CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In the spring of 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, the West Virginia University (WVU) basketball team was invited to play in the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The team, though seeded eighth, stunned everyone when it won the tournament.

Patricia Richards McClure of Charleston will present a talk about that championship team at 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center. The program is free and open to the public.

While researching material for biographies of veterans whose names are inscribed on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial, McClure discovered a number of relationships and coincidences among a small group of World War II veterans, all with connections to the 1942 basketball team. Her lecture will focus on the unprecedented commitment of all the members of that team to the global conflict, including the coach, Dyke Raese, and the player who landed the foul shot that gave WVU the  lead in the final game, Roger “Shorty” Hicks of Moundsville.

McClure is a former associate professor of English at West Virginia State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, and a master’s degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.  As a volunteer for Archives and History, she researches and writes profiles of West Virginia veterans, specializing in the World War II-era combatants.

For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the lecture, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, by e-mail at or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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