Bob Karstens was the third Caucasian to play for the Harlem Globetroters (the others were founder Abe Saperstein and Bunny Leavitt), but Karstens had the rare distinction of being the first Caucasian player to be under contract with the team. Karstens joined the Globetrotters in 1943, when Reece "Goose" Tatum was drafted into the Army Air Corp during World War II. A native of Davenport, Iowa, Karstens was one of the original creators of the Globetrotters famous "Magic Circle" pregame routine, in addition to developing the "Goofball" (a gag basketball filled with off center weights), the "yo yo" basketball, and the behind-the-back trick shot. The former St. Ambrose College (Iowa) standout was born on March 11, 1915. Karstens was presented with the Harlem Globetrotters "Legends" Ring on June 13, 1994 in New Orleans. Karstens passed away on Dec. 31, 2004.
Stay connected and get the latest Globetrotter news including Harlem Globetrotters Deals & Discounts delivered to your email inbox or mobile phone.