Tennessee State A&I (now TSU) stars Dick Barnett and John Barnhill made the team, while their Coach John McLendon joined them.
Dr. Barnett, TSU's all-time leading scorer with 3,209 points, earned NAIA Tournament MVP in 1958 and 1959. He helped the Tigers to three national titles (1957, 1958 and 1959) and was chosen as a member of the NAIA 50th Anniversary team. Barnett went on to play in the NBA for 14 years, most notably with the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks.
John Barnhill, also a three-time National Champion, was selected to the 1958 and 1959 All-Tournament teams and chosen as a member of the NAIA 50th Anniversary team. Barnhill completed his career with 1,253 points, which ranks 20th in school history. He played in both the NBA and ABA with a total of nine different teams including the St. Louis Hawks, Detroit Pistons before ending his career with the Indiana Pacers.
Cocah McLendon was named the National Coach of the Year in 1958 and guided the Tigers to four tournament appearances and three tournament titles. Coach McLendon helped institute the fast break offense in collegiate basketball was named as a member of the NAIA 50th anniversary team.
The Tigers three-peat champions were the first collegiate team on any level to win three consecutive national titles. Both Coach McLendon and Dr. Barnett are members of the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Dr. Barnett is on a quest to have Coach McLendon and the NAIA three-peat national champions inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach McLendon is in the Naismith Hall of Fame as a contributor, but not as a coach.
A documentary crew is filming Dr. Barnett's desire for this change in a movie called 'The Quest.' The film highlights his desire to have these teams recognized in the Hall of Fame. Fans can view the trailer by below or visiting TheQuestforJohnMcLendon.com for more information.
-- TSU TIGERS --