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Old 02-21-2011, 11:18 AM   #1
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SoCalMike's Avatar
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Default Article: ESPN - Kareem tells Rens' story with 'Giants'

Kareem the author... read this!

Source: Kareem tells Rens' story with 'Giants'


NEWARK, N.J. -- The Harlem Rens might be the "greatest basketball team you've never heard of."

But Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who said he would have been a history teacher if he hadn't become a professional athlete, is hoping to change that.

The NBA's all-time leading scorer has produced a documentary about the Rens -- a prolific, all-black professional basketball team that overcame racism to captivate the hearts and imaginations of its fans in Harlem from 1922 to '49 -- titled "On The Shoulders of Giants." Abdul-Jabbar was at Science Park High School on Thursday morning to screen it in front of approximately 1,000 teenagers.

"When I was younger, I didn't know exactly what the Rens had gone through," said Abdul-Jabbar, who became infatuated with their history when he was a high school junior growing up in Harlem.

"I knew they were a team and they were from Harlem, but I found out about them in terms of what they were doing in the 1920s and '30s when this country was a lot different. It really puts a different perspective on life."

Abdul-Jabbar, currently a special assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, said it was important for him to pay tribute to the Rens because those players served as pioneers, triumphing in the face of adversity -- competing against and defeating all-white teams in exhibition games at a time when blacks weren't allowed to play professional basketball -- and paving the way for himself and other African-Americans such as Bill Russell and Michael Jordan to impact the NBA.

"The film has all the things I love," Abdul-Jabbar said. "It has basketball, jazz music and the history of African-American people. I think the film came out really well. I'm happy with it. I spoke with various educators, and they believed that New Jersey would benefit from seeing it. It seemed to me that they were interested in it."

The Rens became larger than life while playing during the height of the Harlem Renaissance. They went 112-7 in 1932-33, and in 1939, eight years before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, they captured the World Basketball Tournament in Chicago, beating the Harlem Globetrotters and the all-white Oshkosh All-Stars to do so.

I suggest clicking on the link to read the whole article.. interesting stuff.

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Old 02-21-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Article: ESPN - Kareem tells Rens' story with 'Giants'

looking forward to seeing it..
i remember a few years ago when he released the book magic saying it should be mandatory reading for nba rookies
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