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Hill continued knocking down doors throughout his life. He became a successful businessman in a number of ventures, not only in the United States but in Russia and China as well. Now he is chairman of the Kids Play USA Foundation, which is dedicated to removing the financial barriers from youth sports.

“I’ve dedicated my 50th anniversary to work against the economic discrimination kids are now facing in sports,” Hill said. “This covers all races. Some sports are prohibitively expensive for families now. Sometimes it’s not how good you are or how hard you work. It’s can your daddy write the check? There’s something inherently wrong with that. We can’t go backwards.”

You can’t go backwards after this: after Hill enrolled at Maryland, Clemson threatened to leave the ACC. The coach, Howard, threatened to pull out of the game there if Hill came. Hill’s mother, Palestine, was refused entry to the stadium and had to be privately brought in by Clemson president Robert Edwards to his private box.

Last year Darryl Hill returned to Clemson for a game, receiving a standing ovation in a ceremony before 85,000 fans. “It was mind-boggling,” Hill said.

It was Jackie Robinson-like.

Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and