Baylor basketball star traded green and gold for red, white and blue at 1948 London Olympics
Sixty-four years ago, Baylor basketball player Jackie Robinson was selected to represent the United States in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. With London set to host the games again this summer for the first time since then, WAGT 26 in Augusta, Ga., caught up with Robinson to talk about his experience, from the opening ceremonies to his visit with the King and Queen. [Click here to watch their report.]
Robinson (no relation to the groundbreaking Brooklyn Dodger) was a two-time All-American for the Bears in the 1940s, leading Baylor to the 1948 Final Four and national championship game, where the Bears lost to Kentucky. With basketball an Olympic sport that summer for just the second time, the U.S. roster was filled with college players — most of them from that Kentucky team. Robinson was added to the roster as an at-large selection; in London, he helped lead the U.S. to the gold medal and got to meet the King and Queen of England. [Listen to an August 1948 BBC interview with Robinson in which he defends the state of Texas.]
After his playing days, Robinson became a minister, pastoring First Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia, from 1953-74. He was elected to the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame in 1963 and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1966, and was named to the 75th Anniversary All-SWC team in 1989 and Baylor men’s basketball’s All-Centennial Team in 2006. Today, he is retired in Augusta with his wife, Charlotte.
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