Louis "Red" Klotz, former NBA player and the owner of the Harlem Globetrotters' longtime opponents, has died at his Jersey Shore home.
Klotz, 93, passed away in his sleep at his Margate, N.J. home on Saturday, the Harlem Globetrotters said. He was surrounded by family.
The former South Philadelphia High School basketball star helped the school win two city championships in 1939 and 1940. After graduating, he moved from the public league to Villanova University's program on a scholarship.
Red, as he was known, eventually went to play in the NBA as part of the Baltimore Bullets during the 1947-48 season.
He later formed a partnership with the Globetrotters in 1952 and remained with the organization for more than 60 years, according to the team. Under his tenure, Klotz formed several Globetrotter opponents including the New Jersey Reds, Boston Shamrocks and Washington Generals. His teams would play more than 400 games a year.
"Red was truly an ambassador of the sport and as much a part of the Globetrotters' legacy as anyone ever associated with the organization,"Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider said in a statement. "He was a legend and a global treasure. His love of the game – and his love of people – will certainly be missed."
The last time one of Klotz's teams beat the Globetrotters was on Jan. 5, 1971. The then 50-year-old New Jersey Reds player and coach scored the game winning basket with seconds to go. The final score was 100-99.
Klotz is survived by his wife of 72-years, Gloria, as well as other family.