COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Between the first and second quarter of Saturday’s game between Maryland and Syracuse, the Terrapins will recognize and pay tribute to Wilmeth Sadat-Singh, who was not permitted to play when Syracuse visited Maryland in October of 1937.
The event was brought to the attention of Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson by Kumea Shorter-Gooden, the Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at the University.
“After visiting with Kumea Shorter-Gooden and reading Mr. Sadat-Singh’s story, we felt compelled to recognize him for his significant accomplishments and contributions,” Anderson said. “We look forward to welcoming his family and friends to Saturday’s game against Syracuse for an on-field ceremony.”
“Today’s presentation really speaks to the leadership of our athletic department,” said Kumea-Shorter Gooden. “This tribute is about honoring Wilmeth, but it also stands for so much more. We know Wilmeth’s name, but there are so many African Americans whose names aren’t known who experienced similar incidents of racism. I hope, in some way, this can help with healing for all of them. And I see this as a re-affirmation of the university’s commitment to transcend its past and to be fully equitable, diverse, and inclusive.”
Sadat-Singh was a standout two-sport athlete at Syracuse, starring in basketball and football for the Orange. The Washington D.C., native was noted for his ball handling and scoring ability on the court and his speed as a halfback on the gridiron. Sadat-Singh only took up football after arriving at Syracuse.
After college, Sadat-Singh, a native of Washington, D.C., shelved a promising professional basketball career to enlist in the U.S. Army in the months following Pearl Harbor. A member of the first graduating class of what later took the name of the Tuskegee Airmen, Sadat-Singh lost his life when his plane went down in Lake Huron on a training flight in May of 1943. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 2005, Syracuse raised Sadat-Singh’s No. 19 jersey to the rafters at the Carrier Dome for his contributions to the University and its athletic program.
Sadat-Singh’s family will join Anderson, Syracuse Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross and Maryland football legend and pioneer Darryl Hill in an on-field tribute and recognition on the video board.
Sadat-Singh’s family will be presented a Maryland football Wounded Warrior jersey in recognition of his military service.