🏀 Kansas and Kansas State to Honor Historic Duo Saturday

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For Saturday’s Dillons Sunflower Showdown men’s basketball game, Kansas and Kansas State will honor two former players who broke the color barrier at each institution in 1951-52 – LaVannes Squires of Kansas and Gene Wilson of Kansas State.

Both teams will have shooting shirts and the Kansas coaches will wear a patch honoring Squires and Wilson.

Squires lettered three seasons at KU from 1952-54 under head coach Phog Allen. He appeared in 33 games in his career. In 1950-51 Squires earned KU’s Freshman Basketball Award. With Squires on the team, Kansas won the 1952 NCAA championship, three Big Seven regular-season titles and two Big Seven Holiday Tournaments.


Kansas Jayhawks

Born in Hartsdale, Missouri, Squires, who was the eighth of 12 children, was raised in Wichita, Kansas, playing for former KU great Ralph Miller at Wichita East High School.

Following KU, Squires worked in the accounting office for Look Magazine in Des Moines, Iowa. Squires would then become a successful businessman in the banking industry, first at Douglass State Bank in Kansas City, Kansas, then to Swope Parkway National Bank in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1964, Squires started as chief executive officer at Bank of Finance and would later become president of the bank. In 1975, Black Enterprise Magazine listed Bank of Finance as part of its list of 100 largest black-owned and/or black managed businesses in the United States.

Following his banking career, Squires started L.C. Squires Real Estate Company, Inc., in Los Angeles. He later created a postal center in his Los Angeles community and following retirement Squires participated in real estate and trading opportunities right up until his passing in February 2021.

Squires and Wilson will be honored at Kansas’ home game against Kansas State on Feb. 22 during Black History Month.