National Invitational Interscholastic Basketball Tournament
National Invitational Interscholastic Basketball Tournament, 1941-1942
National Invitational Interscholastic Basketball Tournament (NIIBT) was established in 1941, when the Tuskegee Institute transformed its Southern Interscholastic Basketball Tournament into a national meet.
In the inaugural meet, a total of eighteen boys and sixteen girls teams competed for the national championship. Only deep south and southwest states sent teams to the meet, and the boys final was between two Oklahoma schools, when Sand Springs Booker T. Washington (OK) (led by future Hall of Famer Marques Haynes) beat Seminole Booker T. Washington (OK) 38-24 for the title (virtually all the black schools in Oklahoma were called Booker T. Washington at that time).
Woodstock High of Lucy, Tennessee, won the girls competition, but the second place finisher is unknown.
The following year fourteen states sent teams, including the tournament’s only northern state, Indiana, which sent two teams. Another Oklahoma team won the boys competition, when Tulsa Booker T. Washington (OK) bested Southern University High School of Scotlandville, Louisiana, for the title, 42-19. The Southern High team upset all the odds merely by making it to the title game. Third place was won by Middleton High of Tampa, Florida, which beat Brooks High of Quitman, Georgia.
In the girls competition, Wiergate High of Wiergate, Texas, beat Hermondale High of Hermondale, Missouri, 20-16. Because of gasoline and tire rationing during World War II, the tournament was canceled for 1943, and never resumed.
|1941||Booker T. Washington (Sand Springs, OK}||Booker T. Washington (Seminole, OK}||38-24||Tuskegee|
|1942||Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, OK)||Southern (Scotlandville, LA)||42-19||Tuskegee|
|1941||Woodstock (Lucy, TN)||unknown||--||Tuskegee|
|1942||Weirgate High (TX)||Hermondale High (MO)||28-16||Tuskegee|
Author’s note: Much of this narrative was based on the work of Charles Herbert Thompson’s History of the National Basketball Tournaments for Black High Schools, his 1980 doctoral dissertation submitted to the Louisiana State University.