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handed, hot-footing, joke-busting kids are discovered goofing and shooting hoops on some cracked concrete court in the New York City borough, then whisked to sudden fame in cities around the world on the basis of their awesome tricks and mugging comedy. But the name is deceiving. The Globetrotters actually started when five South Side Chicagoans teamed up with a 5’3” Jewish guy to play basketball games in the local gyms of small-town Illinois.
The five players were graduates of the renowned basketball program at Wendell Phillips High School, and wanted to play semi-pro. Somehow they came in contact with Abe Saperstein, a North Sider who loved sports and worked as an athletic director in the Chicago Parks System. In 1926, Saperstein became their manager (and substitute player, if someone got injured), and the team set off to play in nearby towns such as Hinckley, Illinois. They had a winning record of 101-6 in their first full season.
In 1928, the fledgling team finagled a residency at the new Savoy Ballroom in Bronzeville, where musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington played. There they became the Savoy Big Five, but Saperstein and several of the players quickly left after a dispute over money and once again rebranded themselves, as the Harlem Globetrotters. The name was a marketing gimmick concocted by Saperstein: “Globetrotters” made it sound as if they had an international schedule, and “Harlem” denoted the center of African American culture, telegraphing the makeup of the team to his small-town white audiences, many of whom had never seen black basketball players before.
The world-traveling, internationally known Globetrotters of today are very different from the team at its beginning
Those same audiences, surprised and delighted by the Globetrotters’ fast-break style, often shunned the black players after the game, despite the joy they got from watching them play. As the team gained popularity, it also grew in skill. The barring of African Americans from the professional basketball leagues meant the Globetrotters had their pick of black talent, and signed such players as the clowning “Goose” Tatum and fleet Marque Haynes, who eventually became the first Globetrotter to be inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The team’s skill eventually led them to win the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1940, and then to beat the best team in the all-white precursor to the NBA in 1948. The following year, two leagues merged to form the NBA, yet still professional basketball remained unintegrated, despite the talent evinced by the Globetrotters and other black players. (Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball in 1947.)
Then in 1950, the Boston Celtics drafted Chuck Cooper as well as Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, who played for the Globetrotters, and professional basketball started to integrate. Rumor has it that Saperstein had a deal with the NBA in its first years to keep the best black players for the Globetrotters to ensure that the NBA would remain all-white.
Wilt Chamberlain played one season for the Globetrotters, which he called the happiest year of his lifeAnd there have been other muted accusations of racism – or at least exploitative business practices – against Saperstein, such as disputes with players over wages. Especially in the ‘60s, the Globetrotters began to be criticized by some in the black community for being Uncle Toms, degrading themselves as buffoonish minstrels for the entertainment of white people.
But the team also did offer some valedictory moments for African Americans, as on a 1951 trip to Germany. The track star Jesse Owens, who had won gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics but was snubbed by Hitler, occasionally helped promote the Globetrotters. Saperstein invited him to a game in 1951, and he was welcomed there by the mayor of Berlin, who embraced him, saying, “In 1936, Hitler refused to give you his hand. Today I give you both of mine.”
The Globetrotters continued to incubate talent – Wilt Chamberlain played with them for one season, which he called the happiest year of his life – and grow in popularity, traveling to more than80 countries. In 1966, Saperstein died of a sudden heart attack, and the team was sold. In 1976, the team moved its base from Chicago. By the ‘80s, despite television shows, it was declining, and in 1993 it was bought again, this time by a former player: Mannie Jackson, who became the first African American to own a major sports franchise. Jackson revitalized the franchise with a new emphasis on competitive games as well as corporate marketing deals.
And thus the Chicago team with a New York name continues to this day.
Firefighters are grappling with searing heat as they struggle to contain a huge wildfire in California as western states remain in the grip of a fierce heatwave.
It comes after a large part of the US west baked over the weekend in triple-digit temperatures which are expected to continue into the start of this week.
On Saturday, Death Valley in southeastern California’s Mojave Desert reached 53C (128F) according to National Weather Service’s reading at Furnace Creek.
The temperature was only slightly lower than the one recorded a day earlier when the location reached 54C (130F) – the highest there since 1913 when Furnace Creek desert hit 57C (134F), considered the highest temperature on Earth.
The growing wildfire along the state’s border with Nevada forced major highways to close, while state power operators urged people to conserve energy after a huge wildfire in neighboring Oregon disrupted the flow of electricity from three major transmission lines.
The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, asked consumers to “conserve as much electricity as possible” to avoid any outages.
Western US states including California are fast sinking deeper into drought, sending the risk of fire sky-high in many areas.
A small plane crashed on Saturday in Arizona during a survey of wildfire in rural Mohave County, killing both crew members.
The victims were identified as Air Tactical Group Supervisor Jeff Piechura, 62, a retired Tucson-area fire chief who was working for the Coronado National Forest, and Matthew Miller, 48, a pilot with Falcon Executive Aviation contracted by the US Forest Service.
Meanwhile, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon spread to 224 square miles as it raged through heavy timber in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, disrupting service on three transmission lines providing up to 5,500 megawatts of electricity to neighboring California.
The wildfire in California is the largest wildfire the state has seen this year.
Named the Beckwourth Complex Fire – a combination of two lightning-caused blazes burning north of Lake Tahoe – it grew by a third on Sunday to cover 134 square miles.
But firefighters working in temperatures that topped 38C (100F) were able to gain some ground and doubled containment to 20%.
People were warned to not stop and take pictures of the wildfires near the small town of Doyle in California’s Lassen County.
“You are going to impede our operations if you stop and look at what’s going on,” said the fire’s operations section chief Jake Cagle.
Elsewhere, a wildfire in southeast Washington grew to almost 60 square miles as it blackened grass and timber as it raced into the Umatilla National Forest.
And on Friday, Idaho’s governor Brad Little declared a wildfire emergency, sending the state’s National Guard to help fight fires sparked after lightning storms swept across the drought-stricken region.
There have been at least a dozen carjackings reported in the city and suburbs since Friday, shining a light on the growing problem in the city.
Chicago police said they are working around the clock to keep up with the large spike in carjackings as investigators try to find the offenders before they do it again.
“Many times we have individuals – whether it’s a juvenile or an adult – that run up, they are masked due to the pandemic and have a hoodie that covers everything but the whites of their eyes, they stick a gun in their face and take their car,” said CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.
“Immediately two men got out of a tan SUV, one of them came running up to me, and I remember saying, ‘please do not hurt me.’ Begging for my life,” said carjacking victim Kelly Milan. “He just kept saying, ‘where are your keys – where are your keys?'”
Milan is now one of hundreds of carjacking victims, as reported incidents pop up across the city. It’s a scenario that is becoming all too common in the city of Chicago.
“It all happened so fast,” she said.
Milan said she was carjacked on Friday morning. She said she had just pulled up in front of a Hyde Park elementary school when three men surrounded her car, stole her keys, then took off.
“It is happening everywhere,” Milan added. “It does not matter where you are or what neighborhood you are in. It is happening.”
Erin Grobel’s story is similar, except this time it was in the Wicker Park area. She said she was carjacked on Saturday afternoon by an armed teenager.
“[A] car pulls up really quickly behind me and two teenagers came out and I was trying to lock the door and start the car all at the same time,” she recalled.
Within seconds, the crew was gone and so was Grobel’s car.
“It is playing out in my head that it could have been so much worse,” she said.
Chicago police confirm at least five carjackings were reported in the city’s Wicker Park neighborhood over the weekend.
In the first incident, police said a 32-year-old woman was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car in the 1200-block of N. Milwaukee when two suspects approached and physically removed her from the vehicle around 1:25 p.m. Saturday. Around 7 p.m. Saturday, a 50-year-old male rideshare driver said he was carjacked by two men who implied they had a weapon in the 1400-block of N. Leavitt around 7 p.m. Around two hours later, a 40-year-old male rideshare driver said he was carjacked by two men he believed were his passengers who flagged him down in the 1100-block of North Winchester. Another rideshare driver, a 29-year-old male, told police he too was flagged down by two men he believed to be his passengers around 10:35 p.m. in the 2100-block of West Charleston. Police said the men got into the backseat of the vehicle, then showed the driver a weapon and began making threats. Police said another male rideshare driver was targeted by two men who flagged him down in the 1700-block of W. Le Moyne just before 4 a.m. A 41-year-old woman told police she was working delivery when two armed carjackers attempted to steal her vehicle in the 1200-block of W. Columbia around 7:25 p.m. Sunday, but she was able to scare them off.
“Now with this huge uptick in carjackings, it appears that many of them are just taking the cars, using them for 24 hours, and then dumping the cars and moving to another carjacking,” Deenihan said.
43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith is now pushing for more to be done. She’s hosting an online forum with police so people can learn more about the brazen attacks.
“This is not random, it is organized,” Ald. Smith said. “There are groups involved in this and this is what we need information about.”
Smith announced the forum on Saturday. Moments later, she said there were two more carjackings in her ward, which includes Lincoln Park and some of the Gold Coast.
“Now 10 carjackings in my ward since December,” Ald. Smith said.
So, where are the offenders taking the stolen cars? Chicago police said the criminals, who are usually teens, use them as getaway cars to commit more crimes.
“But there are vehicles being carjacked and are subsequently being used in shootings, or additional robberies,” Deenihan said. “And then lastly, it is not a higher percentage, but there are certain cars, higher-end cars, that they are taking the cars and selling them retagged in different states and overseas.”
Ald. Smith said her forum will be hosted on Feb. 2 and she plans to include the state’s attorney’s office in the conversation.
Weekend carjackings reported in western suburbs
The trend is also growing out in the suburbs. Just in the last 48 hours, there have been carjackings reported in Naperville, Aurora and an attempted carjacking in Elmhurst.
Just in the last 48 hours, there have been carjackings reported in Naperville, Aurora and an attempted carjacking in Elmhurst.
The Aurora attack left a woman in critical condition after police say she was shot as the offenders stole her car in the parking lot of this Wendy’s.
Investigators said the offenders are tied to at least one other carjacking this weekend.
Aurora police are still working to track down the victim’s car and those who were involved.
Police are asking for the public’s help locating the vehicle stolen from Aurora. It is described as a red 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe with Illinois license place AE89203.
A man has been living in a secure section of Chicago’s international airport for three months, apparently telling police he was too afraid of coronavirus to return home to Los Angeles, according to multiple reports.
The 36-year-old man, Californian Aditya Singh, was arrested this weekend and charged with criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport, a felony, and theft, a misdemeanour, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Prosecutors said on Sunday that, according to police, the man arrived on a flight from Los Angeles to O’Hare international airport on 19 October. Nearly three months later, on Saturday afternoon, Singh was approached by two United Airlines employees who asked to see identification. Singh allegedly showed them an airport ID badge that had been reported missing by its owner, an airport operations manager, on 26 October.
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty told Cook County judge Susana Ortiz that other passengers had been giving food to Singh, who does not have a criminal background. Hagerty said Singh had found the badge in the airport and was “scared to go home due to Covid”.
Ortiz reportedly told the court: “You’re telling me that an unauthorised, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from 10 October, 2020, to 16 January, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.”
After finding Singh, the United Airlines employees called 911. Police took him into custody on Saturday morning.
Singh has a master’s degree in hospitality, is unemployed and lives with roommates in Orange, Los Angeles, according to assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood.
“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred,” said Ortiz. “Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community.”
Singh’s bail was set at $1,000. Should he be able to post bail, he is barred from entering the airport.
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) said in a statement: “CDA has no higher priority than the safety and security of our airports, which is maintained by a coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network.
“While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.”
Inmates at the Cook County Jail have put up signs in their windows asking for help as COVID-19 cases continue to mount.
Several signs were spotted in inmates’ windows throughout Division X, a maximum security facility.
Some signs said “help us, don’t let us die” and “save us.”
304 detainees and 174 correctional officers have tested positive for COVID-19. Two detainees have died as a result of the virus.
Staff said any detainee who is showing symptoms is immediately removed from where they’re housed and taken to receive medical attention.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office sent the following statement.
“Any detainee who is symptomatic for the virus is immediately removed from the tier where he or she is housed and taken to receive medical attention by Cermak Health Services staff. The signs in the window are located in Division X, a maximum security facility, not Cermak Health Services.”
The operator of a Chicago convenience store who sold illegal synthetic marijuana laced with rat poisoning was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison by a federal judge.
Fouad Masoud pleaded guilty in September to drug conspiracy for selling the illegal substance, sometimes called K2, from his West Side store. In sentencing Masoud, 49, U.S. District Judge Manish Shah said the emergence of “greedy black-market profiteers” selling K2 likely contributed to a public health crisis that included deaths.
“You didn’t know there was rat poison in it, but you also didn’t care what you were selling,” Shah said.
During the hearing, a victim testified he started urinating blood soon after smoking the synthetic pot he bought at Masoud’s store and was hospitalized. He says two years later he is still recovering from the after-effects of using the substance.
Prosecutors requested a 10-year prison sentence for Masoud, noting that over a 2 ½-year period beginning in 2015, customers lined up outside the store waiting for Masoud to arrive with the illegal substance.
Defense attorney Glenn Seiden argued his client should get a 3-year prison term, saying there was no link between the hospitalizations of synthetic marijuana users and the substance sold at Masoud’s store.
Multiple persons of interest are being questioned after three people were shot — one fatally — Wednesday afternoon in West Garfield Park, police said.
They were in a gray SUV about 1:30 p.m. when they stopped at a corner in the 300 block of South Kilpatrick Avenue and had a “verbal confrontation” with someone, Officer Michelle Tannehill, a CPD spokeswoman, said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
The person on the corner pulled out a gun and started shooting, Tannehill said. The driver, a man in his 20s, was hit multiple times. He crashed the vehicle as he drove away.
The driver was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office has not released details about the death.
A 19-year-old man in the SUV was shot in the leg and a 15-year-old was shot in the thigh, police said. Both were taken to Stroger in good condition.
Investigators believe the shooting was connected to a “narcotics-related robbery,” Tannehill said.
Kilpatrick was taped off between Monroe Street and Jackson Boulevard as police investigated.
“Fine, you want me to tell everybody? You want me to let everybody know? Okay, fine. Nick, I let you suck my dick,” Brown said. “I let Nick suck my dick… Everybody knows you did it as a female. But, Nick you sucked my dick. Nick been sucking dick.”
It’s unclear what prompted Brown to claim that he and Cannon had a sexual encounter. Nor, is there any evidence that this is true. They both grew up as child actors and entertainers in the 1990s and 2000s. It is possible they crossed paths in some shape or form in the past.
This comes on the heels of Nick Cannon’s recent battle with longstanding foe, Eminem. On his track “The Invitation,” Cannon throws a similar shot at Eminem that Brown threw at him.
“I heard your chauffeur got a video of you sucking a cock,” Cannon raps. “You paid him off then laid him off/Now who really the opps.”
Orlando Brown’s reemergence has been marred by bizarre behavior. The actor has gone on the offensive against Raven-Symoné, claiming that they’ve engaged in a sexual relationship.POST CONTINUES BELOW
He’s also been arrested on several occasions. Some of these legal encounters have resulted in drug charges, sparking rumors of addiction. After this, Brown made an appearance on Dr. Phil in Dec. 2018 where he spoke about his battles with homelessness, mental health, and drug abuse.
The man recently confessed to Chicago prosecutors that the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer’s team forked over about $1 million to prevent the tape from going public in the past — raising the question of how the recording wound up in Avenatti’s possession.