While the NBA was integrating, the only place that the best black players could play was with the Globetrotters. Many people only know them from performing tricks and making people laugh but don’t realize that they played against NBA teams. They played a series of games against the College All Americans. Many of these College All Americans went on to become NBA legends, coaches & announcers, many of them ending up in the NBA Hall of Fame.   

The Globetrotters were a major part of the integration of sports in the middle of the civil rights era. They traveled around the world before 1960 as Ambassadors of Goodwill as deemed by the US State department. They opened many doors around the world including paving the way to the current NBA.

Andy Johnson, Bobby Milton and Meadowlar

Andy was the captain of that 1956 Globetrotter team.  He is only player in history to play in each of the Professional Basketball Leagues from 1953-1970 excluding the industrial league. Andy played with Abe Saperstein’s Original Harlem Globe-trotters, the National Basketball Association, American Basketball League, & the Eastern Basketball League.

Our mission of the foundation will be to acknowledge the contributions of The Pre-1960 Original Harlem Globetrotters individually and collectively.  A journey to preserving the history of our pioneers in the early basketball community by unveiling their struggles.  To highlight the notion that success can be obtained by staying positive in any situation.

​We believe the public should be enlightened by the history of a sport that changed race relations in the mid 50’s. It was entertainment at its finest and it created a worldwide vision of the game called basketball we see it today.

The Andy Johnson Foundation will acquire written and video documentations, a collection of photographs and memorabilia & historical contexts relating to world events. This will be done by extensive research. Information that has been collected is intended for preservation as well as to inspire and be used for for educational purposes.

Note: This is the only organization that represents the members of the Original Harlem Globetrotters that pioneered before 1960.


The Andy Johnson Foundation/Pre 60 OHG’s has no affiliation with any other entity.  Non profit application pending.

basketball team ever assembled that year; The only sports figures appearing as a team on popular TV shows like 'What’s my line' and the Steve Allen show. They were coached by NBA “Hall of Famer” William “Pop” Gates.

There have only been a handful of men that wore that famous uniform, even less who were a part of the famous “EAST” team in the 50’s. They were known as the “Touring Trotters” who were the first to travel around the world, bringing basketball to countries that had never seen the game. 

The 1956 Trotter team is arguably the best professional

Early Harlem Globetrotters

From top to bottom: Andy Johnson, Bobby Milton and Meadowlark Lemon

Andy Johnson entertaining children in Sarajevo in 1955 

Copyright 2019 The Andy Johnson Foundation

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