The season of 1967-68: Oxford again with the Varsity win despite a successful season
(text by Chris Retallack and Paul Kremmel, added by Michael Hofstetter in January 2022)
The following image and text was sent to us by Chris Retallack, who played basketball for Cambridge University in the late 1960s. Chris, many thanks for this.
You see from the photo Oxford all looked taller and bigger than we did. I was 6’4” but light. We had some magically fast short guys like B. Sheasgreen, but those giant Oxford guys definitely bullied us around the hoops towards the end of the match – I still remember being slammed into by T Ward ( don’t like his superior smile!!)
Many of us English players had never played before we came to Cambridge either. We practised 5 afternoons a week with a match on Saturday but had no coaches, our captain (sitting on the floor third from right) did all the training.
I remember we won all our other university games and also played in USAF bases like Lakenheath.
Our score should be written in the archives somewhere which are all in my loft. I am clearing it all out and one day may find it.
Michael, the sixties was a strange time, so not surprised some results are missing. On one hand many new sports like basketball weren’t properly organised admin wise and on the other hand it was the age of rebellion. Many of us didn’t even turn up for our graduation ceremony.
In addition to Chris report, we were delighted to receive the following summary of the season by Paul Kremmel together with some photos from the Varsity match that year. Paul, many thanks for providing this great material.
“Just off hand, I can send you a few pictures of the Oxford-Cambridge match in 1968. Chris played center, I was a forward, and the one picture shows him passing to me (or the other way around). On the other picture, I was free for a jump shot. Still, we lost but put up a good fight, and enjoyed the dinner afterwards. Oxford had lots of Rhodes Scholars who were required to play a sport, and many of the “Yanks” chose basketball, so they had an edge over us. There was a Christmas basketball tournament that we did well at, but I’ll have to dig into my files to provide the details. and perhaps other memorabilia.
I still enjoy basketball, and help coach a group of young boys/men who were either refugees or recently came to Germany for other reasons. Sometimes I play along, but they keep getting better so it’s hard to keep up. And the Corona measures have limited us a great deal.
As you can see on the team sheet, Oxford had a very good year, winning 23 of their 26 matches and winners of the British University Championships. We pretty much broke even – 9 wins and 11 defeats – but we were runners-up at the British University Championships. Oxford also had quite a few taller players than we had. All in all, we were happy with our season.