St. Francis College Honors the Legacy of Levi Bough ’50

The St. Francis College Athletic Department honored the legacy of Levi Bough ’50 at the men’s basketball game against Medgar Evers on November 21, 2019.

Bough was a trailblazing Terrier as he broke the color barrier at St. Francis, becoming the first African American to play on the men’s basketball team in 1947.

St. Francis held a special pregame ceremony in the memory of the pioneer prior to tip-off against Medgar Evers. Bough’s family was on hand to receive a special plaque presented to them by the St. Francis Athletic Department.

“We are proud to honor the legacy of a great Terrier, Levi Bough. He embodied the true Franciscan values as he paved the way for so many student-athletes that came after him. Levi was truly a trailblazer and his legacy will carry on for generations to come at St. Francis,” said Director of Athletics Irma Garcia.

Bough attended St. Francis from 1947–50 where he played for the legendary Head Coach Daniel Lynch. Bough graduated from St. Francis in 1950 with degrees in philosophy and psychology.

During Bough’s second season with the Terriers in 1948–49, the team posted an impressive 21–12 record and participated in the National Catholic Invitation Postseason Tournament. Bough and the Terriers advanced all the way to the finals, but were edged by Regis to conclude a memorable season. Bough averaged 2.4 points per game in 33 games during the 1948–49 campaign.

Prior to his days at St. Francis, Bough attended Virginia Union University in Richmond for his freshman year in 1942. Later that year, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served his country for three years and nine months fighting in Europe. While in the Army, he was assigned to the 761st Tank Battalion.

Following his service, he returned to the United States and that is when he received a basketball scholarship to attend St. Francis. At 24 years old, he was the oldest member of the team and was the only married player.

Bough made a life for himself in Switzerland, where he was a gas station attendant and then later a furniture salesman. Basketball always remained an essential part of Bough’s life as he was a trainer and coach in Switzerland. Success was something that he was always a part of as he helped capture 18 championships between being a player and coach. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 87.