s history began. (Artifact on Loan from the Collection of Mike Olmstead)