POSTED: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 7:35pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 10:29pm
His name is synonymous with UTEP basketball and so much more. Don Haskins is being remembered in a new display at the El Paso Museum of History. Newschannel Nine spoke with a memorabilia collector who is now sharing some precious items with the rest of us.
"The stuff that's on the wall, I consider like my children," said memorabilia collector Joe Gomez. He was a freshman at Texas Western College in 1965, now better known as UTEP. Gomez attended all of the basketball games back then, including the 1966 NCAA Tournament. He kept a newspaper article that was written about the game. Years later, he realized that it was an important piece of history so he framed it. That was just the beginning. "Over the years I've picked up one thing after another," said Gomez. "I'm a pack rat, but primarily, I'm a collector of history."
It's hard for any collector to let go of his treasured pieces, but Gomez wanted to see his collection on display. About 90% of the items in this exhibit belong to Gomez, and those items cover a long span of time.
"I'm hoping that future generations find out about the impact this team had on civil rights," said Gomez. That's one reason he decided to put his collection on display. It's here now, for all of us to enjoy.