Saturday event to honor early basketball pioneers - WSMV Channel 4

Saturday event to honor early basketball pioneers

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Many sports fans agree the Harlem Globetrotters are among the most entertaining basketball teams around.

The team is known for its athletic and comedic approach to basketball, but the original Globetrotters were also pioneers in the sporting world.

From the team's start and all the way through the 1960s, black basketball players faced discrimination both on and off the court.

Now, members of the basketball community say it's important to honor the struggles of those early athletes.

"The guys who went through the bumps and the bruises to give us these opportunities sometimes get forgotten, so I think that Black History Month is a great time to give back and also to teach the new generations what they had to go through so we could do what we do today," said Eldrige Askins, with the United Amputee Basketball Association.

An event Saturday at the Church of Scientology on 8th Avenue South will honor those pioneers of the early years of basketball, including several who graduated from Tennessee State University and went on to play with the Globetrotters.

The event will also kick off a week-long exhibit there that features photos and memorabilia of the players who fought racism while helping to establish what we now know and enjoy as the NBA.

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