EL PASO, Texas - The Willie Cager Endowed Basketball Scholarship was announced by the Miner Athletic Club on Friday.
It is being funded by donor Don Scott in honor of Cager.
“Willie is an amazing individual,” Scott said. “His heart is as big as anything. He wants to leave a legacy behind. I couldn’t think of anybody that’s more deserving. He brings so much to this campus. He supports UTEP and El Paso, and he wants to give back. A scholarship is the least I can do for him.”
The scholarship was formed after a friendship was developed between Scott and Cager during the 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Season.
This scholarship ensures the legacy of the 1966 national champion, Cager, will live on through UTEP student-athletes forever, and shall be held in perpetuity and used for the benefit of the Intercollegiate Men’s Basketball Program at the University.
Funds distributed from the endowment shall be used to provide scholarships for student-athletes who are participating in the Intercollegiate Men’s Basketball Program, in accordance to university and NCAA rules and regulations.
“I think it’s an honor and a privilege for a student-athlete to have a scholarship,” Cager said. “It’s humbling and an honor to have an endowed scholarship in my name. That’s the name of the game, to give back to UTEP.”
Cager appeared in 77 contests for the Miners from 1964-68, averaging 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds while playing under Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins.
He was a member of the 1966 Texas Western squad that made history by starting five African-Americans to defeat Kentucky, 72-65, and win the 1966 NCAA Championship on the way to inspiring the Disney hit movie Glory Road.
In that championship contest, Cager contributed eight points and six boards.
He remains a fixture in El Paso to this day, and is in attendance at every home UTEP men’s and women’s basketball games.
“I really appreciate the generosity of Don Scott in honoring one of the all-time best in Willie Cager,” UTEP men’s basketball head coach Joe Golding said. “Thanks so much to Don for his support of UTEP Athletics and UTEP men’s basketball.”
For individuals who are interested in supporting the fund, please visit https://givingto.utep.edu/Cager