History Is Lunch: Rick Cleveland + Bailey Howell, “12 Years in the NBA”

Two Mississippi Museums | 222 North Street, Jackson, Mississippi, 39201

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Join the Mississippi Department of Archives & History on site at the Two Mississippi Museums at noon on Wednesday, March 15, for History Is Lunch (or watch the livestream) when Rick Cleveland will be in conversation with Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member and twelve-year NBA veteran Bailey Howell.
Howell, an All-American for Middleton High School just across the Tennessee state line, played basketball at Mississippi State University and led the team to a 64–14 record during his three years as a starter. His career averages of 27.1 points and 17 rebounds are still school records.
“In 1958 and 1959 Howell was the SEC’s Most Valuable Player and an All-American, and in his senior season he led the Bulldogs to the conference championship and a number three ranking nationally,” said Cleveland. “But Mississippi prohibited its college teams from competing against teams with Black players, so Howell’s Bulldogs never appeared in the NCAA tournament.” Howell was selected second overall by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA draft and went on to play for four teams, including the Boston Celtics squads that won the 1968 and 1969 league titles. “In my opinion, Bailey Howell is the most accomplished basketball player in Mississippi history,” Cleveland said.
Rick Cleveland is a sports columnist with Mississippi Today. He earned his BS in journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi and has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News, and Clarion-Ledger, and was the sports editor for the Hattiesburg American. Cleveland is the former executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and has been recognized 14 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year.
History Is Lunch is sponsored by the John and Lucy Shackelford Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi. The weekly lecture series of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History explores different aspects of the state’s past. The hour-long programs are held in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum building at 222 North Street in Jackson and live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook.
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