Former MSU player Mitchell dead at 72

July 18, 2013 in Local Sports, National Sports, News, Obituaries, Sports, Statewide News

Leland Mitchell, a former Mississippi State basketball star who played in the renowned MSU-Loyola game in 1963, died Saturday, July 6 at the age of 72.

Mitchell died at his home in Starkville.

Officials with Welch Funeral Home in Starkville said services were held on July 11.

The 6-foot-4 Mitchell starred at guard on the MSU team that won the Southeastern Conference championship and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. State law prohibited the all-white Bulldogs from traveling to East Lansing, Mich., to face an integrated Loyola University of Chicago team, but MSU coach Babe McCarthy sneaked the team out of town to play the game.