Real Basketball Players of Harlem inducts new HOF class
The decision was made earlier this year by the Real Harlem Basketball Players organization to induct New York basketball great Thomas Ernest “Satch” Sanders into their Hall of Fame last weekend at Salem United Methodist Church. . It proved timely given his contributions to the Boston Celtics dynasty led by the great Bill Russell, who died last month at the age of 88.
Brought to the church stage at West 127th and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard by Harlem Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Williams, Sanders, 83, an eight-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion who has played alongside Russell with the Celtics in the 1960s, was one of several honorees from the New York basketball community to receive tributes on Saturday afternoon.
Playing 13 seasons in the NBA, Sanders spent his entire career with the Celtics, but was born in New York and learned the game as a student-athlete attending Seward Park High School and University. from New York. He was drafted with the eighth pick in 1960 and later had his No. 16 retired by the Celtics.
Harlem Globetrotters icon Bobby Hunter, DeWitt Clinton and Marquette University great Butch Lee, playground legend Earl “The Goat” Manigault and St. John’s coach great Lou Carneseca were also inducted.
“We honor and celebrate these exceptional players and contributors who have made a name for themselves and left an impressionable mark on the mind and memory of the Harlem basketball community,” said Gary Barnes, organizer and member of the RHBP Board of Directors.
“Harlem’s rich basketball history is an important part of basketball history, it’s a legacy.”
Rounding out this year’s inductees, seventeen in total were, Lloyd Adams, Rodney Butler, Brenda Caldwell, David Diase, Franklin Edwards, Anthony Greer, Herman Harrell, Billy Meggett, Santos Negron, Sam Stith, Tom Stith and Frank” Shake and Bake” Streety, brought to the stage by his longtime friend Pee Wee Kirkland, one of the most revered figures in New York basketball history.