Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Legacy of quiet dignity in Sooner

NORMAN, Okla. — Years ago, long after David Lattin became known as "Big Daddy," he saw a bit of himself in his grandson as the preschooler played and ran.

Lattin told Khadeem's mother that her son would someday be a basketball player, as he was. Grandpa was right, of course, and his pride has grown as Khadeem Lattin became the player he is now, a 20-year-old starting forward at NCAA championship hopeful Oklahoma.

Their similarities transcend the sport they love. David Lattin's quiet strength, determination and work ethic have been passed on. All those qualities have helped Khadeem on the court — and off.

When Oklahoma's campus was rocked by a race-tinged controversy last year, David Lattin, 72, knew his grandson was especially prepared to process what was happening. After all, Khadeem knows well his grandfather's role in college basketball lore as one of the five all-black players who started for Texas Western in its landmark 1966 NCAA final victory over a Kentucky team that started five whites.

Khadeem was a freshman when members of OU's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter were recorded singing a racist chant in a video posted online.

David reached out to offer Khadeem guidance, but the younger Lattin was prepared to respond the same way David did decades earlier — with quiet strength. He chose simply to join others on campus in a silent protest.

"I think everybody understands there's been racial problems, and there's never going to be a perfect world, maybe not in my lifetime, but it is what it is," David Lattin said. "He understands that he has to deal with it, and he's not going run away from it, he's going to face it head on and do what he can to help others and do his thing. I'm proud of him for that."

David Lattin is just as proud of his team's accomplishment 50 years ago. But he always understood some battles would be left to future generations and is thankful that his grandson could have gone anywhere to school, including those in the South that were slow to integrate in the '60s.

"My grandfather's story — it means a lot," Khadeem said. "It's wonderful to know that a Lattin has left an enormous impact on the game of basketball in the way that it's played and the way that people see it. I love it. It's nice to have something like that and know that my name means something important in the world and in history."

Shockers all set: All it took was a First Four game to validate Wichita State's selection into the tournament field, as if it needed any validation.

Now, after statement victories over Vanderbilt and Arizona, there seem to be no limits for these Shockers (26-8).

"I think our body of work and the type of team we are, we felt good about ourselves in terms of getting in," Wichita State point guard Fred VanVleet said Friday. "It's just a matter of who, what, where, when, why, that type of question."

Next up is a second-round game today against Miami (26-7), the third seed in the South. Much of the focus will be on veteran backcourts — WSU's VanVleet and Ron Baker against the Hurricanes' Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan. The Miami duo is a tad older, the Shockers have more tournament experience.

In memory: Butler announced it has partnered with Be The Match, which operates the national bone marrow registry, in honor of late player Andrew Smith. Smith, 25, died in January after a battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014. He played in the 2010 and 2011 NCAA title games with Butler.

Legacy of quiet dignity in Sooner 03/18/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2016 9:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL Week 7: What we learned

    Bucs

    Are the Purple People Eaters back in Minnesota? The Vikings sacked Joe Flacco five times and held the Ravens to 208 total yards in a 24-16 home victory, their third straight win. QB Case Keenum looked ordinary with a 67.7 passer rating after completing 20-of-31 for 188 yards and an interception. Kai Forbath …

    Trainers, top, check Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas after Thomas was hurt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) OHTD122
  2. Bills' comeback against Bucs a win for the process

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It hasn't taken Sean McDermott long to understand how to play to his base. Asked if the Bills had "gotten away with one" Sunday, the first-year coach gushed about his team reflecting the character of the town.

    Under first-year coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are 3-0 at home for the first time in six years. “I love playing here,” he says.
  3. No. 18 UCF closes in on USF, which drops to No. 17

    College

    USF remained ahead of UCF in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday — just barely.

  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]