Reece "Goose" Tatum
Reece “Goose” Tatum once said that “my goal in life is to make people laugh.” Mission accomplished. Goose Tatum was basketball’s original clown prince, bringing his comedic stylings to the Harlem Globetrotters after being discovered by owner Abe Saperstein on – of all places – the baseball diamond. Goose was a tremendous athlete in his day, armed with physical skills that matched his timing and sense of humor. His long arms and spindly body, not to mention his 6’6” height, were perfect for basketball. He joined the Trotters in the fall of 1941 and played more than a decade for the famed barnstorming team. Goose choreographed several of the famous Globetrotter reams including hiding in the crowd, spying on the opposition’s huddle, and feinting only to be revived by the foul smell of his own shoe. Tatum was a serious basketball player as well perfecting a hook shot that he often shot without even looking at the basket. In 1948, Tatum and the Trotters upset the Mikan-led Minneapolis Lakers in a one-game showdown for the ages.