“The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame aspires for and encourages the diversity and inclusiveness that the global game of basketball has achieved over time through race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality and disability. There is no room for distrust; today the Hall of Fame celebrates the sport as it has been built by iconic legends from all backgrounds, and proudly celebrates teamwork, dignity and respectful environments. The Hall also supports those who use the game of basketball as a vehicle to make a positive difference in the world and stands united in upholding what is right. With regard to recent events; the game will emerge stronger and more committed to overcome any test that attempts to undermine its positive impact. This, in our opinion, is the cornerstone and the very essence of the games enduring Brand.”
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors & Past Board Chairman
Harlem Globetrotters – former Player and Owner, Team Enshrined BHOF Class of 2002
First African-American owner of a major international sports organization
First African-American Chairman of the Board, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
A former star for the Harlem Globetrotters, Jackson served as a senior executive for Honeywell Inc. during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, and saved the Globetrotters from near extinction in 1993 when he purchased the team. In doing so, Mannie Jackson became the first African-American owner of a major international sports and entertainment organization. In a short period of time, Jackson revived the organization and led the Globetrotters to record attendance and revenue growth while expanding the influence of the Globetrotters to more than 118 countries. Under Jackson’s watch the Globetrotters charitable contribution totaled over $15 million, and in 2002 the Harlem Globetrotters were elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.