In 1948 the NAIA became the first national organization to open their intercollegiate postseason to black student-athletes, due primarily to the influence of Indiana State coach John Wooden. In 1947, Coach Wooden refused the invitation to the NAIA National Tournament because of the ban on African-American players. The following year, Coach Wooden brought the first African-American student athlete to play at the national tournament. Walker, a vital role player helped the Sycamores finish as the NAIA National Finalist.
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