A ‘Basketball Slave’ Story

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: July 9, 2010

NEW YORKThe most compelling biographies are the ones that don’t just recount the events in life of it’s subject, but allows the reader to truly escape into their world and actually live the emotions that come with that person’s trials and triumphs.

Basketball Slave: The Andy Johnson Harlem Globetrotter/NBA Story is filled to the brim with extraordinary tales from behind the scenes of the early Original Harlem Globetrotters.

It’s loaded with a wealth of historical information never disclosed about the slow, quota-based inception of African American athletes in the NBA. This book clarifies the role of the Original Harlem Globetrotters in making the NBA the multi-billion dollar organization it is today.

It is also a fascinating and inspirational story that examines the heart-wrenching account of a young boy who became a man through the lessons of basketball.

Andy grew up watching his family work in the cotton fields of Louisiana, and began playing basketball in the streets of Hollywood, California.

As a high school star, his education was undervalued.

He was sent to a major university without any hope of receiving a degree. He ended up being sold on the professional auction block, with no ability to negotiate his pay or where he could play.

Narrated by his son, the story highlights the remarkable relationship between a father and son. Of course, bubbling underneath the surface of this manuscript is the passion and furor of the author, Andy Johnson’s son Mark.

He spent nearly two years fighting the NBA for his father’s pension and a decade for his retroactive payments, as well as researching his father’s life accomplishments in hopes of honoring him.

During his research, Mark uncovered others who have contributed in the game of life on and off the court.

Finally, Mark taps into his vast network of former professional basketball players, sports writers and administrators – not only to add credibility to the story – but to garner lots of terrific anecdotes about Andy Johnson’s life and the period that they played.

The basketball community is a well-connected one. Even the great players have heroes and people they look up to that have influenced their own lives.

For example: In New York, there is a long history of basketball and all of these legends are connected. Interviewed in the book is Carl Green, an ex-Harlem Globetrotter, who played with Andy in the early 50′s and coached in the famous Rucker League in New York.

He talks about people such as William “Pop “Gates, Tom “Satch” Sanders, Archie Clark, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Nate “Tiny” Archibald. These former players have great respect when it comes to the men that helped pave the wave for them.

This book will give a uniquely sobering perspective for anyone who has ever glamorized about the most famous team recognized all over the world.

NOTE: Visit www.basketballslave.com to find out more about “Basketball Slave”.