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Monday, January 24, 2022

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Aztec Shops congratulates the men's basketball team on its 1941 national championship. Aztec Shops congratulates the men's basketball team on its 1941 national championship.

Decades Ago at San Diego State

A look back at the national championship-winning men's basketball team in March 1941.

With the university celebrating its birthday in March with SDSU Month, it is a perfect time for this new series presented by the SDSU Library's Department of Special Collections and University Archives. "Decades Ago at San Diego State" will take a look back at news and topics of note from archived issues of The Daily Aztec, providing a glimpse of the university's past. 

In March of 1941, San Diego State College’s men’s basketball team won the national championship tournament in Kansas City (click on any link to view a clip from The Aztec). 

Coach Morris Gross with Milton “Milky” Phelps, Kenny Hale, Dick Mitchell, Harry Hodgetts and the rest of the team won 24 out of 31 games. They defeated Murray State Teachers College, now Murray State University, 36-34 in the championship game. 

Students across campus, San Diego residents and even local businesses congratulated the championship team, which was pictured on the front page of the March 21, 1941, Aztec

Here’s hoping Coach Steve Fischer with Kawhi Leonard, DJ Gay, Billy White, Malcolm Thomas, James Rahon, Chase Tapley and the rest of the team take home another championship this season.

The fall 2010 issue of 360: The Magazine of SDSU profiled this year's and the 1941 men's basketball teams. To read the article, click here. The two-part video included above features an interview between DJ Gay and Harry Hodgetts.

More "Decades Ago at San Diego State" features