From living in a boxcar to climbing the corporate ladder, Mannie Jackson became one of the most respected and influential business leaders in the country as CEO of the Harlem Globetrotters. A standout player at Edwardsville High, Jackson went on to the University of Illinois where he was one of the first African-Americans to start on the team. After spending some time in the National Industrial Basketball League with the Tuck Tape Company, Jackson decided to join the Harlem Globetrotters in 1962 where he played for two years prior to starting his business endeavors. He moved his way up in corporate America before returning to his roots to rescue the Globetrotters from bankruptcy in 1993, sparking their rise to the top once again. Under Jackson’s guidance, the Harlem Globetrotters went to new heights, breaking attendance records and reaching new audiences around the world. The Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award is given each year to an individual who uses basketball as a contributor to strive for their personal growth and at the same time going above and beyond for their community.