Essay about The Rise of Abe Saperstein and the Harlem Globetrotters

1399 Words Nov 13th, 2005 6 Pages
Abe Saperstein: An Unconventional Champion of Civil Rights

In 1924 a young Jewish man named Abe Saperstein was chosen to coach an African American semi pro basketball team called the Giles Post American Legion Quintet. Little did he know that with this position he would eventually revolutionize the game of basketball and help to initiate integration throughout the country, while establishing himself as an unknown and unconventional hero. Saperstein was a masterful promoter and businessman who would build the most well known sports franchise in history. He was also a visionary who knew the immense impact that African Americans could have on the game of basketball and was determined to force integration throughout the game of
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Despite the fact they were winning games, the Globetrotters did not show a profit until 1940, because of this Saperstein was not only the coach, he was also the chauffer, trainer, and the teams only substitute player. Most times even when Saperstein had the money for hotel rooms his Globetrotters were discriminated against, so most of the time he and the team slept in the bus. Not even these difficult conditions could stop Saperstein from following through with his heroic plan for integration. The Globetrotters maintained their dominance on the court until 1939 when they were invited to play in their first professional basketball championship tournament. Unfortunately, the New York Renaissance defeated the Globetrotters, but the Globetrotters began to clown around and introduce some of the flashy aspects of street basketball to their game. Despite their loss, the crowd loved the Globetrotter's antics, and Saperstein saw an opportunity. He told his players to add more clowning to the games but only when they had established a safe lead. People from all around began to come see Saperstein's Globetrotters and their new fast paced style of flashy basketball. The original globetrotter Inman Jackson is credited with initiating the teams "Clown Prince of basketball" role that exists today. Despite the Globetrotter's new found fame from clowning around on the court, Saperstein still wanted to prove

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