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Spencer Haywood

Basketball player Spencer Haywood was born on April 22, 1949 in Silver City, Mississippi. After graduating from Pershing High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1967, Haywood attended Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colorado. Haywood was selected to play on the United States men’s basketball team in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games and won a gold-medal for the United States. In 1969, Haywood transferred to the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan for his sophomore year. After experiencing racial discrimination on the University of Detroit basketball team, Haywood decided to leave college and play basketball professionally.

In 1969, Haywood played for the American Basketball Association’s (ABA) Denver Rockets. In 1970, at the age of twenty-one Haywood was voted ABA Rookie of the Year, Haywood signed with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Seattle Supersonics. At the time, the NBA prohibited teams from drafting players who were less than four years out of high school. Supersonics owner, Sam Schulman, and Haywood filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA. The cased reached the U.S. Supreme Court (Haywood v. National Basketball Association), which ruled in Haywood’s favor. The NBA subsequently changed their policy, allowing younger players to enter the NBA draft if they could provide evidence of “hardship.” Haywood played a total five seasons with the Seattle Supersonics. He was traded to the New York Knicks in 1975. In 1979, Haywood transferred to the Los Angeles Lakers, playing for a single season before moving to Italy to play basketball for an Italian league in 1980. After returning to the United States, Haywood played for the Washington Bullets. He retired from professional basketball in 1983. Haywood published his autobiography, entitled Spencer Haywood: The Rise, The Fall, The Recovery in 1992.

Over the course of his career with the NBA, Haywood made four NBA All-Star Teams, two All-NBA First Teams, and two All-NBA Second Teams. He retired from the NBA with a total of 14,592 career points and 7,038 rebounds. Haywood was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

Spencer Haywood has three daughters.

Spencer Haywood was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on October 11, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.180

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/11/2017

Last Name

Haywood

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Spencer

Birth City, State, Country

Silver City

HM ID

HAY16

Favorite Season

Autumn

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Favorite Quote

He May Not Come When You Want Him, But He's Always Right On Time

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

4/22/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Favorite Food

Vegan Greens

Short Description

Basketball player Spencer Haywood (1949 - ) was a four-time NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist and played on the Denver Rockets, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks, New Orleans Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers and the Washington Bullets.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Lenny Wilkens

Basketball coach and player Lenny Wilkens was born on October 28, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Boys High School in Brooklyn and received his B.A. degree from Providence College in 1960, where he was a two-time All-American on the men’s basketball team.

Wilkens was chosen by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1960 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. He spent eight years with the Hawks organization and between 1960 and 1970, he was voted to nine all-star teams and finished second to Wilt Chamberlain for the NBA’s MVP Award in 1968. That same year, Wilkens was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics becoming a player-coach. He led the Sonics to their first winning season in 1971 and 1972. He ranked among the all-time leaders in assists, free throws, and was named MVP in the 1971 All-Star game. Wilkens left coaching to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1972, and later became player-coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. In 1975, he retired from playing after fifteen seasons and remained as coach of the TrailBlazers for an additional season.

Wilkens returned to Seattle as head coach midway through the 1977 and 1978 season. He coached the Sonics to the NBA Finals that year. In his eight seasons with the Sonics, the team won its only NBA Championship in 1979, and compiled a record of 357-277 for a winning percentage 56.3. He served as the Sonic general manager for one season before accepting the head coach position for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he coached for seven seasons. He later joined the Atlanta Hawks, coaching the team to the Central Division Championship and was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1994. Wilkens remained with the Atlanta Hawks organization until 2000, and left to coach the Toronto Raptors from 2000 to 2003, and the New York Knicks from 2004 to 2005. The following year, Wilkens was hired as vice chairman of the Seattle SuperSonics ownership group, and later became president of basketball operations. Wilkens retired from the organization in 2007.

Wilkens was the only person named one of the fifty greatest players and one of the top ten coaches in league history, and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. 

Wilkens and his wife, Marilyn have three children, Leesha, Randy and Jamee.

Lenny Wilkens was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 5, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.177

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/05/2017

Last Name

Wilkens

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Organizations
First Name

Lenny

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn

HM ID

WIL80

Favorite Season

Fall Into Winter

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Be Consistent In What You Do And What You Say.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

10/28/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

My Wife's Fried Chicken

Short Description

Basketball coach and player (1937 - ) played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for fifteen years and transitioned to coaching where he won an NBA Championship and was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame as a coach

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Gail A. Marquis

Basketball player and financial advisor Gail A. Marquis was born on November 18, 1954 in New York, New York. Marquis earned her B.A. degree in education and psychology from Queens College in 1980. She later received her M.B.A. degree from the University of Phoenix in 2007.

Marquis was a two-time all American at Queens College. The 1972-1973 Queens College Women’s Basketball Team made history as the first women’s team to be inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. As a member of Queens College Women’s Basketball, in 1975, they were the first women’s team ~college or pro~ to play basketball at Madison Square Garden.

Marquis played on the 1976 U.S.A. Olympic Team in Montreal, Canada; it was the first time that Women’s Basketball was played at the Olympic Games. The team won the silver medal. Marquis then travelled to Nice, France as one of only a few women, to play professional basketball in the French Federation of Basketball. She competed for an all-French team, Olympique d’Antibes Juan~les~Pins. From 1976-79, Marquis lived in the South of France where she also studied French at L’Universite de Nice in Nice, France. In 1977, Marquis represented Team U.S.A. at the World University Games in Sofia, Bulgaria. There, the U.S.A. National Team earned another silver medal.

Marquis returned to the U.S. to play for the New York Stars and later the New Jersey Gems of the Women’s Basketball League (W.B.L). Marquis’ N.Y. Stars set a league record for wins (28), and won the League Championship, as the first women’s pro team to call Madison Square Garden their home court.

Marquis entered the financial services industry and worked for firms including, Dean Witter Reynolds, PaineWebber, UBS, Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan Chase in Operation, Information Technology, Sales and Wealth Management. In 2013, she launched her own company, G. Marquis~World Financial Services.

At the same time, Marquis was as a broad color commentator and sports analyst for the NCAA Division I games at Rutgers University and Penn State University, the American Basketball League (A.B.L) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (W.N.B.A.)

Marquis is an 11-time Hall of Famer having been inducted in 2009 to the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. She is the first woman of color inducted. She is part of the inaugural induction class into the Queens College Athletic Hall of Fame (2012), and has received numerous awards including, the Inaugural Title IX-Trailblazer Award from the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.
Marquis has served as trustee and representative to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, The Queens College Foundation, The Wellesley Centers for Women, The Women’s Sports Foundation, and the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.
Currently, Marquis serves as the director of community outreach for the School of Business at New Jersey City University and is the regional director for the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at New Jersey City University.

Gail A. Marquis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.099

Sex

Female

Interview Date

05/04/2017

Last Name

Marquis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Organizations
Schools

University of Phoenix

Queens College, City University of New York

First Name

Gail

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MAR20

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

11/18/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Basketball player and financial advisor Gail A. Marquis (1954- ) was on the 1976 Olympic women’s basketball team where she helped win a silver medal.

Favorite Color

Green

Oscar Robertson

Basketball player Oscar Robertson was born on November 24, 1938 in Charlotte, Tennessee to Mazell Bell Robertson and Bailey Robertson, Sr. During World War II, Robertson and his family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he played on the basketball team at Crispus Attucks High School. The team became the first all-black high school team to win a state championship in the United States in 1955; and in 1956, they secured their second title with an undefeated season. Robertson went on to attend the University of Cincinnati, where he played varsity basketball from 1957 to 1960. There, he led the nation in points per game for all three seasons, and became the all-time leading NCAA scorer by the end of his college career – twice leading the team to the NCAA Final Four. Robertson graduated from the University of Cincinnati with his B.S. degree in business in 1960.

Robertson won a gold medal as co-captain of the U.S. men’s basketball team at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. That same year, he was recruited to the NBA as the first overall draft pick. Playing for the Cincinnati Royals, he won the NBA Rookie of the Year award after scoring 30.5 points per game and leading the league in assists. In his second NBA season, Robertson became the first player to average a triple-double, also breaking the single-season record for assists. He was selected for the All-NBA First Team in each of his first nine seasons with the Royals. In 1970, Robertson was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he played alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He won his only NBA title in 1971, and retired from basketball in 1974. Additionally, Robertson served as the president of the NBA Players Association from 1965 to 1974, making him the first African American man to head a nationwide labor union in professional sports. He represented the organization in the class-action case Robertson v. National Basketball Association in 1976. The subsequent settlement included the Oscar Robertson Rule, which started free agency in the NBA.

After retiring, Robertson started several businesses, including OR Solutions and Orchem, Inc. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980. Robertson co-founded the National Basketball Retired Players Association in 1992, and was heavily involved in the Boys Club of New York and the National Kidney Foundation. He also started the Oscar & Yvonne Robertson Scholarship Fund to support minority students at the University of Cincinnati.

Robertson and his wife, Yvonne Crittenden, have three daughters: Shana, Tia, and Mari.

Oscar Robertson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 3, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.017

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/3/2016

Last Name

Robertson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Booker T. Washington School 17

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

University of Cincinnati

First Name

Oscar

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

ROB29

Favorite Season

October

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Colorado

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/24/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cincinnati

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salads, was pork chops, collard greens, cornbread

Short Description

Basketball player Oscar Robertson (1938- ) began his career with the Cincinnati Royals, and won an NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971. As president of the NBA Players Association, he negotiated the start of free agency in the NBA.

Employment

Cincinnati Royals

National Basketball Association Players' Association

Milwaukee Bucks

CBS

Orchem Corporation

OR Solutions LLC

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Beige and Brown

Dominique Wilkins

Basketball player Dominique Wilkins was born on January 12, 1960 in Paris, France to John Wilkins, a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, and Gertrude Baker. Wilkins had seven siblings, including Gerald Wilkins, who also played professional basketball. Dominique Wilkins’ family eventually settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where he began playing basketball on the playground while attending Dunbar High School. As a high school sophomore, Wilkins relocated to Washington, North Carolina and played at Washington High School. There, he won two North Carolina Class 3-A Championships in 1978 and 1979, and was voted as state MVP in both seasons. Wilkins enrolled at the University of Georgia, where he played basketball for three years, and was awarded as SEC Player of the Year in 1981.

Wilkins was drafted third in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, and subsequently traded to the Atlanta Hawks. Wilkins was the Hawks’ leading scorer for most of his twelve seasons with the franchise. He was selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game for nine consecutive years from 1986 to 1994, and led the league in scoring during the 1985-1986 season. Wilkins, nicknamed “The Human Highlight Film,” was particularly known for his dunking skills, especially his signature two-handed windmill dunk. He won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest twice, in 1985 and 1990, and placed second two other times. The Hawks qualified for the playoffs in nine of Wilkins’s twelve seasons with the team. Leaving the Atlanta Hawks in 1994, Wilkins went on to play for the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic and the Greek team Panathinaikos, with whom he won the 1996 Euroleague Final Four championship. When Wilkins retired from the NBA in 1999, he held the ninth position in total points scored in the league’s overall history. The Hawks retired Wilkins’ #21 jersey in 2001; and Wilkins became the team’s vice president of basketball in 2004.

Wilkins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, entered the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. He has worked with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and the National Diabetes Education Program to promote diabetes prevention, and was also active with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Special Olympics, Muscular Dystrophy Association and the American Lung Foundation. He is also a diabetes ambassador for Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care. Wilkins is represented in front of State Farm Arena in the form of an 18,500-pound bronze statue erected in March, 2015.

Dominique Wilkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 5, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.070

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/5/2016

Last Name

Wilkins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Patterson High School

Washington High School

University of Georgia

Hampstead Hill Academy

First Name

Dominique

Birth City, State, Country

Paris

HM ID

WIL75

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

I Can Show You But I'm Not Going To Tell You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/12/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

France

Favorite Food

Italian

Short Description

Basketball player Dominique Wilkins (1960 - ) played for the Atlanta Hawks for most of his career. He was also a nine-time NBA All-Star, and inducted into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Employment

Atlanta Hawks

Los Angeles Clippers

Boston Celtics

Panathinaikos Basketball Club

San Antonio Spurs

Fortitudo Pallacanestro Bologna 103

Orlando Magic

CBA Sports

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue, Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dominique Wilkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dominique Wilkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dominique Wilkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dominique Wilkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dominique Wilkins talks about his father's military service

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dominique Wilkins lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dominique Wilkins describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dominique Wilkins remembers the Westport section of Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dominique Wilkins recalls his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dominique Wilkins describes his start as a basketball player

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dominique Wilkins remembers moving to North Carolina after his parents' divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dominique Wilkins recalls playing basketball at Washington High School in Washington, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dominique Wilkins remembers living with his basketball coach

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dominique Wilkins talks about his slam dunk and spin moves

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Dominique Wilkins describes his athletic training regimen

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dominique Wilkins recalls his experiences as a high school basketball player

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dominique Wilkins recalls his high school track record

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dominique Wilkins remembers being harassed for leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dominique Wilkins remembers the college basketball recruitment process

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dominique Wilkins remembers buying his mother's first home

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dominique Wilkins recalls his teammates at the University of Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dominique Wilkins remembers his first slam dunk

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dominique Wilkins remembers Coach Hugh Durham at the University of Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dominique Wilkins recalls his experiences in the NBA draft

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dominique Wilkins remembers being traded to the Atlanta Hawks

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dominique Wilkins remembers his early years with the Atlanta Hawks

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dominique Wilkins remembers playing with Spud Webb

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dominique Wilkins describes the origin of his nickname

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dominique Wilkins describes his favorite basketball move

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dominique Wilkins recalls his favorite plays

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dominique Wilkins talks about scoring strategies in basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dominique Wilkins talks about the Atlanta Hawks' rivals

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dominique Wilkins remembers injuring his Achilles tendon

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dominique Wilkins remembers being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dominique Wilkins recalls his teammates on the Los Angeles Clippers

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dominique Wilkins talks about the owners of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Chicago Bulls

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dominique Wilkins remembers leaving the Los Angeles Clippers

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dominique Wilkins talks about basketball shoes

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dominique Wilkins recalls the international players in the NBA

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dominique Wilkins remembers retiring from the Orlando Magic

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dominique Wilkins reflects upon the changes in basketball gameplay

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dominique Wilkins talks about the relationships between basketball players

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dominique Wilkins talks about the composition of the Golden State Warriors

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dominique Wilkins recalls becoming an executive of the Atlanta Hawks

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dominique Wilkins describes his work as a basketball court designer

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dominique Wilkins talks about the importance of the team environment

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dominique Wilkins describes his plans for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dominique Wilkins talks about his diabetes advocacy

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Dominique Wilkins talks about his honorary statue in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Dominique Wilkins shares his advice to young black men

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Dominique Wilkins describes his advice for aspiring basketball players

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Dominique Wilkins describes his ideal Dream Team

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dominique Wilkins describes his family

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dominique Wilkins reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

10$7

DATitle
Dominique Wilkins describes his start as a basketball player
Dominique Wilkins recalls becoming an executive of the Atlanta Hawks
Transcript
You said your--your father [John Wilkins, Sr.] was into sports. He's 6'6".$$Um-hm.$$He plays with you and your brothers?$$Um-hm.$$And when did you know that you had, you know, potential basketball talent and that--?$$I knew when I was twelve that I was going to be a pro.$$Okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I knew it. I mean I just, I was determined. And--$$What happened, was there an incident or something?$$Well, most of th- most of the older guys used to make me play against older kids for money. I was like twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old at the time playing against these kids who were fifteen and sixteen, one on one for money. And if I'd win, they would give me like three or four dollars every game I would win, and they'd keep the rest (laughter). But I never lost, because for me it was survival. You know, I'm trying to take money home to the family. So, that's when I knew. I'm like, I'm going to play in the pros one day. I knew it early on.$$Okay. So this is in Baltimore, Maryland?$$It's in Baltimore, Um-hm.$$Okay, all right. Now, I know your brother became a professional basketball player.$$Um-hm.$$Gerald [Gerald Wilkins].$$Right.$$He played with the Knicks [New York Knicks].$$Right.$$And there's somebody else.$$His son [Damien Wilkins] played for ten years as well.$$Okay.$$Yeah. So, basketball is a part of our family.$$So, were your other brothers talented to a degree?$$Yeah. Actually my brother John [John Wilkins, Jr.] who's a year younger than me, at the time he was better than Gerald. I'd never seen Gerald play until I was in the pros. Actually, my first year of college [University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia] was the first time I saw Gerald play. We never knew he played basketball, because Gerald was always doing his own thing. So, we never seen him play. And I looked up and he's playing on the high school team. And I'm like, Gerald can't play, you know (laughter). But he turned out to be a great player, you know, and played fourteen or fifteen years in the NBA [National Basketball Association].$$Yeah, a great defender.$$Oh, a super defender.$$Right, right. So, okay, so when did you leave Baltimore (unclear) (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I left Baltimore when I was sixteen. That was 1976.$$So now, you were playing high school basketball then, I assume?$$Yeah. I was, I was on the Patterson High [Patterson High School] in Baltimore, and I left and caught a Greyhound bus to North Carolina.$$Okay, all right. So I'm trying to--now, when you were in--I see what people do now. But I wondered, when you were in junior high school, you were thirteen or fourteen, were people trying to recruit you?$$People didn't really start to recruit me until my, probably my first year of high school.$$Thirteen?$$Actually I was sixteen.$$Sixteen? Sixteen (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Sixteen. I was getting ready to turn seventeen--$$Okay.$$--when I had my first experience with recruiters. Because the high school team I played on was unbelievable. And we were seventy-six and one in three years on that high school team, so we had every scout in the nation at our high school games.$$So this is Patterson?$$No, this is at Washington High [Washington High School, Washington, North Carolina]. 'Cause I left Patterson (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Washington High.$$--after going to school there for a month--$$Okay.$$--and I went to, I caught a bus and went to North Carolina.$Now, now you made a--what happened after you retired? You were like thirty-eight to thirty-nine, and you retired from Orlando [Orlando Magic]. But were you still living in Atlanta [Georgia]?$$I lived between A- Orlando [Florida] and Atlanta, and finally moved to Atlanta. Once I became an executive for the Hawks [Atlanta Hawks], I moved here permanently.$$All right, 'cause I wondered about the sequence of it. You became an executive first, and you say that's what happened, actually.$$That's what happened. I became an executive first, right.$$All right, all right. How did that happen?$$Well, one of the things Stan Kasten, who's the GM [general manager], said, was that once I got traded, he said, "Dominique [HistoryMaker Dominique Wilkins] will always have a position in this franchise." And he held true to that, and so when I retired he brought me to Atlanta. I was the special assistant to the vice president, and I was part of the coaching staff as well. So, I've been part of the organization since I retired.$$Okay, okay.$$About seventeen years now.$$Yeah, well what's the primary role that you play?$$Well, now I'm vice president of basketball. So I wear a lot of different hats, from corporate sponsorships, from helping players, mainly on the business side as special assistant to the CEO--excuse me, special advisor to the CEO--on a lot of business related stuff. And Steve Koonin, which is our CEO, has been a major inspiration in the last few years on really elevating me in those positions.$$Okay. So you've been with the Hawks since 2000 and--$$I've been with the Hawks since 2000 and--$$Since 2000, okay?$$Um-hm, 2000.$$All right. That's like sixteen years, now (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Sixteen years.$$And you do some broadcasting, too?$$I'm actually an analyst for Fox [Fox Sports]. I've been doing that for twelve years. I'm the chairman for the alumni committee for the Hawks as well, so I have a team of guys who we collectively vote on who should be recognized in the arena, and continue to build our alumni around that arena. So, I was voted in by my peers as well as the owner, Tony Ressler, who's a wonderful owner for our franchise. And that has given me the ability to do some other things that I want to do for my own business ventures and partnership with things I have outside of that, like basketball floor design. I design my own basketball floors with CBA Sports [Norcross, Georgia], who--we are partners now. So, we do great stuff around the country as far as putting experiences in neighborhoods as far as safe environments and healthy environments. And also do college, professional--we do all their courts, too.

Wayne Embry

Basketball team manager and basketball player Wayne Richard Embry was born on March 26, 1937 in Springfield, Ohio. After graduating from Tecumseh High School, Embry attended Miami University and graduated in 1958 with his B.S. degree in education. While there, he was a star basketball player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

In 1958, Embry was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in the third round of the National Basketball Association (NBA) player draft. Embry went on to play in the NBA from 1959 to 1969 for several successful franchises, including the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks. He played with NBA Hall of Fame inductee Bill Russell and contributed significantly to the Boston Celtics team that won the 1968 NBA Championship. In 1972, Embry was named general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks and became the first African American general manager in NBA league history, as well as the first black general manager of a major U.S. team sport. From 1985 to 1992, Embry served as vice president and general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He went on to become the first African American NBA team president with the Cavaliers in 1994. Under the guidance of Embry, the Cleveland Cavaliers averaged forty-five wins and had nine playoff appearances over twelve seasons. Embry was appointed senior basketball advisor to the general manager for the Toronto Raptors in 2004, and then became the senior advisor to the president one year later. On January 26, 2006, Embry was named interim general manager for the Raptors.

Embry was selected to play on the National Basketball Association’s All-Pro team in five consecutive seasons between 1961 and 1965. He was chosen as “NBA Executive of the Year” by Sporting News magazine in 1992 and 1998. Embry was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor to the class of 1999. He was also inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the charter class. He is the 2013 recipient of the Ohio Heritage Award, which recognizes an Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame inductee for their contributions to the State of Ohio off the court.

Embry and his wife, Terri Embry, live in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have three children: Debbie, Jull, and Wayne, Jr.

Wayne Richard Embry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 17, 2013 and August 18, 2017.

Accession Number

A2013.166

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/17/2013 |and| 08/18/2017

Last Name

Embry

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Miami University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Wayne

Birth City, State, Country

Springfield

HM ID

EMB01

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arizona

Birth Date

3/26/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Phoenix

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Basketball team manager and basketball player Wayne Embry (1937 - ) was the general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks, becoming the first African American general manager in the history of the National Basketball Association and the first African American general manager of any major U.S. team sport. He played for the Boston Celtics team that won the 1968 NBA Championship.

Employment

Cincinnati Royals

Boston Celtics

Milwaukee Bucks

Cleveland Cavaliers

Toronto Raptors

Favorite Color

None

Sidney Green

Basketball player and college basketball coach Sidney Green was born on January 4, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York. He starred on his high school basketball team at Thomas Jefferson High School. In 1979, Green, a graduating senior, was a McDonald’s All-American selection and named the New York City Player of the Year. He chose to attend the University of Nevada at Las Vegas with a four-year athletic scholarship where he played under head coach Jerry Tarkanian. In 1983, Green was an NCAA All-American selection and he graduated that year with his B.A. degree in sociology. Green was the all-time leading rebounder and second all-time scorer in the history of the UNLV men’s basketball team.

Green was the fifth pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, where he was chosen by the Chicago Bulls to play power forward and played alongside basketball super star Michael Jordan. Green had a successful career in the NBA and went on to play for the Detroit Pistons, the New York Knicks, the Orlando Magic, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Charlotte Hornets before retiring from the league in 1993. In 1995, Green returned to basketball as head coach of the men’s basketball team at Southampton College in Long Island, New York. Despite inheriting a team that had won just six games the year before, Green led his team to twenty-nine wins and twenty-seven losses during his two years as head coach. In 1997, Green went on to coach at the University of North Florida, where he increased the team’s winning percentage by more than thirty percent. Florida Atlantic University hired Green as its head coach in 1999. He took his team to the first Atlantic Sun Conference championship in 2002, where he was named the A-Sun Coach of the Year. Green was hired as an assistant coach at the University of Indiana in 2005 and in 2009, the Chicago Bulls named him the team ambassador.

While in college, Green co-founded Shoot for the Stars Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada. During his time with the Knicks in New York, Green participated in Governor Mario and Matilda Cuomo’s Mentor Program as a spokesperson in public schools. He also founded Sid’s Kids in Orlando, Florida while he played with the Orlando Magic. In 1989, Green received the NBA National Spirit of Love Award, given to the NBA player who has contributed significant time and energy to the community. Green’s jersey was retired by the UNLV basketball team, and he was inducted into the UNLV Hall of Fame in 1994.

Green and his wife, Deidra, have two children, LaShawn and Taurean. Taurean has also played in the NBA.

Sidney Green was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 18, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.115

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/18/2012

Last Name

Green

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Thomas Jefferson High School

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

P.S. 158 Warwick School

I.S. 302 Rafael Cordero School

P.S. 64

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sidney

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

GRE15

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Palos Verdes, California, Ft Lauderdale, Florida

Favorite Quote

The Pain Of Discipline Is Much Less Than The Pain Of Regret.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/4/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Italian Food

Short Description

Basketball player and college basketball coach Sidney Green (1961 - ) played in the NBA for ten years. After retirement, he head-coached several college teams before being appointed ambassador for the Chicago Bulls.

Employment

National Basketball Association

Southampton College

University of North Florida

Florida Atlantic University

University of Indiana

Chicago Bulls

Wynn Las Vegas

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
10,0:4618,90:4874,95:5130,100:21090,343:56226,725:78915,1041:96939,1271:114916,1709:154180,2106:157091,2119:186398,2717:195580,2897:201819,3003:202127,3008:202435,3034:203051,3044:203436,3050:205284,3081:209519,3180:254360,3803:268704,4029:284150,4238:285767,4258:309600,4579$0,0:32330,548:39458,628:53850,895:68563,1140:74081,1258:81532,1478:109426,1844:112702,1915:115068,1996:127228,2264:166665,2734:172604,2794:186218,3051:196127,3230:197345,3255:198215,3267:209970,3574:210350,3579:215480,3702:216240,3711:216715,3721:220515,3818:221180,3826:221845,3869:224315,3909:224695,3935:255542,4328:257783,4396:259111,4421:270813,4568:271650,4585:277137,4676:281040,4713
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sidney Green's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sidney Green lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sidney Green describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sidney Green talks about his relatives in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sidney Green describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sidney Green recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sidney Green talks about his father's experiences in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sidney Green remembers his parents' education and occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sidney Green describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sidney Green talks about his family's move to Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sidney Green describes his upbringing in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sidney Green remembers his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Sidney Green describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sidney Green recalls the racial divide in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sidney Green describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sidney Green remembers the influence of his older siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sidney Green talks about Jim McMillian

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sidney Green remembers his brother's murder

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sidney Green recalls his early interest in basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sidney Green remembers James "Fly" Williams

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sidney Green talks about the basketball culture in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sidney Green remembers his favorite elementary school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sidney Green talks about the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Sidney Green recalls the start of his basketball career

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sidney Green describes his neighborhood baseball teams

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sidney Green recalls an incident that led to his interest in basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sidney Green remembers his basketball mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sidney Green remembers his growing pains

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sidney Green recalls Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sidney Green remembers the guidance of his high school basketball coaches

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sidney Green recalls his decision to attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sidney Green describes basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sidney Green recalls missing his high school prom to play in the McDonald's All-American Game

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sidney Green remembers the players at the 1979 McDonald's All-American Game

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Sidney Green talks about the prominent basketball players of New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Sidney Green describes his discipline as a student athlete at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sidney Green describes Coach Jerry Tarkanian's basketball practices

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sidney Green remembers his physical training and diet regimen

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sidney Green talks about his basketball experiences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sidney Green describes the National Invitation Tournament game

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sidney Green talks about his college basketball statistics

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sidney Green recalls being drafted by the Chicago Bulls

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sidney Green describes his first year with the Chicago Bulls

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sidney Green remembers his teammates on the Chicago Bulls

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sidney Green recalls Michael Jordan's first year with the Chicago Bulls

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sidney Green talks about his experiences with the Chicago Bulls

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sidney Green recalls being traded from the Chicago Bulls

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sidney Green remembers playing for the Detroit Pistons

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sidney Green recalls buying a home for his mother in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sidney Green talks about the accomplishments of the New York Knicks

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sidney Green remembers his strongest basketball opponents

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sidney Green describes his teammates on the New York Knicks

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sidney Green describes his relationship with his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sidney Green recalls playing for the Orlando Magic

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sidney Green remembers being traded to the San Antonio Spurs

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sidney Green remembers coaches Larry Brown and Jerry Tarkanian

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sidney Green recalls being traded to the Charlotte Hornets

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sidney Green remembers Alonzo Mourning

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sidney Green talks about his retirement from the NBA

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sidney Green recalls his jersey retirement ceremony at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sidney Green talks about his philanthropic foundations

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sidney Green recalls coaching at South Hampton College in South Hampton, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sidney Green talks about his coaching experiences at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sidney Green describes his coaching experiences at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Sidney Green describes his coaching experiences at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sidney Green describes the 2002 March Madness competition

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sidney Green recalls watching his son play for the University of Florida

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sidney Green remembers becoming the Chicago Bulls team ambassador

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sidney Green shares his analysis of the 2012 Chicago Bulls

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sidney Green talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sidney Green describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sidney Green reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sidney Green reflects upon his life and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Sidney Green narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

11$5

DATitle
Sidney Green describes his upbringing in Brooklyn, New York
Sidney Green remembers his strongest basketball opponents
Transcript
What was life like growing up for you? I mean can you describe where you lived, and then what were some of the sights, and sounds, and smells of growing up?$$Well, it was wonderful, you know. My--I lived in a six--well, let me start from scratch. Moving from Harlem [New York, New York] to Brooklyn [New York]--remember, we lived on Jerome Street in Brooklyn--East New York section of Brooklyn. We lived on Jerome Street for about a, a year, and then my mother [Lucretia Simmons Green] found a bigger apartment--bigger home for us--for nine of us that was living--well, it was ten of us that was living in a apartment; she found a six room apartment right around the corner on Pitkin Avenue, and I remember the story she told me. She, she was walking and the then landlord was doing some work outside the apartment, and he had a sign, you know, "Apartment for Rent," and she inquired about it and he asked her how many kids she had, and she said this is the only time she ever had to tell a different story--I don't wanna use the other word but, but she said she had to because she needed a bigger place, so he asked her how many kids that she had, and she said four (laughter), and he said, "Okay." And a few weeks after that, when we moved in, he noticed all the kids (laughter). It was four plus six more, and he was like--saying something in Spanish; he said she did not wanna hear what he was asking her in Spanish 'cause he didn't speak English. But his--the landlord wife told her, you know, that, you know, "I thought she said she only had four, and she bringing all these kids." (Laughter) But he accepted her, but one thing my mother always did is she always paid her rent on time, and she always kept a clean apartment and kept us in a respectful way. And after he saw my mother's characteristics on how she was raising us, he accepted her, and we wound up living there for seventeen years--eighteen years in that, in that apartment.$$Now this is--this is quite a job, you know, when you really think of--you know, when you reflect back on something like that. There is someone who's working as a domestic--$$Um-hm.$$--and she's gotta feed what--nine children? I mean she's got (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It was ten of us.$$Ten, yeah.$$Yeah, it was ten (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And--$$And my sister, my oldest sister [Essie Mae Walton], was living in the Bronx [New York]; she was married--she got married at that time (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay, so she wasn't there to help.$$She wasn't there, no, so it was ten of us.$$So, this is, this is really a, a--she did a--you know--a job!$$I think she did a phenomenal job, the best that--she always said she did the best she could and, as I've told my family, you know, to this day, it was up to us to take it to another level for her, to make it better. Unfortunately, some didn't--some decided to go a different route but, you know, she did a phenomenal job under the circumstances.$$Right. And this is New York City [New York, New York] where you don't necessarily have like the, the village kind of, you know, situation you might have in South Carolina or someplace where there are other relatives always around, and people you know (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No, she, she did it--she did it on herself with her character, integrity, and she was able to win a lotta people over in regards on how she tried to raise us, and keep us all together. And our, our closest friends was our landlord--the ones who--and also the one--the, the residents who lived on the sec- we lived on the third floor. And also the surrounding neighborhood was, you know, a lotta Puerto Ricans, you know; they were our friends. They really brought us in and, and accepted us and made us feel like, you know, we were part of their family as well.$$Okay, okay. So, it was a lotta Puerto Ricans in the neighborhood where you grew up?$$That is correct.$$Okay, all right. Did you learn how to speak Spanish?$$Oh, yeah. I have a brother, I think, who--I wanna make sure (laughter)--Wilbert [Wilbert Green] is a--totally converted, and my brother Wilbert, he worked in a grocery store right downstairs and they, they brought him in like, like he was their family 'cause they liked him, and he wind up working in a grocery store, and learned how to speak Spanish better than how everyone else was speaking Spanish in the neighborhood, and to this day, we still, you know, say--kid him that he's a fully converted Puerto Rican, yeah so.$$(Laughter).$$It's in, it's in his blood wholeheartedly.$So, who is your--when you were playing, who was your toughest opponent that you faced, do you think?$$Individually?$$Well, as a team and as individual players, you know. Who were the toughest (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Celtics [Boston Celtics].$$The Celtics? Really?$$Kevin McHale was one of the toughest players I ever had to defend. He was so uncanny, he was so imposing; he had unbelievable post moves--up and under--just so, so good; he was just so good no matter, you know, our scout report was to be aggressive with him and deny him from his position on the box that he wanted, he always found a way to get there with his footwork, and long arms and--you know; it was like pick your poison playing against the Celtics 'cause you have--try to stop Kevin McHale from doing--and Parish [Robert Parish] doing their thing, and you have, of course, Bird [Larry Bird] out there, and you have a great point guard in Dennis Johnson, God bless him--his soul. It was tough, but they were one of my toughest teams that I've ever had to play against. I mean all--every team in the NBA [National Basketball Association] is tough, but in that year--those years with Bird and (unclear). And then, of course, the Lakers [Los Angeles Lakers], you know, with Magic [Magic Johnson], and Kareem [Kareem-Abdul Jabbar], and Worthy [James Worthy], and Jamaal Wilkes and, you know.$$Now here's Kareem; you--that, that must have been something to play against him--somebody that you've watched as a kid.$$Oh, yeah, oh, yeah (laughter). I remember my first year playing against Kareem was my rookie year; he--you know, I got in the game to defend Kareem and he, he knew I was in awe by him and, you know, first couple a possessions, you know--bang, bang, bang, and one time--next possession he--I went up for a rebound and he tried to go over me; went over my back and hit me on my head with his elbows and that woke me up quick, you know (laughter). That awe that I had of Kareem just evaporated after that hit, and I said, "Okay, I'm in a war now," (laughter) you know, so I always--when I see him, I always kid him about that experience I had with him on that, on that, on that game. But he was a remarkable player.$$Now, is he--do you think--I've often thought--now this is just me look--well, watching--I was at a game once with the Bulls [Chicago Bulls] and the, and the Lakers when they had Artis Gilmore, and if Artis Gilmore was 7'1", how tall was Kareem? Kareem seemed like he was taller--much taller than Artis Gilmore.$$I think they say he was 7'2"; he was about a inch taller than him.$$Yeah, but I don't know; seem like he was much taller, but I don't know if that's (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Kareem, his physique was long and, you know--long, and Artis had a, you know, bigger body width wise.$$Okay.$$Yeah, width wise.$$Maybe just a optical thing--$$Correct.$$But, yeah, he looked a lot longer. He is made long, so he has longer arms and everything else--$$Um-hm.$$--so, yeah. So he just looked gigantic. I said, "Now, how in the world," (laughter). They're not even close to the same--they looked like they were close to the same size, you know, walking around, you know.$$Both great players.$$Yes, right.$$Both great players.$$And Gilmore was gone from the--he, he was--he was not playing with the Bulls anymore; he had just left, I guess, right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) No, he was with--he was with the Spurs [San Antonio Spurs].$$Right, right.$$With the Spurs, yeah, I think it was--yeah.$$Okay. Now, now, do you get a chance--when you're, when you're playing an opposing team, do you get a chance to know the players on the other teams in the NBA? Do y'all ever eat together after the game, or do they--or do, do the (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) The game is so--you know--well, certain players on certain teams you probably know from, you know, the summer, or going on your NBA trips during the summer, you know, but--yeah. Yeah, but it's--you know, it's part of the professional sports. As far as embracing and hugging and figuratively kissing each players before games, you know, I never unders- you know, my objective was to, to beat you.$$Okay. Now, I always wondered--we, we see certain teams play, and the guys come out and they act like they're, they're greatest friends in the world, you know. I just wonder if they hang out after the game, or what, you know--how, how well the--your team knows the opposition, you know; that's what--$$Yeah, I, I (unclear) now--I didn't wanna warm our hearts up to my opponents too much. If I knew somebody on the opposing team I just--I say, "Hi," but just leave me alone, 'cause I gotta focus on what I gotta do for my team.

Ralph Sampson

Basketball player Ralph Sampson was born on July 7, 1960 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Standing at 7’4’’, he was born with a natural talent for basketball. Sampson attended Harrisonburg High School, where he led the basketball team to victory in two State AA Championships in 1978 and 1979. Sampson then went on to attend the University of Virginia, where he received his B.A. degree and played for the university’s basketball team, the Cavaliers. During college, Sampson won three Naismith Awards for National Player of the Year and was only the second person to do so. He also received an unprecedented two Wooden Awards for Player of the Year. In 1980, Sampson and the Cavaliers won the National Invitation Tournament. In 1981, the Cavaliers made it to the NCAA Final Four.

Referred to as the most recruited college basketball player of all time, Sampson was the first pick in the 1983 NBA draft. Drafted by the Houston Rockets, Sampson won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and played in the NBA All-Star Game for the first of four times. In 1984, the Rockets drafted Hakeem Olajuwon and the two came to be known as the “Twin Towers,” an unstoppable basketball duo that played together in 1985’s NBA All-Star Game. Sampson was named MVP for that game, and earned a spot on the All-NBA Second Team. In 1986, Sampson injured his knee and was traded to the Golden State Warriors. He went on to play for the Sacramento Kings and the Washington Bullets. Unable to fully recover from several knee and back injuries, Sampson retired in 1992.

In 1996, Sampson was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. In 2002, Sampson was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Men’s Basketball Team, a position that honored him as one of the 50 best basketball players in the history of the ACC. Sampson founded The Sampson Group, a consulting group, in 2005. In 2006, he went on to found Winner’s Circle Community, an online community dedicated to providing a forum for open and informed communication. That same year, Sampson also founded the Winner’s Circle Foundation, an organization to help young athletes achieve success. In 2010, he published a book entitled Winner’s Circle: The Ralph Sampson Game Plan; What Great Players Do Before, During and After the Game to help young athletes mentally prepare for and achieve success.

Ralph Sampson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on…

Accession Number

A2010.073

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/14/2010

Last Name

Sampson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Waterman Elementary School

Thomas Harrison Middle School

Harrisonburg High School

University of Virginia

University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ralph

Birth City, State, Country

Harrisonburg

HM ID

SAM04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

It Takes Team Work To Make A Dream Work.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

7/7/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs

Short Description

Basketball player Ralph Sampson (1960 - ) was one of the most recruited college basketball players of all time. He won three Naismith Awards and an unprecedented two Wooden Awards in college, and was a four-time NBA All-Star with the Houston Rockets.

Employment

National Basketball Association

Baloncesto Malaga

James Madison University

Richmond Rhythm

Phoenix Suns

Ralph Sampson Sportswear Inc.

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1182,25:5498,131:6494,147:41972,554:47140,721:55370,806:60018,905:73389,1063:73681,1068:78036,1088:85164,1254:87351,1348:93290,1385:94258,1397:102331,1564:104202,1592:105445,1606:114260,1745:117200,1864:144470,2182:146465,2221:160805,2393:165310,2446$0,0:16804,293:31440,637:32340,648:32740,653:50940,1024:51190,1030:51690,1158:55110,1272:55430,1294:85101,1580:85695,1587:88467,1625:99978,1863:112862,2063:118198,2273:140229,2745:156885,3020:175718,3279:178982,3309:179492,3315:182144,3377:188848,3458:196100,3567
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ralph Sampson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson talks about learning about his maternal grandfather through stories

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson describes his likeness to his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson recalls his paternal grandfather's career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson remembers his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ralph Sampson describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ralph Sampson talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ralph Sampson describes his mother's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson describes his parents' early relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson remembers Christmas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson recalls his neighborhood in Harrisonburg, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson recalls his neighborhood in Harrisonburg, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson remembers Waterman Elementary School in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson talks about his early growth spurts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson talks about his experiences at Thomas Harrison Junior High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson talks about his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson recalls playing basketball at Thomas Harrison Junior High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson remembers the role of sports in his family

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson remembers playing basketball at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson talks about his basketball teammates at Harrisonburg High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson recalls the college basketball recruitment process

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson remembers his senior year of high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson remembers his college decision process

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson recalls visiting his top four college campuses

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson describes his decision to attend the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson talks about LeBron James' career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson describes the collegiate basketball conferences

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson recalls his transition to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson remembers his sophomore year at the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson describes his decision to complete his degree at the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson talks about his academic experiences at the University of Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson describes his experience in the NBA draft

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson reflects upon the impact of the NBA on his life

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson remembers his teammates on the Houston Rockets

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson talks about his career with the Houston Rockets

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson remembers playing in the NBA All-Star Weekend

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson recalls being traded to the Golden State Warriors

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson remembers being traded to the Sacramento Kings

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson describes his transition to the EuroLeague

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ralph Sampson talks about his knee injuries

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson recalls playing against Michael Jordan

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson remembers coaching at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson recalls founding Ralph Sampson Sportswear, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson talks about the Winner's Circle Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson remembers Kristal Watson

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson talks about the Winner's Circle Foundation's after school program

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson describes his book projects

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Ralph Sampson reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Ralph Sampson remembers Christmas
Ralph Sampson describes his decision to attend the University of Virginia
Transcript
And now, tell me why was that particular Christmas with the--sounds like a Charlie Brown tree--$$(Laughter).$$--(Laughter) why was that one of the best Christmases?$$Because we had, you know, you go down and cut down your own tree. I think that was that may have been the year that and probably was that we kind of found out there was no Santa Claus either. And I think back at it at this point because that tree was my sisters [Valerie Sampson and Joyce Sampson Franklin] remember that tree very well as well even today. And it just was one of those years that everything that, that if you look back at it now you realize that parents [Sarah Blakey Sampson and Ralph Sampson, Sr.] may have been a little stressed out financially and trying to get things done because, you know, it could have went down three blocks and bought a Christmas tree, but we went to the country and cut one down. So I think that type of symbolic adventure going to the country and cutting a tree down instead of going and picking one up, put it on your car dragging it home made it more special. As far as remembering how it was done because you can do that every year and go down to the lot and pick one out but if you go in the country and chop one down, I think that's more, you would remember that a little bit more so and realizing that you can kind of see how that kind of affects a young kid and chopping it down and bringing it home and putting it up and making sure it has water on it, make sure it still want to live a little bit and then you go through the Christmas not knowing, you know, as a kid what that all means but also that we can remember back I think we were in our car and mom and dad were shopping and we were all in the backseat and they were getting stuff for Christmas and I was a little bit older and I can see they put the trunk up. I looked under the back window and you can see toys and stuff in the bag and said, "Oh, that's our toys." And they would close the trunk pretty quickly and say, "Oh, no, that's just stuff, that's just stuff we got." So, you know, like okay is there a Santa Claus, is there not Santa Claus, well, kind of what's going on with that. So that whole Christmas had a lot of that around it, the food, just the, you know, the being home spirit back then where it was very peaceful, very quiet, very symbolic to me as far as cutting down a tree and then also having those toys there under that tree as well.$I was the--still didn't know where I was going to school. I had the ability to try out for the 1979 Pan American team which I made, first high school player to make that team. And that was in Indiana University [Bloomington, Indiana] with Bobby Knight [Bob Knight]. I still hadn't picked a school so now he's recruiting me again and I'm on the campus and he got me there for a month and I'm playing and training and working out and maybe go to Indiana. I said, "No, no I don't wanna go to Indiana," you know, Bobby Knight that whole thing I didn't wanna quite do that. So I still didn't know where I wanted to go to school and then when I got back from that training and I make the team and we go for the summer to play and my mom [Sarah Blakey Sampson] said, "You need to make a decision, you know, the time--." I said, "I just don't know where I wanna go to school." So we set a date and said, "You gotta make a decision by this date," so setting this date so we had all the meetings and all the press and fanfare, press conference such and such et cetera and I still didn't--that night before I didn't know where I wanted to go so there was a lady that was very close to my mother at work and her family whatever, almost like a godmother and I went to her house that night, spent the night and the next day didn't go to school 'cause I--nobody--he didn't want nobody harassing me. Like I said, I don't know where I'm going to school, I didn't really know. So if you can imagine being in the, in the field house in this high school gymnasium and the stands filled with people outside the door and not even the top four University of Maryland [College Park, Maryland] and Lefty Driesell knocking at the door, "Don't go to no school. Let me in. I need to talk to you one more time." He had a guy named John Lucas [John Lucas II] that I became friends with 'cause I, one of those years that I went to camp in Maryland and John Lucas became a friend of mine even after the fact played with him in the NBA [National Basketball Association] and don't go, don't go to Maryland, go to (unclear) we'll give you a job and all this. Okay, great. He was at the door beating at the door so I come in the back of the gym. By that time I was still debating where to go to school and then when I get to the gym, I get there and tell my mom, I said, "I wanna cancel this. I don't, I don't really know where I wanna go." And she said, "Look you make a decision today so you go back there and you figure it out." So when I get there, I come out, I start evaluating I said, "Okay, I'm going to University of Virginia [Charlottesville, Virginia]." So told my coach [Roger Bergey]. He called the other school and said, "This is where he going to school at and this is what he's gonna do." So I get to the podium and they introduce, introduce my mom and dad [Ralph Sampson, Sr.] sitting beside me and we were talking about it and I said to the media, I said, "I think I'm going to University of Virginia." That word, "I think" became "you don't know," you know. I gave my reason so I did that so this whole business so he thinks he's going to Virginia but there might be a chance that he won't. So anyway then after I signed the paper then it's, you know, I'm at Virginia. So that happened, big hoopla and radio station and all the stuff in the State of Virginia and things happened so now I'm (unclear) Virginia Cavalier and so on and so forth, and then after the fact a couple days later, the coaches came over, we signed the papers and, and I became a Cavalier.

David Lattin

Professional athlete and entrepreneur, David Lattin was born on December 23, 1943 in Houston Texas. His mother, Elsie Lattin, was widowed when Lattin’s father died in 1949. Lattin attended elementary and secondary schools in Houston before graduating from Evan E. Worthing Senior High School in 1963. Lattin was named All-State and All-American both his junior and senior years and was the first Texas player to be named to a High School All-American team.

Lattin left Tennessee State in 1964 citing the lack of basketball competition. He returned to Houston and played the AAAU before receiving a full scholarship to attend Texas Western College in 1965 where he played with the Miners, a Division 1 team in the NCAA. Under the leadership of Coach Don Haskins, the Miners won the 1966 Division 1 NCAA National Championship with five black starting players. Lattin was named All-American during the 1966 and 1967 seasons.

In 1967, Lattin left Texas Western College after he was drafted as the number one pick by the NBA’s San Francisco Warriors. He went on to play with the Phoenix Suns, the Pittsburgh Condors, and the Memphis Tams, ending his professional career with the Harlem Globe Trotters from 1973 to 1976. Returning to school, Lattin earned his B.S. degree in business administration and started several successful business ventures including Your Maison Housing.

Lattin was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. That year, he also wrote Slam Dunk to Glory.

Lattin has a son Clifton, a daughter Leslie, and several grandchildren.

David Lattin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 11, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.016

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/11/2010

Last Name

Lattin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

L.

Schools

Blackshear Elementary School

William E. Miller Junior High School

Evan E. Worthing Senior High School

University of Texas at El Paso

Tennessee State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

LAT04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mexico, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

The Judge.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/23/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Corporate foundation executive and basketball player David Lattin (1943 - ) was part of the historic Texas Western College team that was the first to start an all-black lineup at the NCAA championship. He went on to play for professional teams like the Phoenix Suns and the Harlem Globetrotters.

Employment

Golden State Warriors

Phoenix Suns

Memphis Tams

Harlem Globetrotters International

Republic National Distributing Company

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David Lattin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Lattin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Lattin describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Lattin describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Lattin describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Lattin recalls his childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Lattin remembers his community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David Lattin recalls his involvement with the Boy Scouts and YMCA

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David Lattin describes his experiences at Blackshear Elementary School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - David Lattin describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - David Lattin describes his junior high school experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - David Lattin describes his early success as a basketball player

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - David Lattin remembers his first basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Lattin remembers learning to swim

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Lattin describes his college scholarship offers

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Lattin remembers his mentor, Lloyd C.A. Wells

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Lattin describes his senior year at Evan E. Worthing High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Lattin recalls his experiences at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Lattin describes his first impressions of the Texas Western College of the University of Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Lattin describes the basketball team at Texas Western College of the University of Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David Lattin remembers Coach Don Haskins

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - David Lattin talks about his transition to college basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Lattin recalls the first game in the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Lattin talks about the NCAA final game against the University of Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Lattin remembers Coach Adolph Rupp

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Lattin describes the final game of the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Lattin recalls his preparation for the NCAA finals

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David Lattin talks about slam dunking

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David Lattin recalls winning the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - David Lattin describes the aftermath of his victory at the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - David Lattin recalls being drafted by the Golden State Warriors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David Lattin describes his professional basketball career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David Lattin talks about his children and business career

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David Lattin shares his opinion on student athletes' compensation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David Lattin describes his mentorship efforts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David Lattin reflects upon his legacy and message to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

12$4

DATitle
David Lattin describes his early success as a basketball player
David Lattin describes the final game of the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament
Transcript
Now you, you said very quickly about how, how you built up your stamina, stamina to be able to, to play the following year during that summer that you grew. Can you tell me again, you, you said you rode your bike to--$$Rice Stadium [Houston, Texas].$$Rice Stadium, okay--$$Right.$$--and what did you do?$$Ran seventeen hundred stairs a day in the sun at about two o'clock in the afternoon. I knew nothing about nutrition. I don't know why I didn't pass out (laughter).$$Okay, so you, you were ready once you got to the new school?$$Yeah, because it was--and actually even though I was running the stairs I was playing basketball as well, so I was getting my skills together and I was getting stronger and then I found out I could jump and then the rest is history.$$Okay, so now, what high school do you go to?$$I went to Worthing [Evan E. Worthing High School, Houston, Texas], Attucks [Crispus Attucks Junior High School; Crispus Attucks Middle School, Houston, Texas] first and then--Attucks was Worthing and then they built another, a bigger high school, senior high school and that was Worthing, so I left Attucks and went to Worthing.$$And tell my about the experience there?$$At Worthing?$$Um-hm.$$It was a good experience for me because in the eleventh grade, when I got to the eleventh grade then I was high school All-American and I was the first high school All-American from the State of Texas in basketball at that level and so things started to really happen for me after that because the day that I was All-American, yeah, I got to tell you this story. They was announcing that I was All-American, the principal announced on the PA system that, you know, "We have an All-American in our school in basketball and it's Big D [HistoryMaker David Lattin]" and all that stuff you know, so everybody was--had a great time with that and so I got home that afternoon and somebody had called my mom [Elsie Boyd Davis] and gave her this pitch about I was the high school All-American, so I had my feet propped up on the coffee table and she walked in the door, she said--I'll never forget this, this is funny, she said, "Okay, Mr. High School All, All-American, it's okay that you are high school All-American, but get your foot off my coffee table." I said, "Yes ma'am, yes ma'am, yes ma'am." (Laughter), "You still can't put your foot on my coffee table."$$Your mother, was she very supportive? Did she come to your games?$$My mother never saw me play but once when I was playing for the Globetrotters [Harlem Globetrotters]. If I told my mother that--she couldn't tell you what a rebound was. She knew nothing about the game, didn't really care. All she cared about was that I was having fun and I was happy, so she knew nothing about the game at all.$$Did your grades get better?$$My grades did improve. There was a teacher by the name of Ms. Douglas [ph.] in high school and she was an English teacher and she was quite serious about making good grades, about everybody making good grades, so she would stay back and make sure that all the athletes, not just me, but other athletes as well, if they weren't studying like they were suppose to then she would make sure that, that they got their homework together before they left school. And actually she would stay until after basketball practice was over and we would go down in her room and she would, she would work with everybody, make sure that everybody got their grades together; because it was very stressful going to school, being an athlete and then having to--and the last thing you felt like doing was studying after practice, so you know, it's very difficult. The athletes have to, have to, they have to compete in the classroom the same, just like everybody else, there's no excuse.$$Were there rules in place that said that athletes had to have a certain average?$$No, there was, there were no rules in place that they had to, but everyone was aware that they, that that's this was what they needed to do. I mean, the guy--the kids were not like the kids are now, you know, you could talk to us, you know. If somebody said something that made sense, I mean, most, most of us would listen, so, it's nothing like it is now.$With all the publicity about you and, and your team, to keep you from not being so cocky you said that the, the coach [Don Haskins] would make you work a little harder, but did you begin to see that it wasn't this tournament [1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament] and the players--it wasn't just about you and basketball, but that there was a bigger picture?$$Oh absolutely and of course, in the beginning we were just playing basketball, but you know, later in life, you know, the next year for instance--right after the game no reporters came to our locker room to talk to us. Nobody brought--put mics in front of our face to, to get an interview or anything. And so you know never--we didn't think about it that much, you know, we just were anxious to get back to El Paso [Texas] where everybody--we had a lot of love there, in El Paso. It's just that the newspaper guys were stunned, you know, they didn't know what to write after the game because, you know, they thought it was going to be a walk over. They didn't know what to say, you know, this team with five African American players on, on the court beat all white Kentucky [University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky]--it was impossible, can't happen. They really did not know what to say or what to write. They were just, they were just stunned and, and no one after the game mentioned anything about five African American players had defeated all the white boys at Kentucky, nobody talked about that, not until next year when it really, when it really hit home and Sports Illustrated wrote articles and started writing and stuff about all of the, the African American players that had beat all white Kentucky, that's when it really, really, really hit home. No one said anything in the beginning because it took a while to catch on to what had happened.$$This, this--well, walk me through when you got off the bus to play this, this game, I mean, this, this changes history for the N- NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association]? Describe for me that game.$$You know, getting off the bus, first of all, we're living in a hotel where the Duke team [Duke University, Durham, North Carolina] and all its supporters stayed in the same hotel as we did. We didn't have hardly anybody there, just Bobby Joe Hill's brother and sister and a few others from Detroit [Michigan]. And they had "Go Duke" all over the place, I mean, I mean we couldn't hardly even walk out of the door, everything was Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke, not, nothing for Texas Western [Texas Western College of the University of Texas; University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas]. We didn't have not one little sign, not anything. So the bus driver, I told the story about the bus driver, the bus driver in my book ['Slam Dunk to Glory,' David Lattin], where I was the last one to get off the bus, you know, I'm always the last one to get off the bus. I would get--I was getting--I was disembarking and the bus driver said to me, "Why are you playing this game? Why are you wasting your time? You cannot beat Kentucky. You cannot beat them. They've got a white coach and that's Adolph Rupp. You, you African American guys think you can beat Kentucky? You're out of your mind, are you crazy? Why don't you just get back on the bus and let me take you back to the hotel and just forget about this game." (Laughter) So anyway, I didn't say anything, I just looked at the guy, you know, and proceeded on to the, to the game. I saw him after the game; he didn't say anything he just kind of looked straight ahead.$$So how it--because you said that everything, there was no signs and you had very few supporters there. What was it like walking out onto the court?$$Wow, you know, with the Confederate flags flying all over the place and you know, all the signs you know, just, you know, some of the things that I can't tell you that were said (laughter), "We got them by the toe now, they can't get away, it's all over." (Laughter) But it was, it wasn't intimidating for me. I never felt for one second that we were going to lose. I was hoping, I was hoping that I could stay in the game, you know, because, because the referees can control the game because they can just call fouls at random and control the game if they need to. This was a final game with every, every, with everyone looking, so I guess they called, called it as close to being right as they could. I had four fouls anyway, but that's as close as it could be.$$So you felt that the refs were more or less true to form?$$I thought as, as well as they could be. I, I, I mean there were fouls--the first foul against Pat Riley was not a foul, you know, and if you look at the tape over and over, and over, Pat--I talked to Pat about it--he said, "No man, it was a foul," you know, but still again I had to live with that. So I had to be very careful that I would--couldn't, couldn't foul out of the game. I had to be very, very careful. There were things I just couldn't do, I mean the coach had complained about the--about me, and the game and, and I talk about that in the book a little bit. The night before some of the games the coaches complained that they couldn't let me get away with some of the things I was doing, you know and I wasn't really doing anything, but just working harder under the basket doing what I do, you know, and that's about it, but--

Charles Holton

Former Harlem Globetrotter Charles Holton was born on September 3, 1930 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Alice and Frank Holton. Holton attended St. Benedict School in Milwaukee, where he was a good athlete and played basketball. He graduated in 1948 at the age of eighteen. Holton was the first black to graduate from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin with a B.S. in economics in 1952. Holton became a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, the then Chicago-based basketball franchise headed by legendary coach William “Pop” Gates.

Invited to tryout for the Harlem Globetrotters at Chicago’s St. Anselm’s Gym, Holton became a member of the Abe Sapperstein’s Globetrotters, the popular barnstorming Chicago-based basketball franchise. He became a Harlem Globetrotter during their glory years (between 1951 and 1957) and witnessed first hand the passing of the comic basketball star baton from Reese “Goose” Tatum to Meadowlark Lemon. Holton made the Southern Harlem Globetrotters, one of three traveling squads. His teammates included Leon Hilliard, Junior Lee, Chico Burrell and Babe Pressley. In 1954, Holton and the Globetrotters were warmly welcomed in Europe and later in South America. Holton left the team at the age of twenty-seven in 1957.

Holton began working in social services as an administrator for Milwaukee County the following year, a position he would retain until 1966. In 1967, Holton obtained his M.S.W. degree from the University of Michigan and began working for the State of Wisconsin as a social services administrator, where he would remain until 1996. In 1997, Holton became executive director of Milwaukee’s House of Peace, a Capuchin Franciscan Ministry that Holton would lead until retirement in 2000.

Holton lives with his wife, Carol S. Oakes, whom he married in 1969. His daughter is Miss Lori the public television children’s host and his uncle is Chicago police commander and award winning mystery writer, Hugh Holton.

Holton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 29, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.335

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/29/2007

Last Name

Holton

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

St. Benedict School

St. Norbert College

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Milwaukee

HM ID

HOL08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Wisconsin

Favorite Vacation Destination

Door County, Wisconsin

Favorite Quote

Be Good To Yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

9/3/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Short Description

Social service administrator and basketball player Charles Holton (1930 - ) played with the Harlem Globetrotters from 1951 to 1957. He then became social services administrator for the State of Wisconsin. In 1997, Holton became executive director of Milwaukee’s House of Peace, a Capuchin Franciscan Ministry, where he remained with until his retirement in 2000.

Employment

Harlem Globetrotters

House of Peace

State of Wisconsin

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Holton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Holton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Holton talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Holton talks about his maternal grandfather's move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Holton talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Holton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Holton describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Holton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Holton lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Holton describes his neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Holton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Holton describes his childhood pastimes, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Holton describes his childhood pastimes, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Holton remembers the bombing of Naval Station Pearl Harbor

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Holton remembers the St. Benedict the Moor School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Holton recalls the black history curriculum at the St. Benedict the Moor School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Holton recalls his experiences at the St. Benedict the Moor School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Holton remembers his employment during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Holton talks about his skills as a basketball player

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Holton recalls playing basketball at the St. Benedict the Moor High School, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Holton recalls playing basketball at the St. Benedict the Moor High School, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Holton talks about the changes in basketball scoring rules

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Holton talks about the development of the game of basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Holton remembers playing basketball at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Holton talks about the basketball programs at Catholic universities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Holton recalls his experiences at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Holton remembers Jackie Robinson's radio program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Holton recalls the invitation to try out for the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Holton describes his Harlem Globetrotters tryout

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charles Holton talks about the history of the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Holton talks about the Harlem Globetrotters' showmanship, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Holton talks about the Harlem Globetrotters' showmanship, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Holton describes his experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Holton talks about the pensions available to African American athletes

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Holton describes his experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Holton recalls his experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Holton remembers his travels in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Holton talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Holton describes his travel experiences in Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Holton talks about playing with the Harlem Globetrotters in Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Holton recalls playing with the Harlem Globetrotters in South America

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Holton lists his teammates from the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Holton describes his career in social work

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Holton recalls his work for the House of Peace in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Holton talks about his health

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Holton reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Holton describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles Holton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles Holton talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Holton reflects upon his experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Holton remembers Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Holton talks about the contemporary Harlem Globetrotters

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Holton recalls a challenging basketball game on the East Coast

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Holton describes his daughters and granddaughter

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Holton describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Holton narrates his photographs

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Charles Holton describes his experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters, pt. 2
Charles Holton talks about playing with the Harlem Globetrotters in Europe
Transcript
Well, all those games are tough, you know, that pounding and we played every night and sometimes twice a day with the Trotters [Harlem Globetrotters] and that pounding eventually takes its toll on the body. Played in some interesting places, we played in some wonderful places. There was a, Vancouver, British Columbia [Canada], you hit that floor and it was like bouncing off a mattress, it was so springy, a new gym that they had built. We hit a lot of new gyms, even high school gyms that were very nice and held quite a few people. I--and there, you know, it wasn't all fun and games, you hit that bus and you had to go to the next town and try to be ready. We didn't have, you know, laundry service, we had to wash out our own uniforms.$$So where would you do that? I mean, if you're on road?$$In the hotel.$$In the hotel--$$Yeah.$$--just in the sink?$$If you were in a town long enough--$$Yeah.$$--the team would send 'em to the laundry. But most of the times you were in a town, gone the next day, so.$$And did you ever play the next day in a dirty uniform, I mean, in the (laughter)--$$Oh, yeah, yeah, all the time (laughter). You know I had a roommate, Jesse Coffey, who, who would wash out that uniform every night. And it would get a little crusty (laughter) after a while. But, you know, we didn't have a trainer. If you, if you got an injury, you know, you found a doctor in the town you were in and then got treated that way. But it was--I mean these guys--. We didn't get, we didn't get meal money when we played in the states. And now (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So it just came out of your salary?$$--you read about these guys getting what, fifty dollars a day meal money, and then they're making millions, when we went overseas we got five dollars a day. Now, in all honesty you could take that five dollars, eat heartily and still have a couple of dollars for souvenirs (laughter). But, you know, to hear these players getting whatever it is for meal money is unbelievable when you think about the salaries they make, what do they need meal money for? You could take that money and donate it to the old timers, you know. So many things it's, things change.$Yeah, was it refreshing to be over there and be treated differently than (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes, yes, and, you know, they would look up to us [Harlem Globetrotters] like we were nine feet tall and (laughter) you know--we were compared to them, I guess, we were considered tall. But they enjoyed the basketball and that was the interesting thing. You go to those foreign countries and they enjoyed the basketball maybe more than the showmanship, and maybe they didn't understand some of the showmanship, but they did understand good basketball. Interesting thing was there were no teams in Europe. You know, you would have a few here and there, but basketball was not the sport, the worldwide sport that it is today. Later on when we went to South America we were amazed at how well some of the South American players played, had it all over the Europeans, and now it's, it's probably just the opposite. Rome [Italy] was an interesting place and being Catholic it was, it was interesting to have a chance to see the pope who had just come off an illness, I think it was Pius XI or XII [Pope Pius XII], so I went to St. Peter's Square [Vatican City] and--some of us went there. And we've had, subsequently we've had, and before that we've had private audiences with the popes who were in office at the time but I was never at one of those opportunities. Played in bull rings, swimming pools.$$Played in swimming pools?$$Yeah. You just take the water, take it--with the water out (laughter). And, you know, they set up the court, we had to carry, we traveled on buses over there, and we had to carry a portable floor. Played in--$$Was, was it made out of some kind of a hard rubber or something or what was it?$$No, it was wooden.$$Wooden?$$Plywood I think.$$Okay. Okay.$$'Cause, you know, dribbling wasn't always fantastic. But it was interesting to get a windy day or a night and have to--well, sometimes the wind was so strong you had to shoot the ball here (gesture) for it to go there and that was, that wasn't easy. But most of the games were on, you know, on like a, an open field and they'd lay the court down and it's and we'd perform and then they'd take it up. 'Cause it wasn't real popular sport in Europe in those days.