Happy Birthday To Jackie Robinson: Mad Baller

Jackie Robinson celebrates a birthday today, and BLACK FIVES has an enlightening piece on Robinson’s little-known, but extremely successful, basketball career.

Jackie Robinson Basketball

(Photo credit: BLACK FIVE)

Excerpt: “(Robinson was) A lightning dribbler and glue-fingered ball handler, his terrific speed makes it impossible for one man to hold him in check. Robinson was a tremendous leaper, who had set the collegiate broadjump record.

The baseball pioneer with the Brooklyn Dodgers was also described as one of the first players to use the dunk as a part of his typical repertoire.

Though the NBA was light years from having a squad in L.A. during the 1940s, Robinson played on the most prominent pro team in the area, and in 1947, Harlem Globetrotters icon “Abe Saperstein offered Robinson a pro contract worth $10,000 with bonuses to play for his Harlem Globetrotters. Robinson made $5,000, the major league minimum, with the Dodgers, but declined.

Thank goodness he turned down that money, or the bonus he provided baseball, and sports as we now know it, would never have been realized.