John Edgar Wideman was as remarkable on the basketball court as he was off it. The definition of the scholar-athlete, Wideman received accolades from the Big 5 and Ivy League, as well as three very prestigious academic honors.
On the court, Wideman moved up to varsity his sophomore year, where he scored in double-figures several times. A co-captain his junior year and sole captain in 1962, he led the Quakers to a combined 20-8 Ivy League record and a Big 5 championship. He garnered first team All-Ivy League status his senior year to complement his All-Big 5 honors. He is currently enshrined in the Big 5 Hall of Fame.
Off the court, Wideman was just the second African American to become a Rhodes Scholar. In addition, he was a Ben Franklin Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1967, Wideman returned to Penn as an assistant professor of English, and in 1972, he left to pursue his now illustrious writing career.