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Abe Saperstein
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Sports Executive
    (July 4, 1902-March 15, 1966)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Founder (1926), owner, and first coach of the Harlem Globetrotters
    With Jesse Owens, organized the West Coast Negro Baseball Association (1946)
    Commissioner of the American Basketball League (1961-63)
    Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (1971)
    He dropped out of the University of Illinois.
    At the height of the team's popularity in the 1950s, he had three versions of the Globetrotters touring the US, plus and international squad.
    He was frustrated in his efforts to buy an NBA team.
    He was a workaholic who took only one day off a year -- Yom Kippur.
    At 5'3, he is the shortest man in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
    He played nine sports in high school.
    In the Globetrotters' early days, he served as the team's coach, booking agent, publicity director, driver, and occasional substitute player.
    He arranged a game between the Globetrotters and the NBA Champion Minnesota Lakers that demonstrated that black players could win at the professional level (February 19, 1948).
    He scouted black baseball players for Bill Veeck, resulting in the Cleveland Indians signing Larry Doby, Satchel Paige, and Minnie Minoso, among others.
    As ABL Commissioner, he introduced the three-point shot to basketball.

Credit: C. Fishel


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