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. My wife, she told me, "Honey, please be careful.” I said, "OK, I'll be careful.” My teammates told me, "Whatever you do, Geese, don't you get no lady's purse.” I said, "OK, I won't.” And what did I do? I go in the stands and get this white lady's purse and call her down on the floor and we dance. At halftime, the police came in the locker room. He said, "Where is No. 35?” And all my teammates pointed at me at said, "There he is, right over there.” It scared me to death. He came over to me and said, "Geese, when you go back out there after halftime, do me a favor.” I said, "What's that?” He said, "Get my wife and pull her on the floor.” After the game was over, he came back around and said, "Anything you guys want, food, anything, it's on us.” This restaurant that had never opened to blacks before, he took us to that restaurant. My wife ... for the last 10 years has been saying, "Honey, why don't you write a book?” Now, I'm beginning to write a book. I played in front of about three or four popes, queens and princes, but my favorite thing is coming back home to Oklahoma where I was born and raised. I was in Crescent last Sunday, and I went to church. This lady, white lady, and her husband came up to me, and she was cryin'. I didn't know what she was cryin' about. She said. "Geese, I've been trying to meet you for the last 40 years.” I said, "Ma'am?” She said, "You met my husband over in Hawaii. He got injured in the war. They brought him back to Hawaii to recuperate, and you went to the hospital. We've never forgotten that. He got well because of you coming to visit.” That really touched me. I still go to hospitals and visit children and visit soldiers all over the country. That's what really made me happy about being a Globetrotter.
Hubert ‘Geese' Ausbie traveled the world as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. The oklahoman archive