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Globetrotter JC Gipson Passes Suddenly

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Longtime Harlem Globetrotter, JC Gipson recently passed away. He was 77. Gipson who played more than 20 years for the Harlem Globetrotters and got his start at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, where he was named basketball player of the year in 1951, died Dec. 30 of a heart attack in San Bernardino.

Born in Henderson, Texas to Eddie Gipson and Alberta Nickerson on April 30, 1932, he grew up in Concord, Texas and attended the schools there, including Concord High School. In 1946, He moved with his mother to Los Angeles, CA where he attended Mt. Zion Baptist Church. JC graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles.

JC began his outstanding career with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1952 and wore the famous red, white, and blue for 20-plus glorious seasons. His personality, superb playing ability, and outstanding flair for showmanship made him one of the most popular Globetrotters of all-time.

Amazingly, JC had no college experience and played only a single season of basketball at Thomas Jefferson High. Selected as the city’s “prep player of the year,” JC was flooded with college offers but elected to sign a contract with the Globetrotters. The 6’8, 250-pound forward could run the floor, shoot from long range and rebound with the best.

He established a World Series of Basketball record by tallying 33 points against the 1953 College All-Americans in Chicago.

Gipson was one of six Globetrotters animated in the popular Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera cartoon series in the 1970s. Off the floor, he served as team spokesman and had an unbelievable relationship with children of all ages from around the world. JC received his “Legends” Ring on August 3, 1995.

JC met the love of his life Betty Davis in Montana in 1959.

They were married in 1971 in Colorado. He retired from the Globetrotters in 1979 and moved to Rialto CA. He later relocated to Highland CA. JC worked for several companies in the area, before he retired fully. However, he stayed busy by the help he gave so freely to his family and friends in taking them on errands and short trips. Just prior to his death, he had taken on another job as a Shop Manager in an auto repair business in San Bernardino.

JC Gipson passed away suddenly on December 30, 2009. All who knew him will miss him dearly.

He is survived by his loving daughter, Jaylene Gipson, Napa, CA; one brother Emmett Gipson, Houston, Texas; one sister Gale White, Houston, Texas and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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