EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The University of Texas at El Paso will be holding a ” Celebration of Life” event for Texas Western College basketball legend Willie Cager on Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.

The event will be free and open to the public and will gather Cager’s family, friends, and teammates to share their memories of a life well lived.

Cager died last month on March 19 at the age of 81. That same day marked the 57th anniversary of TWC’s historic victory over Kentucky in the 1966 men’s basketball national championship game.

Originally from Bronx, New York, Cager remained in El Paso after playing for the miners in 77 games from 1964 to 1968, averaging 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds under the direction of Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins. He collected eight points and six rebounds in TWC’s win over the Wildcats. The UTEP Miners made history by becoming the first team to start five black players in the title game. 

Cager became a fixture in the community as well as a frequent supporter at UTEP men’s and women’s basketball home games.