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Central - On The Schedule For The First Time, But Not The First Game

As you may have read, NCAA rules changes about exhibition games mean that the
traditional teams - AAU touring teams, international teams - are no longer
welcome, and so D-1 teams are scheduling lesser teams. In Duke's and UNC's case,
this means NCCU gets a
crack at the dominant players in the Triangle market.
The Herald-Sun
lists this as the first-ever meeting, which is technically true, but not
entirely so.

In the 1940s, when Central was a real power in a segregated basketball world,
the Duke players and the players from what is now called Central (we're thinking
it was North Carolina College back then) got together for what is now known as
"the secret game," where they basically hid in Central's gym and
played, with Central dominating Duke.

No coaches, no audience, no press, and good thing, because some of the
Central players might have been murdered for having the nerve to play a
"White" team.

After that game, they played shirts and skins, and later hung out in dorms
and just got a chance to be kids who liked basketball and who respected their

It sounds insane today, but that's the way it was then. We sincerely
hope that some commemoration of this event will take place when the two teams
meet, all these years later, in public and with no fear. Perhaps the
survivors could be invited and honored.