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Cornish Rogers has fond memories of Martin Luther King during their Boston University days

imageCornish Rogers played three years of varsity ball at Drew University before he moved to Massachusetts in the 1950s to pursue a graduate degree in theology at Boston University. By the time Rogers arrived on Commonwealth Avenue, basketball had become his only leisurely endeavor, something he and his new college pal, Under Armour Curry 2 Martin, enjoyed as a break from their spiritual studies.

Martin, son of a prominent Baptist minister from Atlanta, usually played in his street shoes.

was always well dressed, and ASICS gelnoosa tri 12 I not sure he even owned sneakers, Rogers, now 82, recalled the other day by phone from California. we be out on the court and you could hear his hard leather shoes clicking along . . . click click click across the wooden floor. Martin Luther King Jr. dreams bigger than most Americans, of color or not, dared to conjure went on to help shape the nation.

King came to BU, according to Rogers, because he firmly believed was the only white college in the country then that offered black students the chance to earn graduate degrees in theology. At the time, if a black man or woman taught or preached religion in the South, or anywhere in America, he added, it was a good bet his or her graduate degree was earned at the school Comm. Ave. campus.

King arrived in Boston in the summer of 1951 and received his PhD in systematic theology in the spring of 1955, by which time he was in place as a pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Ala. Born in Harlem, he returned there as a Methodist minister after earning his master of divinity at BU.

Rogers, now retired, was born the same year as King, whose birthday was yesterday. He has fond memories of their BU days together, when King would zip around town in his green Chevy and have school friends visit at his off campus apartment in the South End. While studying at BU, King was a paid member of the city Ebenezer Baptist Church ministry, earning $4,000 a year, according to Rogers.

that was a lot of money in those days, Puma Ferrari recalled Rogers. then, $4,000, Martin was doing OK.

imagefollowed him all over the BU campus, he said. the other black kids from the South. Wherever he went, he had his retinue of at least four or five other black kids around him. He stayed in constant touch with home, so he had all the news from the South, and the black kids from down there flocked to him.

The basketball games were one on one, usually in the small gym of a local church not very far from the BU campus. It was a long time ago, some 60 years gone by, and some of the memories have faded, but not the sense of freedom and joy Rogers shared on the court with the other man who soon became an icon of American social justice.

They were two black men from out of town, in their early 20s, and the church gym was a welcoming place in a city that still had not fully figured out what gyms were open to nonwhites. Rogers lived in a dorm at BU, Asics gelquantum 366 SHIFT where, he said, black and white theology students were intentionally paired as roommates. His pal girlfriend, Coretta Scott from Heiberger, Ala., studied at the nearby New England Conservatory of Music, where black women were yet to be housed in dormitories.

be shooting the ball, bad mouthing each other, saying what we were going to do to one another out there on the court, recalled Rogers. was in good shape, but I wouldn say Martin was any kind of athlete, or worked out regularly or any of that. Let just say I usually beat him . . . but there was this one day, on one play, he really got me. dribbled, stopped, and ASICS GT2002 at the end he made this sort of crazy, twisty move, Rogers said, laughing as he summoned the long ago memory. just threw the ball up there and it went in! Well, he raved about that, went on and on, telling me, was for Coretta! That was for Coretta! He got me there, got me real good. He donated his works to the school in 1964, roughly a year after his dynamic Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, and roughly four years before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, at age 39.

Most of the King collection is stored, Asics 19 per his wishes, and available only for research purposes, but some of his writings and artifacts, leather briefcase with his initials included, are displayed for public viewing at the school Martin Luther King Jr. Reading Room at the Mugar Memorial Library.

One of the Rogers King basketball contests left King with a bloody lip, courtesy of a Rogers power move to the hoop. King would go on to be known the world over for the powerful words that came from those lips, but Rogers got the better of him in that matchup.