Five Direct-Elects for the Class of 2012 Announced By the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Mel Daniels, Don Barksdale, Lidia Alexeeva, Phil Knight and Chet Walker are first members elected for the Class of 2012; Remaining Class Announced April 2

ORLANDO, FL and SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the first five members of the Class of 2012, all of whom were directly elected by distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game of basketball.  These direct-elects include Mel Daniels voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Don Barksdale from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Lidia Alexeeva from the International Committee, Chet Walker from the Veterans Committee and Phil Knight from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.  

This year marks the second year of the direct-elect process.  Last year, the ABA and Early African-American Pioneers committees were added to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting process and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball.  These five individuals have been directly elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame and will be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremonies in September along with the eventual members from the North American and Women’s committees.  

These electees will join the eventual candidates of the North American and Women’s committees from a pool of finalists that includes five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain.  Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Don Nelson, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes and the All American Red Heads.

The entire Class of 2012 will be announced on Monday, April 2 at a news conference in New Orleans prior to the NCAA’s Men’s Championship game. A Finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, September 7. Tickets to the 2012 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5540.

From the ABA Committee
MEL DANIELS [Player] – Daniels is one of the most dominating big men in the history of the American Basketball Association (ABA) as the league’s all-time leading rebounder (9,494) and fourth all-time leading scorer (11,739).  A two-time league MVP in 1969 and 1971, he was a seven-time ABA All-Star and a member of three ABA championship teams with the Indiana Pacers, now of the NBA.  He was selected as a member of the ABA 30-Man All-Time team.  In college, Daniels starred for the University of New Mexico, leading the Lobos in scoring for three straight seasons and was the Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player in 1967.  He was drafted ninth in the 1967 NBA Draft, but chose to go play in the ABA instead.  Following his ABA Rookie of the Year award in 1968, he went on to earn All-ABA First Team four times and Second Team once.  After his professional career, which concluded as a member of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, Daniels joined the coaching staff at Indiana State, where he coached future Hall of Famer Larry Bird.  He was also a member of the Indiana Pacers front office for over 20 years.
From the Early African American Pioneers Committee
DON BARKSDALE [Contributor] – One of the true pioneers in the game of basketball, Barksdale broke the color barrier multiple times as the first African-American NCAA All-America, the first to make the U.S. Olympic team, and the first to play in a NBA All-Star game.  Following his military service in World War II, Barksdale led UCLA to the Pacific Coast Conference championship and became the first African-American signed by an American Basketball League (ABL) team with the Oakland Bittners where he set the ABL scoring record in his debut season.  Part of the 1948 Olympic team in London, he became the first-ever African-American to also win a gold medal in basketball.  In 1951, he became one of the top 10 highest paid athletes with the Baltimore Bullets and was eventually traded to the Boston Celtics in 1953, where he became the first African-American player to be selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game.  In 1983, he launched the Save High School Sports Foundation, which raised over 1 million dollars by the time he passed away in 1993 to save several Oakland school athletic programs from demise.   
From the International Committee
LIDIA ALEXEEVA [Coach] – Alexeeva is one of the most successful coaches in International basketball history, highlighted by leading the Soviet Union National Team as head coach to gold medals in the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games, four FIBA World Championship titles (1967, 1971, 1975, 1983), four World University Games gold medals, 10 European Championships and 17 USSR National Championships.  She was undefeated in International play for over 17 years.  She also coached Hall of Famer Uljana Semjonova.  As a player, Alexeeva played on Soviet National Teams that won four European Championships (1950, 1952, 1954, 1956).  She has also been enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (1999) and FIBA Hall of Fame (2007).
From the Veterans Committee
CHET WALKER [Player] – Walker is widely known as one of the most athletic, skilled and resilient players in his era having missed only 21 games in his decorated 13-year NBA career.  The seven-time NBA All-Star was also a member of the 1967 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers that is recognized as one of the greatest teams in history and ended the Boston Celtics run of eight straight titles.  He went on to score 18,831 points and grab 7,314 rebounds in his career and was only the eighth player in NBA history to play more than 1,000 career games at the time of his retirement in 1975.  As a member of the Chicago Bulls, he led the NBA in free throw percentage at .859 during the 1970-71 season.   In college, Walker was a unanimous First Team All-America selection in 1962, leading Bradley to the NIT finals in back-to-back seasons, and winning the championship in 1960.   He graduated as Bradley’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 24.4 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.  He was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals and selected to the 1963 NBA All-Rookie Team.
From the Contributor Direct Election Committee
PHIL KNIGHT [Contributor] – One of the most significant contributors to the game of basketball, Knight, Nike’s co-founder, is currently the company’s Chairman of the Board. Under his guidance, Nike became the first sports brand to work with elite athletes to garner their insights to create the most innovative products. In basketball, Knight worked to create one of the company’s most iconic partnerships with Michael Jordan.  He has had a long history of working with other basketball greats like Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Dirk Nowitzki to Coach K and Vivian Stringer.  Knight also signed Sheryl Swoopes as the first woman to have her own signature basketball shoe.  His company now supports NBA stars like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Jeremy Lin and Kevin Durant.  Knight’s support of basketball internationally has also helped to elevate the game globally, including its current sponsorship of USA Basketball.  He’s also focused his efforts on supporting college athletics – including basketball – by providing resources to grow and maximize the collegiate game and the student-athlete experience through programs such as Duke, Georgetown, Syracuse and his alma mater Oregon.  In 1993, he was named the Most Powerful Man in Sports by The Sporting News.


Orlando Magic Executive Pat Williams To Receive Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2012 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award

Has spent over 40 years in NBA front offices with Orlando, Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Orlando Magic Executive Pat Williams, who has spent nearly 50 years in professional sports, has been selected to receive the 2012 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced today.

The Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted by the Board of Trustees of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973 and is the most prestigious award presented by the Hall of Fame outside of Enshrinement.  Named in honor of Hall of Famer John W. Bunn (Class of 1964), the first chairman of the Basketball Hall of Fame Committee who served from 1949-1964, the award honors coaches, players and contributors whose outstanding accomplishments have impacted the high school, college, professional or international game.

“Pat Williams has dedicated over four decades of his career to shaping NBA teams, making him an outstanding recipient of this year’s John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “His resume of accomplishments and passion for his teams has made an impact on basketball players, coaches and fans since he started his first front office job in 1968.”

“The Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor colleagues like Pat Williams who has demonstrated his enthusiasm for the game of basketball throughout his life,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board.  “Pat not only made a major impact in his leadership to cultivate the Chicago Bulls organization and bring a championship to the Philadelphia 76ers, but he invested an incredible effort to bring a successful franchise to Central Florida.”

Williams, who has been a part of the Orlando Magic organization since 1986, is currently the team’s Senior Vice President.

"Pat Williams leadership and vision was instrumental in bringing the Magic to Orlando, but the influence he has had on the sport of professional basketball stretches far beyond Central Florida," said Alex Martins, Chief Executive Officer for the Orlando Magic. "Through his love for the game and, most importantly, for those involved in it, Pat has positively impacted the lives of countless players, coaches and executives. He has held practically every front office position there is, and excelled in every role. Pat simply embodies all that is good about professional sports.  I can think of no one more deserving of this great honor than Pat."

Williams was promoted to his current post from the general manager position in April of 1996. As the senior vice president, Williams serves in strategic planning activities relating to RDV Sports, the parent company of the Magic.  He has been the face of the team since its inception in 1987 and helped develop numerous aspects of the franchise both on and off the court, leading the team to the NBA finals in 1995.  In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history.

Prior to joining the Magic organization, Williams began his NBA career in 1968 as the Philadelphia 76ers business manager and the next year, at the age of 29, became the general manager of the Chicago Bulls until 1973 when he left to take the same role with the Atlanta Hawks.  After one season with the Hawks, he returned to Philadelphia where he spent 12 years as the team’s general manager leading the Sixers to a World Championship in 1983.

Before he started his four-plus decades in the NBA, Williams began his career in baseball.  He was a three-year letterman as a catcher for Wake Forest and he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1962 then catching for two seasons with the Miami Marlins, a Class A club in the Florida State League.

He moved to Miami’s front office in 1964 and took the general manager job with the Spartanburg (S.C.) Phillies in 1965 -- later elevated to the position of president of the organization in 1967.

In 1967, he was chosen as the Minor League Executive of the Year by The Sporting News. Williams remains active in baseball as a catcher in Dream Week games in Florida during the winter. He was also the president of Orlando's Double-A Southern League team from 1990-1993.

Pat and his wife Ruth are the parents of 19 children, 14 of whom are adopted from four foreign countries.  He has written 65 books, including his version of the birth of the Orlando Magic, entitled Making Magic, and is considered one of the country’s top motivational speakers.  Williams completed the Boston Marathon 13 times and has finished 55 marathons in the last 15 years.  He was voted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Williams will be presented the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies, to be held at the “Hall of Fame Family Reunion Dinner” on Thursday, September 6. The annual Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Friday, September 7.  For ticket information, please visit

Previous John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
1973 - John Bunn
1974 - John Wooden
1975 - J. Walter Kennedy
1976 - Henry P. Iba
1977 - Clifford B. Fagan
1978 - Curt Gowdy
1979 - Eddie Gottlieb
1980 - Arnold "Red" Auerbach
1981 - Ray Meyer
1982 - Daniel Biasone
1983 - Robert J. Cousy
1984 - Lawrence F. O'Brien
1985 - Lee Williams
1986 - Grady W. Lewis
1987 - David R. Gavitt
1988 - Haskell Hillyard
1989 - George E. Killian
1990 - Pat Head Summitt
1991 - Morgan B. Wootten
1992 - Will Robinson
1993 - Joe Vancisin
1994 - William Wall
1995 - Pete Carlesimo
1996 - Vic Bubas
1997 - C.M. Newton
1998 - Tex Winter
1999 - The Harlem Globetrotters
2000 - Meadowlark Lemon
2001 - Tom Jernstedt
2002 - Harvey Pollack
2003 - Joe O'Brien
2004 - Zelda Spoelstra
2005 - Marty Blake
2006 - Betty Jaynes
2007 - Thomas "Satch" Sanders
2008 - Val Ackerman
2009 - Johnny "Red" Kerr
2010 - Don Meyer
2011 - Brian McIntyre
2012 - Pat Williams

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.


Sam Smith and Bill Schonely Named Recipients of Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2012 Curt Gowdy Media Award

Recipients To Be Honored during 2012 Enshrinement Week

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Sam Smith, the long-time NBA writer for the Chicago Tribune, and Bill Schonely, the original play-by-play announcer for the Portland Trail Blazers, have been selected to receive the 2012 Curt Gowdy Media Awards from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during Enshrinement festivities scheduled September 6-9, 2012 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Gowdy Media Award is named in honor of the legendary sports broadcaster and former Hall of Fame Board member and President, the late Curt Gowdy. The prestigious award is presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.

“Curt Gowdy was one of the true pioneers in sports broadcasting so it is imperative to find honorees who demonstrate the same passion that Mr. Gowdy showed each time he sat behind his microphone,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Sam Smith and Bill Schonely nearly paralleled each other’s careers, each dedicating almost 30 years to telling the story of their NBA team in print and on the air, respectively.  Sam’s daily coverage and Schonely’s live play-by-play helped shape the storied success of two of the greatest franchises in NBA history.”

Sam Smith, the 2012 honoree for the Print Media, started with the Chicago Tribune in 1979 and eventually focused on the NBA full-time for the newspaper in 1983, becoming a major voice in the game for over two decades covering one of the most dominant franchises during that period.  After 28 years with the Tribune, he joined the Chicago Bulls full-time covering the team on

“Unquestionably, Sam Smith is one of the most influential writers in basketball history,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, Chairman, Chicago Bulls.  “For almost three decades, Sam has been and continues to be a must-read for anyone following the Chicago Bulls and the NBA. I can’t say I always agreed with everything he wrote, but I assure you I read it all with interest.  I congratulate him for the much deserved Curt Gowdy Media Award.  Sam is a great journalist that never forgot to also be a gentleman.”

Smith is the author of the best selling book The Jordan Rules, which was in the top ten on the New York Times Bestseller List for three months, as well as Second Coming: The Strange Odyssey of Michael Jordan. Smith also co-authored the Total Basketball Encyclopedia.

Smith served four terms as the President of the Professional Basketball Writers Association. He received an undergraduate degree from Pace University in New York City and a master’s degree in journalism from Ball State.  Prior to joining the Tribune, Smith worked as a public accountant in New York City and a congressional and White House reporter in Washington, D.C.  He was also the winner of the Phil Jasner Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011

Bill Schonely, the 2012 Gowdy Award winner representing the Electronic Media, was the original voice of the Portland Trail Blazers starting in 1970.  He called the play-by-play for 2,522 Blazers radio and television broadcasts all the way through the 1998 NBA Playoffs missing only the first 25 games of the 1982-83 season due to heart surgery.

“We couldn’t be happier for Bill. He’s been one of the strongest pillars for our franchise since its inception 42 years ago,” said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. “This is a testament to the impact he’s had on fans in the city of Portland and broadcasters across the country. From calling our championship run in the seventies, voicing the NBA Fan-tastic commercials in the eighties and his present-day work as our Ambassador, Bill has dedicated his life to this organization and the game of basketball.”

Originally from Pennsylvania, Schonely enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating high school and was eventually transferred to Armed Forces Radio while stationed overseas.  After stints in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Seattle, he was approached by the Trail Blazers to start a radio network in 1970.  He quickly became a fixture in the state representing the team on the air and coining numerous phrases.  His best-known phrase, "Rip City" became synonymous with Blazers basketball and even developed into a nickname for the city of Portland itself.

Schonely’s honors include being inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame for Broadcasting in 2002, being named Oregon's Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 2003 and named Broadcaster of the Year by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters in 1994.  The Trail Blazers organization retired Schonely's microphone on November 3, 2003.

Previous Curt Gowdy Media Award Winners
Year - Print/Electronic
1990 - Dick Herbert/Curt Gowdy
1991 - Dave Dorr/Marty Glickman
1992 - Sam Goldaper/Chick Hearn
1993 - Leonard Lewin/Johnny Most
1994 - Leonard Koppett/Cawood Ledford
1995 - Bob Hammel/Dick Enberg
1996 - Bob Hentzen/Billy Packer
1997 - Bob Ryan/Marv Albert
1998 - Larry Donald&Dick Weiss/Dick Vitale
1999 - Smith Barrier/Bob Costas
2000 - Dave Kindred/Hubie Brown
2001 - Curry Kirkpatrick/Dick Stockton
2002 - Jim O’Connell/Jim Nantz
2003 - Sid Hartman/Hot Rod Hundley
2004 - Phil Jasner/Max Falkenstien
2005 - Jack McCallum/Bill Campbell
2006 - Mark Heisler/Bill Raftery
2007 - Malcolm Moran/Al McCoy
2008 - David DuPree/Bob Wolff
2009 - Peter Vecsey/Doug Collins
2010 - Jackie MacMullan/Joe Tait
2011 - Alexander Wolff/Jim Durham
2012 - Sam Smith/Bill Schonely

The Gowdy Awards will be presented at the Basketball Hall of Fame in a special ceremony scheduled for September 6.  The award winners will also be recognized at the annual Enshrinement Ceremony, which will be held on Friday, September 7.  For ticket information, please visit

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.


Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Teams and Dates for 2012 Tip-Off Tournament

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the field of teams and brackets for the 2012 Tip-Off Tournament. The annual NCAA men’s exempt tournament, sponsored by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, will take place the weekend of November 16th-18th at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut featuring eight schools in two four-team brackets.  All teams will also compete in two campus round games.

Teams scheduled to participate in this year’s Tip-Off tournament are Loyola University Maryland (MAAC), Norfolk State University (MEAC), Ohio State University (Big Ten), Seton Hall University (Big East), University of Albany (America East), University of Missouri-Kansas City (Summit League), University of Rhode Island (Atlantic 10) and University of Washington (Pac-12).

“This year’s Tip-Off Tournament will once again showcase some of the best college basketball programs in the country,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “We are looking forward to welcoming each of these teams, as they compete at Mohegan Sun, one of the finest facilities in the country.”

The 2012 Tip-Off Tournament game schedule will be separated into two brackets. The Springfield bracket will include Albany, Loyola, UMKC and Norfolk State. The Naismith bracket will consist of Ohio State, Washington, Seton Hall, and Rhode Island. Game times and sessions for both rounds will be announced at a later date.

“On behalf of Mohegan Sun, we are excited to be able to once again host one of the most prestigious tournaments in college basketball,” said Jeffrey Hartmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mohegan Sun. “We appreciate the Hall of Fame’s passion for basketball, and we look forward to continuing our relationship and hosting another great event in November.”

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will serve as the host conference for the annual event.  The MAAC will host the men’s and women’s basketball championships at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA this March and has developed a strong partnership with the Basketball Hall of Fame, including the opening of a MAAC exhibit in the Hall of Fame museum. 

“The MAAC is excited to extend its support of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Tip-Off Tournament again in 2012,” said Rich Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC. “The MAAC and the Hall of Fame continue to expand its relationship and we look forward to working together in the future on many projects, including the annual Tip-Off Tournament.”

Tickets for the 2012 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off at Mohegan Sun Arena will go on sale in the near future.  For more information on the event, log on to 


About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.

About Mohegan Sun:

Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, is one of the largest, most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming and shopping destinations in the United States.  Situated on 185 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is within easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence and located 15 minutes from the museums, antique shops and waterfront of Mystic Country.  More information is available by calling 1.888.226.7711 or visiting  Connect with us on, follow us on and view us on


About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

The MAAC, headquartered in Edison, N.J., consists of 10 member institutions: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Loyola University Maryland, Manhattan College, Marist College, Niagara University, Rider University, Saint Peter's College and Siena College. For more on the conference, please visit



Thad Matta, Ohio State University

“Opening the 2012-13 season in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament will give our team the opportunity to gauge itself against quality competition in an NCAA tournament setting.  Our program appreciates the opportunity to be a part of this outstanding event.”

Lorenzo Romar, University of Washington

“Coach Jim Shaw has done a great job of trying to get us in one of the premier tournaments every year and this certainly falls into that category. We are privileged and honored to be selected as a participant in the Hall of Fame Tournament.  The New York experience was great, we got to do a lot of things away from basketball. When we went to the CBE Classic (Kansas City) a few years ago, we got to see the NCAA Hall of Fame. Now, to be able to see and experience the Naismith Hall of Fame is something that may be our players only opportunity to ever see it. I’m already excited!”

Anthony Evans, Norfolk State University 

"We are excited to be first-time participants in the Hall of Fame Tournament. It's an honor for us to be involved with an event that is connected to the history of the game. This is a great opportunity for our program and players."


Kevin Willard, Seton Hall University

“This is a great opportunity for our program to participate in one of the marquee early season events on the national calendar.  We’re proud to be a part of a tournament that celebrates the tradition and history of our sport. We’re excited to be a part of this impressive field and look forward to the competition next November.”

Jimmy Patsos, Loyola University Maryland

"We are looking forward to participating in the Tip-Off Tournament. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has formed a strong partnership with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and we are honored to be selected to participate in the event next year."

Matt Brown, University of Missouri-Kansas City

“We are appreciative of the opportunity to play in the Tip-Off Tournament. We are not only looking forward to playing some great teams, but also be able to expose our student-athletes to the history of the sport of Basketball at the Hall of Fame.”

Will Brown, University at Albany

“We are excited to be a part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. We will open the season with a very challenging schedule as our first 2 games in the event will be against Ohio State and Washington. The event will also give us the opportunity to visit the Hall of Fame and play 2 more games at Mohegan Sun. This will be a great experience for our program, athletic department, university, alumni, and fans.”

Jim Baron, University of Rhode Island

“We are proud to be among the field for the 2012 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.  It is a tremendous tournament with outstanding teams, coaches, and student-athletes. We are looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to play in such a prestigious event.”


Black History Month: Basketball Hall of Fame is Proud to Support “On the Shoulders of Giants”

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to support Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his film entitled On the Shoulders of Giants. This documentary honors the legacy of a group of basketball pioneers that have paved the way for so many of today’s athletes. This amazing story illustrates the struggle during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, for many greats such as West Indies native, Bob Douglas. Douglas’ and his team the Harlem Rens experienced extreme racism and through it all, their unwavering determination prevailed.

The story of the greatest team you have never heard of was made as a labor of love; the documentary is compiled of archival footage, innovative 3D graphics and reenactments, along with interviews with celebrities and sports legends. We need your support as we tell the story of young men, who remind us that we are all standing On the Shoulders of Giants. The documentary will premiere tonight on Showtime at 8:30p.m. And is also available for purchase at

“It’s easy to say that a film like this should be shown to schoolchildren and budding athletes—as it should—but I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t respond to such a fascinating topic, presented in such appealing fashion. If this reads like a rave review, it’s because On the Shoulders of Giants knocked me out. I hope it finds the audience it so richly deserves.”
—Leonard Maltin, Film Critic

“On the Shoulders of Giants (is) one of the most inspirational, entertaining and enlightening sports documentaries I’ve ever seen.”
—Richard Roeper, Film Critic Chicago Sun-Times