Bulls' Garrett Temple reflects on racial progress in family matters

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Why Temple sees racial progress in family matters originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Even three days later, Garrett Temple gets emotional thinking about it.

"I got chills just when you asked the question," the Bulls' veteran wing said Sunday via Zoom from Detroit.

The question was about Temple's father -- "my hero," as Temple termed him -- calling the motion as a member of the board of supervisors to elect the first Black president in LSU's (and the Southeastern Conference's) history.

Temple's father, Collis Temple Jr., was the first Black basketball player at the school in 1971. And that was after Temple Jr.'s father, Collis Temple Sr., wasn't admitted to graduate school at the university because of the color of his skin.

"It’s a movie, obviously," Temple said. "For my grandfather to get turned down because of the color of his skin, it all started with him having the ability to set aside his pride and think of the bigger picture and allow my Dad to go to school at LSU when they recruited him to integrate the school. Fast forward to my Dad doing his four years and being able to get to the Hall of Fame and his sons go to school there and then get on the board of supervisors. And then for him to be the guy who nominates the first Black president of LSU and first Black president of any school in the SEC is amazing."

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Temple starred with former Bull Tyrus Thomas when LSU advanced unexpectedly and memorably to the 2006 NCAA Final Four. While knowing work remains, Temple is obviously proud of where the school is headed. It's also evident in the palpable emotion his father shows when reading the motion to elect William F. Tate IV as LSU's president, which is seconded by a member of the student body.

"The K-12 school I went to that’s on LSU’s campus that’s called LSU Lab School has their first African-American head of the school as well this year," he said. "It’s amazing being where we are in Louisiana, understanding the history in that state and the specific history of what my Dad went through and what my Grandpa was not able to go through. These are big steps. It’s definitely progress."

RELATED: Tyrus Thomas, Bulls guard Garrett Temple share bond beyond basketball

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