William Watson (basketball)

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William Watson was one of the first African-American basketball players to lead an integrated team to a championship.[1] In 1924 Watson's Lane Tech High School met Wendell Phillips High School to dispute the championship of the Chicago Public High School League.[1] Watson's quintet won 18-4, and he was hailed by the black Chicago Defender newspaper as a hero, despite the newspaper's preference for the all-black Wendell Phillips club.[2]

Remaining in Chicago after high school, Watson went on to become a founding member of the Giles Post Legion squad and the Savoy Big Five, both direct precursors of today's Harlem Globetrotters. Legendary GlobeTrotters owner Abe Saperstein created a 'mirror' Globetrotters club patterned after the team founded by Watson's friend and old Wendell Phillips rival, Tommy Brookins.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nelson, George (1999). Elevating the Game: Black Men and Basketball. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-7085-2. 
  2. ^ a b Green, Ben (2006). Spinning the Globe. Amistad. ISBN 0-06-055550-5.