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Saturday, July 27th, 2024

at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
For table sponsorship info: Call David Thetford – 806-777-0677
or send an email request to: [email protected]

1965 State Champion Basketball Team

Class of 2021

1965 State Champion Basketball Team | Dunbar High School

The Dunbar Panthers were known for their great athletic teams and the basketball program had been a big part of that greatness. However, the 1965 Basketball Team was moving up in classification in the Prairie View Interscholastic League from 2A to 3A. With that move came bigger schools and tougher competition. The Panthers would be in a 16 team district that took in most of West Texas. The district was divided into two eight-team zones. Dunbar won their zone with a 6-1 record. Now, they had to play the winner of the other zone, Wichita Falls, to determine the district champion. Dunbar won that game to finish district at 7-1 and advance in the playoffs. The Panthers had extra motivation in 1965 to win it all because their Principal, E.C. Struggs, was retiring at the end of the school year. Principal Struggs was a great inspiration to the students and athletes at Dunbar. Because of the great respect they had for him, the players made a pact to win the state title in his honor. The Panthers had another big advantage to help them succeed. That advantage was their Head Coach Curtis Gipson. He played at Dunbar and was on the first state champion team in 1953. That team was inducted into the Lubbock ISD Athletic Hall of Honor in 2012 and Coach Gipson was inducted the following year in 2013. Coach Gipson gave most of the credit for the team’s success to the players and their parents’ great support of the team. The team made it to the state tournament. In the semifinals, the Panthers defeated Galena Park 59-54. That win set up a game with Carthage, a team that had a lot of success in winning championships. But the Panthers had a winning tradition too, and they soundly defeated Carthage 83-66. All-State players Clarence Hawkins, Tommy Ricks, and Quincy White led the Panthers to the championship, but if you were to ask them, it was all about everyone on the team. Dunbar finished the year with an outstanding 27-2 record and the State Championship Trophy.
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