David L. Lattin
David L. Lattin, an only child to his widowed Mother Elsie, was born in Houston, Texas on December 23, 1943. David attended elementary and secondary schools in Houston, graduating from Evan E. Worthing Senior High School in 1963. Worthing High School High, a new Houston high school in the early 60s, won the Texas 3-AAAA State Title in David’s junior year and David was named All-State and All-American on several All-American High School teams, the first Texas schoolboy player, white or black, to ever be named to a High School All-American team. And from a personal production standpoint, David was even better the following year, averaging 29 points, 19 rebounds, and 13 blocked shots per game, making David the number one schoolboy player in the state of Texas as a Junior and Senior, again selected as an All-State (unanimous selection) and an All-America, player and led his West High School All-Star team over a gifted East team 62-50, when he scored 16 points and was named the Most Valuable Player.
David had over three hundred scholarship offers his senior year but he accepted a scholarship to Tennessee State College in Nashville, Tennessee because the basketball coach of the school at the time agreed to give scholarships to David’s four teammates as well. Tennessee State, one of a number of historically black colleges at the time, had a storied basketball history, participating in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) division of college basketball and winning the National NAIA tournament three consecutive years in the late 1950s (1957-1958-1959), behind the skills and leadership of John Barnhill and Dick Barnett, both of whom went on to successful professional careers. But the early 1960s were not the late 1950s and David saw that the level of competition was not going to challenge him to get better as a basketball player. So, after a brief visit at the Nashville school, David dropped out of Tennessee State and returned to Houston where he began playing AAU ball. Still not satisfied with the level of competition, David decided that he needed to compete at the Division 1 level of the NCAA, which led him to accept a full scholarship to Texas Western College to play for Coach Don Haskins. The rest is well-recorded history.
While at Texas Western (1965-1967), David led the Texas Western College team to the 1966 Division 1 NCAA National Championship, the only Texan that has ever led his high school team to a state basketball championship and his college team to the Division One Collegiate NCAA National Championship. During his Texas Western days, David established and still holds a number of school NCAA tournament records. Over the 8 NCAA games in which he participated, David averaged 19.5 points per game (155 total) and 11 rebounds per game (88 totals) and holds the school’s tournament field goal percentage top spot at 55% and foul shots made at 43. His UTEP coach, Don Haskins, remains amazed to this day that David could dominate a game the way he did, scoring in double figures in 44 of 56 games he played in at UTEP and rebounding equally impressively.
Named MVP of the Midwest Regional (NCAA) with 44 points, 25 rebounds against the likes of Cincinnati and Kansas, David scored in double figures in 16 straight games as a junior and 14 as a sophomore.
David closed out his UTEP career with his single game best scoring and rebounding performance, scoring 34 points and 13 boards against Wyoming in an NCAA tournament game his junior year. Not surprisingly, David was named All-American during both his 1966 and 1967 seasons at Texas Western.
David’s considerable size and talent as a gifted big man did not go unnoticed by the professional leagues and David opted to leave college early when he was drafted number 1 by the San Francisco Warriors in 1967. David had a successful professional basketball career over a period of 8 years, playing for the San Francisco Warriors, the Phoenix Suns, the Pittsburgh Condors and the Memphis Tams, the latter two of the fledgling American Basketball Association (ABA), and the world famous Harlem Globetrotters.
David has had a successful business career both as a corporate executive and entrepreneur. He previously owned and was President and CEO of three Houston business enterprises and is now the President and CEO of Your Maison Housing. David also worked in and served as a director for several wholesale distribution companies in the distilled spirits industry. And recently, David became a published author, having written and self-published his first book entitled: “Slam Dunk to Glory – the Amazing True Story of the 1966 NCAA Championship Game That Changed America Forever.”
David and his teammates on the 1966 “Miners” has been the subject of many documentaries, books, newspaper and magazine articles and a feature length motion picture entitled Glory Road that was released in January of 2006 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Productions and which recently won an ESPY award as the best sports movie of 2006. Earlier this year, the team was the subject of a documentary entitled the “Final Four” narrated by Bryant Gumbel that was presented on CBS, HBO Real Sports, and ESPN Classic. David and his teammates have also been the subject of a number of books and articles among which was the book And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: Kentucky, Texas Western, and the Game That Changed American Sports written by Frank Fitzpatrick; another, “Basketball’s Greatest Upset,” Written by Ray Sanchez; and most recently Glory Road, Coach Haskin’s autobiography written with Dan Wetzel about the 1966 NCAA Basketball championship and how one team triumphed against the odds and changed America forever. And significantly, the 1966 Texas Western basketball team was recognized by Wheaties by having the team and its accomplishments featured prominently on a Wheaties Cereal Tribute Box with a worldwide distribution of over 2,000,000.
While at Texas Western College, David, who majored in Radio & Television, also found time to host his own campus radio jazz and blues music show. Later, after his professional basketball career ended, David went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration to lay the foundation for a successful business career. David is the father of one son, Clifton, a daughter, Leslie, and he is the proud grandfather to 7 grandchildren.
Hall of Fame Induction
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 2007
Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame 2007
Texas Western Hall of Fame
Number One High School Basketball Player in Texas for Two Years
First High School All American Basketball Player from the State of Texas
Led TEX Western to the Men’s Basketball Championship in 1966, the only team from Texas to ever win the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship from the State of Texas
College Basketball All American for Two Years