Indiana school to be named for trailblazing Black coach


WHITELAND, Ind. — A new school in Johnson County will likely be named for a man who coached the first all-Black basketball team to win an Indiana championship.

Ray Crowe led state championship teams at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis in 1955 and 1956.

The Clark-Pleasant school district in Whiteland is proposing to name a new elementary school for Crowe, who graduated from Whiteland High School in 1934, Superintendent Patrick Spray told the Daily Journal.

The school board will vote on the name later this month.

“The board had sense in the past not naming schools after individuals because where do you draw the line? But we’re consciously doing more to recognize diversity, equity and inclusion,” Spray said.

Crowe was a “trailblazer,” he said.

“Part of the intent at the elementary school is to raise awareness of his contributions to not just basketball, but just with his influence on the young African-American men he worked with, his former players and the influence he had on them as young men,” Spray said.

Crowe, who died in 2003, was also a state lawmaker and an official at the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department.

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