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One of Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 Sports Books of All Time: The riveting story of the point-shaving scandal that shook college basketball to its core
It was the ultimate Cinderella sports story. Unranked heading into the 1949–50 season, the City College basketball team delighted their hometown of New York City and shocked the rest of America by winning both the NCAA and NIT tournaments. An unprecedented feat that would never be duplicated, City College’s postseason grand slam was made all the more remarkable by the fact that, in an era when many premier teams were segregated, its starting lineup consisted of 3 Jewish and 2 African American athletes.
With Hall of Fame coach Nat Holman and 4 of the starting 5 returning for the 1950–51 campaign, the stage was set for a thrilling title defense. Alas, it was not to be. City College’s season came to an abrupt end when 3 of its star players were arrested on charges of conspiring to fix games. The ensuing scandal, which would engulf 6 other schools and lead to the indictments of 20 players and 14 fixers, cast New York City sports under a dark cloud, derailed the careers of some of the game’s most promising young talents, and forever altered the landscape of college basketball.
The basis for the award-winning HBO documentary City Dump, The Game They Played is a poignant portrait of the unforgettable moment when an unheralded team of local boys united New York City in both triumph and disgrace.