SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. -- A beloved Spring Valley High School basketball coach had a day honoring him when the Rockland County Legislature proclaimed Friday, March 18, as Willie Worsley Day.
Worsley was honored during a tribute at Spring Valley High School, where Legislator Laurie Santulli (R-Congers), who teaches social studies at the school, presented him with the proclamation.
Worsley, considered an inspirational member of the community who has become an icon to many, was a member of the Texas Western Miners basketball team during its historic 1966 NCAA championship game against Kentucky.
Worsley, a guard who wore No. 24, and his teammates were the first all-black starting line-up in NCAA history. Their 23-1 record and tournament championship changed the face of collegiate athletics and paved the way for future minority athletes in the NCAA.
The team was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007 and inspired the book and 2006 film "Glory Road."
His contributions to minorities, athletes, and our overall county have no bounds, Santulli said.
“Coach Worsley has touched the lives of so many students and athletes in our community,” Legislator she added. “His philosophy is that we are all family and that if you can change the life of just one person, you are a success.”
Worsley has worked to improve the lives of youth since the 1960s. He has served as the Varsity Boys' Basketball Coach for Spring Valley High School for almost 20 years. He continually urges players to aspire to the highest principles and ideals, instilling in them the concept that achieving is believing and thereby building character, purpose and determination in the youth of the East Ramapo Central School District.
The proclamation was signed by Alden H. Wolfe in his capacity as chairman of the Legislature.
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