Get Amped for March Madness With Retro Basketball Photos

A black-and-white photo of two student basketball players on the men's team jumping in the air and reaching for a basketball.
Basketball player James Pearce (right) in the 1971 edition of The Shield
A black-and-white photo of two basketball players on the women's team jumping in the air. One is about to shoot the ball, and the other has her arms up to block.
Basketball player Bonnie Watson (right) in the 1971 edition of the Shield.

Get out your short shorts and low-top sneakers—it’s basketball season, 1970s-style. We’ve got several more photos of student basketball now that three more yearbooks from Vaiden Whitley High School have been added to our site thanks to the Wendell Historical Society.

Vaiden Whitley, now East Wake High School, is located in Wendell, N.C. in Wake County. These yearbooks show the school back in 1971-1973, also known as some of the most fashionable years for both yearbooks and student basketball uniforms.

While these games may not have been quite as exciting as some of the ones in this year’s NCAA tournament, they do illustrate North Carolinian’s longstanding cultural obsession with the sport. In 1971, the Vaiden Whitley men’s team only came out on top in 8/19 games—not quite as good as the women’s team, which won 7/13. Still, the coaches called it a “profitable season.”

A black-and-white photo of two student basketball players posing with a basketball in high top socks and short shorts.
Co-captains Jimmy Wiggins and Randy Greene (1971)

You can see all three editions of The Shield in this batch here or browse all available editions from Vaiden Whitley High School here. You can also take a look at our full digital collection of high school yearbooks, organized by school, location, and year in our North Carolina Yearbooks collection.

To see more materials from the Wendell Historical Society, you can visit their partner page and their website.

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This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

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