Harlem Wizards

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Harlem Wizards
Leagues Independent
Founded 1962
History 1962–present
Harlem Wizards
Arena Barnstorming team
Location Harlem, New York
Team colors Purple, black, gold, red
President Todd Davis
Ownership Todd Davis
Website Official website
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

The Harlem Wizards is a basketball team whose history goes back to 1962 when it was created by sports promoter Howie Davis. Unlike most basketball teams, the Harlem Wizards are not primarily focused on winning games. Instead, their aim is to entertain the crowd using a variety of basketball tricks and alley oops. They perform fundraisers at local schools for the students and the rest of the community, displaying their fancy trickery through dribbling, passing, shooting, and dunking. Through these fundraisers, they have raised millions of dollars for "charitable organizations, schools, and foundations across the world." The audience is not only there to watch the Wizards, but also to participate in the show. The Wizards get the crowd involved, often bringing children out onto the floor to be part of a basketball trick or a comedy act.[1]

Their antics are similar to those of the Harlem Globetrotters, who were created in 1926.[2]

The Wizards, Flight Squad Basketball and the Globetrotters are comedy basketball teams that tour the country.[3] The theme for the Wizards' 2010-2011 campaign was the "Basketball and Beyond Tour."[1] They hold the longest known winning streak in all of professional sports - over 2,800 games.[3]


According to harlemwizards.com, in 1943, Harlem Wizards creator Howie Davis was working as a Sports Promoter and the Sergeant and Recreation Director at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The World Championship of Basketball Tournament in Chicago asked Davis to provide an emergency 8th team to compete in the tournament. Within one week, Davis assembled the Dayton Dive Bombers. The Dive Bombers' first round opponent in the tournament was the previous World Champion, the Harlem Globetrotters. The Dive Bombers pulled the upset and the Globetrotters' manager, Abe Saperstein, refused to even shake Davis' hand after the game. Davis was intrigued by this event, and twenty years later, he decided to create his own show basketball team, the Harlem Wizards.[3]

Before Davis got into sports management and promotion, Howie Davis played semi-professional baseball for a couple years. He eventually managed the Brooklyn Dodgers football team, the Staten Island Stapes, and the Kokomo Clowns, who actually played in clown outfits. Before creating the Harlem Wizards, he was also a scout for the San Francisco Giants.[4]

In 1962, Davis created the Wizards, wanting to expand on Saperstein's idea of the Globetrotters. Davis wanted the Wizards to be an even more competitive, creative, and entertaining team than the Globetrotters.[3]

When Howie Davis died in 1992, his son, Todd Davis, took over as the President of the Harlem Wizards organization.[5]

Since 1962, the Wizards have played over 6,000 games, both in the United States and abroad. They have played on five different continents and in 22 different countries.[6]

Current roster[7][edit]

Harlem Wizards roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
F 000 United States Simpson, Dwayne "Swoop" 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Southern Connecticut State University
F 00 United States Henderson, Claude "Tojo" 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Passaic High School
G 1 United States Lewis, Arthur "King Arthur" 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Bowie State University
F 3 United States Johnson Jr., Roscoe "Sarge" 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Allegany College of Maryland
G 4 United States Tyndal, James "Road Runner" 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Buffalo State College
G 5 United States Jones, Eric "Broadway" 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Urbana University
G 9 United States Bernard, Arnold "A-Train" 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) Southwest Missouri State
G 8 United States Curry, Devon "Livewire" 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Pasco-Hernando CC & Western Texas College
G 32 United States Sewell, Leon "Space Jam" 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Bethel College
G 21 United States Ryan, "Blackjack" 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Brooklyn College
G 24 United States Barner, Rashaan "Rocket" 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) William Paterson University
G 28 United States Williamson, Dexton "Air Jamaica" 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Southern Connecticut State University
F 31 United States Smith, John "Big J" 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) College of Staten Island
G 33 United States Paul, David "D.P." 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Staten Island College
F 15 United States Clinton, Lloyd "Loonatik" 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Allen University, South Carolina
C 94 United States Mathews, Mike "Big Mike M&M" 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) Florida State
Head coach
  • United States Todd Davis

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured


Former players[3][edit]

  • Tiny Archibald
  • Frankie Bradshaw
  • Tom "Sundance Kid" Chapin
  • Larry "Butterfly" Cheatham
  • Hollis Copeland
  • Mario Elie
  • Dewyn "Air Revolution" Erwin
  • Connie Hawkins
  • Guy Hughes
  • LeMarvon "Mr. 540" Jackson
  • Ollie Lee Ledbetter
  • Clarence "Mugsy" Leggett
  • Ken "Blenda" Rodriguez
  • Ralph " Rubber Legs" Sheets
  • Mike "Mighty Mike" Simmel
  • Ed "Czar" Simmons
  • Frank "Shake & Bake" Streety
  • Timothy TJ "Tomohawk" Stukes
  • Vincent White
  • James "Speedy" Williams
  • Hawthorne Wingo
  • James "Peanuts" Woolard
  • Sam Worthen
  • "Headache"
  • "The Main Event"


  1. ^ a b "About the Harlem Wizards". 2005-2010 Harlem Wizards. 2010. Retrieved Dec 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Harlem Globetrotters Historical Timeline". 1996-2010 Harlem Globetrotters. 2010. Retrieved Dec 11, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Harlem Wizards History". 2005-2010 Harlem Wizards. 2010. Retrieved Dec 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ "About Howie Davis". 2005-2010 Harlem Wizards. 2010. Retrieved Dec 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ "About Todd Davis". 2005-2010 Harlem Wizards. 2010. Retrieved Dec 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Harlem Wizards". 2007-2010 Wellsville Elementary School. Dec 11, 2010. Retrieved Dec 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ "The Harlem Wizards: Team 2010". 2005-2010 Harlem Wizards. 2010. Retrieved Dec 10, 2010. 

External links[edit]