It was just covered in dirt and dust, and the base had come off, but when I cleaned it up and repaired it, I discovered it was quite a find. What you have here is the trophy presented to the basketball team of Kingsbury High School for winning the City Championship in 1963. It's a pretty cool-looking trophy, don't you think, with a plaque that lists Coach Bill Todd, and the members of the varsity team: Clyde Barnard, Tippy Rankin, Herb Slate, Mike Butler, Arthur Boone, Barry Cochran, Dave Grosmann, Alfred Stapp, Bob Shelton, Joe Hurt, and team manager James Durham.
The Lauderdale Library contains a set of old Kingsbury yearbooks, and the 1963 edition of the Talon tells the story of that team's accomplishments: "Completing their most successful season in the history of the school, the Falcon basketball team had a record of 26 wins and 2 losses. They won the Eastern Division and beat Frayser 54-49 for the City Championship. The Falcons were one of the highest ranked teams in the state, at one time being voted second place by the Associated Press."
Some of the scores were rather impressive. Kingsbury walloped East 82-47, beat Overton (ranked #1 in the state) 62-55, and set an all-time scoring record by completely overwhelming Trezevant 131-24. Other lopsided victories were over Catholic 82-41, Humes 89-48, and Westside 101-48.
And yet, half a century later, the actual trophy commemorating that remarkable season lay in a dusty cardboard box, neglected and forgotten. Very depressing. I'm glad I rescued it, but would prefer that it go to somebody at Kingsbury who could truly appreciate it. So if any of these team members are still around, or anybody who cares about the history of that school, just get in touch with me. I already have plenty of trophies of my own.
Here are some other shots of the trophy, and below you'll see a photo of the team, from the 1963 Kingsbury yearbook. For some reason, the players in the photo don't exactly match the names on the trophy. I don't know why.