He had several teams and used them for touring and proving grounds to see if your skills were that good to move up to the main “Touring Trotters” team.

Pictured: Kansas City Stars, Trotter Farm team Left to right: Harold “Killer” Johnson, Bill “Razor” Frazier, Dan Dennis, Byron Long, William Oliver and Abe’s bother, Morry Saperstein

As Abe’s team's popularity started to increase, so did the ability to provide employment for young basketball players who were mostly of color but Caucasian and Hawaiian players also.

On Feb 19, 1948 The Harlem Globetrotters beat the Minneapolis Lakers 61-59, at Chicago Stadium. Many saw it as luck that the Trotters won against the World Champions. A rematch was set the following year on Feb 28, 1949. Over 20,000 fans packed the arena to witness this historic game. The Original Harlem Globetrotters again bested the Lakers  by the score of 49-45. These games would change the perception of black players and lead to the beginning of integration into the All-White leagues.

Goose Tatum(Trotters), George Miken (Lakers) and Sweet Water Clifton(Trotters)

The BAA incorporated in 1946 which played the larger arenas & markets such as Boston and New York. In 1949 the BAA and the NBL merged to create the NBA.

1945 Thousands of white students walk out of classes in protest of integration, Gary, IN; this walkout will              serve as a precedent for future integration resistance.

1948 Several southern white delegates walk out of the National Democratic Convention after a strong                  civil rights plank is adopted in Philadelphia, PA


1948 In Shelly v. Kraemer, the US Supreme Court declares that courts cannot enforce segregated                       housing covenants. 

The Harlem Globetrotter Movie released in 1951 and the Go Man Go Movie was released in 1954.

In the 1951-52 season the Globetrotters had completed the 25th Anniversary. They had completed several seasons of the Series of Games against the College All Americans. This team would not survive next few years. Abe would act as the first sports agent sending players like Chuck Cooper and Nat 'Sweetwater' Clifton into the NBA. Goose Tatum and Marquis Haines would leave to start their own team. Bernie Price and Inman Jackson retired and became scouts and coaches for Abe. Clarence Wilson, Rookie Brown and Ermer Robinson's retirement would soon follow.

Paul Welsh(Business Manager) Reese Goose Tatum, William Rookie Brown,( Unknown), Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton, Chuck Cooper, Bernie Price, Inman Jackson, Ermer Robinson, Clarence  "Cave" Wilson, (Unknown), Marquis Haynes, (Unknown), Abe Saperstein

Which leads to the best Globetrotter team ever assembled: the 1956 team

The 1956 Harlem Globetrotters Team appearing on the game show, What's My Line

Pictured from left to right:


Willie Gardner - Globetrotter and NY Knicks


William "Pop" Gates Coach....One of the first to play in all white league before 1950, NY Rens, Harlem Globetrotters


Clarence "Cave" Wilson (Seated) - Tennessee State Hall of Fame, Harlem Globetrotters, MVP College All-Star Series


Meadowlark Lemon - Florida A&M, NBA Hall of Fame

Woody Sauldsberry, Texas Southern, Harlem Globetrotters, NBA Rookie of the year with Philadelphia Warriors, Chicago Packers, Also won a championship and with Boston

Harlem Globetrotters' General Manager, Paul Welch

Andy Johnson- Portland University, Original Harlem Globetrotter, NBA, American Basketball League, Eastern Basketball League (Only player to play in EVERY Pro Basketball League)

Leon Hillard - All-State at McKinley High School of Chicago

Roman Turman - Clark Atlanta College, 10 year Career - Harlem Globetrotters, NBA, and Eastern Basketball League

Carl Green, NY City High MVP in 1952, All Star Team, Winston Salem State Hall of Fame, Harlem Globetrotters , Eastern Basketball League, (appeared in NBA programs Phila. roster)

Charles Hoxie - All American from Niagara -NBA draft


Copyright 2019 The Andy Johnson Foundation

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