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Former Texas Western star dead at 59

Dec. 9, 2002 at 4:39 PM   |   Comments

EL PASO, Texas, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Bobby Joe Hill, the catalyst of Texas Western's historic national championship team in 1966, died Sunday night at age 59.

The cause of death is unknown.

Hill was a starting guard and scored 20 points in Texas Western's 72-65 win over top-ranked Kentucky in the 1966 national championship game. In that contest, Texas Western's Don Haskins became the first coach to start five black players in the championship game. In contrast, Kentucky was comprised of all white players.

To this day, Texas Western, which later changed its school name to Texas El-Paso, remains the only Division I school in the state to capture a national championship in men's basketball.

Hill averaged a team-leading 15 points per game in that championship season and was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team after averaging 20.2 points in five NCAA Tournament games.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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