Texas Southern University men’s basketball team will face Southeastern Louisiana in the first Robert Hughes Classic to be held in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, December 19th at 7:00pm.
The tournament is the brainchild of Glenn O. Lewis, current Chairman of the TSU Board of Regents. Lewis served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives for 10 years.
Lewis is a product of Dunbar High School. He, along with several alumni created the J. Martin Jacquet Foundation, named after the school’s first principal. The foundation funds educational events at the feeder schools to Dunbar, and provides teaching equipment to improve the quality of education for the students.
The group raised more than $20,000.00 for the foundation from their annual golf tournament. They now want to expand their fundraising efforts to other avenues.
“We were looking for a creative way to raise money for the foundation,” Lewis stated. “I knew that Dunbar’s Coach Hughes was the greatest high school coach in the nation and he was a standout basketball player at Texas Southern, so I approached Mr. Charles McClelland [TSU Athletics Director] with the idea of starting a classic in Hughes’ name.”
Mr. McClelland agreed and the first Robert Hughes Classic was scheduled. “I believe this Classic gives us a chance to honor one of the greatest basketball players in TSU’s history. It allows us to showcase our current team and we get to help improve the education of students in the Fort Worth area. It’s a positive situation for everyone involved,” said McClelland.
Hughes is known as the duke of Dunbar High School in Fort Worth. He was the head coach there from 1973 until he retired in 2005. Previously, he coached at I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth (an all black high school) during segregation. During his tenure, he won five state basketball titles and coached his way to 1,333 wins which made him the winningest high school basketball coach of all times.
Hughes is from Bristow, Oklahoma. He played college basketball at Texas Southern University for coach Edward Adams from 1951 to 1954. Hughes played forward, post and off-guard. He garnered All-SWAC honors for three years and was named TSU’s Athlete of the Year as a senior. He is also a member of the TSU Hall of Fame. Hughes was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1954. In 1993, he was inducted into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
Lewis and McClelland hope to make the Robert Hughes Classic an annual event.