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Above The Rim: How LA Laker Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball Both On and Off the Court

Updated: Aug 13

Above the Rim: Elgin Baylor

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Title: Above The Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

Recommended Ages: 4-8

Where to order: Bookshop Here

Book Description

Above the Rim is a poetic, exquisitely illustrated telling of the life of an under recognized athlete and a celebration of standing up for what is right.

Hall-of-famer Elgin Baylor was one of basketball’s all-time-greatest players—an innovative athlete, team player, and quiet force for change. One of the first professional African-American players, he inspired others on and off the court. But when traveling for away games, many hotels and restaurants turned Elgin away because he was Black. One night, Elgin had enough and staged a one-man protest that captured the attention of the press, the public, and the NBA.

Take a look at a few pages featuring stunning illustrations by the legendary Frank Morrison.

Above the Rim: Elgin Baylor

Above the Rim: Elgin Baylor

More about how Elgin Baylor Made History

Elgin Baylor Made History and Became the First NBA Player To Boycott a Game in 1959 : Read the following excerpt taken from an article by Joe Kozlowski via

"Although basketball fans may know Baylor for his impeccable playing career, he also earned a place in history by refusing to take the floor. In 1959, he became the first NBA player to boycott a game.

Based solely on his on-court exploits, Elgin Baylor earned a place in NBA history. In 1959, however, the Lakers star also made headlines by refusing to hit the hardwood.

As Mike Whiteford laid out in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the Minneapolis Lakers traveled to Charleston, West Virginia, to face off against the Cincinnati Royals in the early days of 1959. When the Lakers arrived in town, however, their Black players were denied service in the team’s hotel.

While the entire team relocated to another hotel, the same issue arose when it was time to eat; according to Whiteford, Baylor headed to a grocery store and bought the necessary supplies to make sandwiches.

As tip-off approached, Baylor initially refused to leave his hotel room; he eventually agreed to go to the arena, but wouldn’t dress for the game. At that point, Hot Rod Hundley, a white Charleston native who played alongside Baylor, urged him to take the court. “Rod, I’m a human being,’’ [Baylor] responded. “I’m not an animal put in a cage and let out for the show.’’ Hundley considered his teammate’s words and conceded: “Don’t play. You’re right. I was wrong.’’" Read the full article HERE: via




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