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Collective Wisdom: Hubert Ausbie

By Jenni Carlson Modified: August 24, 2008 at 12:00 am •  Published: August 24, 2008
Born and raised in Crescent, Hubert Ausbie became known to his friends as "Geese,” then became known to the world as the "Clown Prince of Basketball.” He spent more than two decades with the Harlem Globetrotters, playing the game he loved and loving the game he played.

Everybody in Crescent was like family. You could be across town, you could get in trouble and people there could whoop you.

My mother taught us to always love one another. She always had a yard full of people. The parents knew where their kids were; they were in mama's yard. No matter how much she had, she always said we were a rich family.

Sundays, we didn't play basketball. I always kept my basketball in bed with me. My brother would raise cain about that. He'd say, "Mama, make Hubert put that basketball up.” She'd say, "Put that basketball up.” I'd say, "Yes, ma'am.” But you could hear me upstairs dribbling that basketball. Boom, boom, boom.

My wife ... she wrote the letters for me to try out for the Globetrotters. I guess after about 10 letters, she put in that I was the third-leading scorer in the nation behind Oscar Robertson and Elgin Baylor. They saw that, and they gave me a shot, a ticket to Chicago to try out.

I don't believe she would've wrote if she thought I was going to be on the road that long. I didn't get to see my family a lot. It was a hard time. She kept the kids in line and she really raised them up right. She's been great to me.

My parents raised me, but my wife, she's been my backbone.

I had a routine I did with the Globetrotters. I would go up in the stands, and I would get a lady's purse and have her come down on the court and dance. This particular time, we were going down South, and it was kind of bad out there.

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