Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Bobby L. Washington, May 13, 2005

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Lessons from the elders in his neighborhood

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Mr. Robert Washington for the University of Kentucky oral history project.

Segment Synopsis: Bobby L. Washington talks about getting "schooled" in basketball by the older men and older boys in the African American neighborhood. He also talks about the segregation of the games during the regular season, though they played eastern Kentucky basketball teams.

Keywords: African American schools in Lexington (Ky.); Charles Young Community Center; Coach Roach; Community dedication to the support of the Black schools and the sports teams; Douglass High School; Dunbar High School; Eastern Kentucky teams; Good ball player; Interracial basketball game on the University of Kentucky campus; Julius Berry; Louisville teams; Older Black basketball players; Other African American players before and after school integration; Scoop Brown; Varsity teams; Willie Williams

Subjects: Basketball; Segregated neighborhoods; Segregated schools

00:08:43 - Biggest rival basketball teams in Kentucky / Coach Roach

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Partial Transcript: Who, who was your, who was your biggest rival in those years?

Segment Synopsis: Washington talks about the other teams they played. He also talks about Coach Roach, who was also a biology teacher.

Keywords: Better training; Bigger and stronger players now; Coach Roach; Playing all-Black schools

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; High school basketball; Louisville Central High School

00:12:18 - Reputation of the Dunbar High School basketball teams / discrimination

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Partial Transcript: Well how--now I know, I know what your team meant and what Dunbar meant to the African American community; how do you think Dunbar was recognized in the greater Lexington community?

Segment Synopsis: Washington talks about the perceived reputation of the Dunbar basketball teams. He also talks about some of the bad times, such as playing in Anderson County, Kentucky.

Keywords: Avoided places; Carryover to his own coaching days; Dirty players on other teams; Good teams; Keeping it classy; Recognizing discrimination; Self confidence of players; Smitty Perkins

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Basketball; Community; Race relations--Kentucky

00:18:25 - Teammates / selecting a college to attend, Eastern Kentucky University

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Partial Transcript: Well let's talk a little bit about your personal accomplishments.

Segment Synopsis: Washington talks about some of the former basketball players who are doing well in life. He also shares his memories of the success of the basketball teams.

Keywords: ABA; African American basketball players in the OVC; Doing well in life; Former teammates; George Wilson; James Berry; James Smith; NBA; OVC Division; Richard Green

Subjects: Basketball; Basketball coaches; Eastern Kentucky University; Teammates

00:23:37 - Most memorable high school basketball games

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Partial Transcript: Well back to, uh, uh, the high school days and the, and the state tournament.

Segment Synopsis: Washington talks about the crowd and great times at Freedom Hall during the 1962 basketball tournament.

Keywords: Crowd cheering and support; Difference between Black and white in basketball during segregation and after integration; High school basketball tournaments; Interstate tournament, 1962 in Louisville (Ky.); Memories; Previous players making the path

Subjects: African American basketball players; Race relations--Kentucky; School integration; Segregation--Basketball

00:28:49 - After the NBA--Becoming a basketball coach / more on playing teams in Eastern Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Well then let's talk just a, a, a little bit in the end here about, uh, coaching.

Segment Synopsis: Washington talks about his attitude after his short stint in the NBA. He got his teaching certificate and started coaching. He also goes back and talks more about his playing days.

Keywords: Becoming a basketball coach at various levels; Got hurt in NBA and was mad for about 3 years; IBM; Playing teams in Eastern Kentucky; Trying out for the team; Trying to find a place

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; National Basketball Association; Teacher certification

00:34:49 - Stories about various team try-outs

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Partial Transcript: One of the toughest things for me was, when I left I got drafted by the Kentucky Colonels.

Segment Synopsis: Washington talks about trying out for professional basketball teams. He shares tales about the various players on the teams.

Keywords: ABA; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Lucas Allen; Memories; NBA; Not making the team; Pro basketball teams; Telling tales about the UCLA team; UCLA

Subjects: American Basketball Association (1967-1976); Basketball players.; National Basketball Association; University of California, Los Angeles

00:42:59 - Difference between basketball in the past and today

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, w--I think that might be a good segue into asking you this question.

Segment Synopsis: Washington talks about how individual the game has become due to the big dollars in the business. He also talks about tales of the game, and the players.

Keywords: All about the money for the present day players; Basketball team playing; Too much individual play

Subjects: Basketball; Basketball players.