|Born||August 30, 1917|
|Died||December 1, 1999 (aged 82)|
New York City
|Listed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school||Benjamin Franklin|
(Harlem, New York)
|1937–1938||New York Harlem Yankees|
|New York Rens|
|1941–1946||Washington Licthman Bears|
|1944–1946||Long Island Grumman Hellcats|
|1947–1949||New York Rens|
|1951–1952||New York Celtics|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
William Penn "Pop" Gates (August 30, 1917 – December 1, 1999) was an American professional basketball player.
He was born in Decatur, Alabama and attended high school in New York, New York. After attending Clark Atlanta University (although he did not play for the school), he began his basketball career in New York City.
He started his professional basketball career with the Harlem Renaissance, beginning in 1938–39. "Seven months before Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Leo Ferris helped usher in a new era of racial integration for professional basketball when he signed William "Pop" Gates, who made his debut for the Blackhawks in October 1946. Gates, along with William "Dolly" King, were the first two African-American players in the NBL. "When Leo Ferris came to me, it was like a godsend," Gates was quoted as saying in the book, "Pioneers of the Hardwood: Indiana and the Birth of Professional Basketball." "It was a real highlight of my career to be accepted by the NBL as one of only two blacks in the league." He became one of the early black players in the NBL in 1946. Later he played for and coached the Harlem Globetrotters. Gates is one of the few athletes who went directly from a high school championship team (Benjamin Franklin, New York, 1938) to a World Professional Champion (Rens, 1939).
Awards and honors
Gates was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1989.
- "Long-forgotten Leo Ferris helped devise NBA's 24-second clock, first used 61 years ago today". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
- "William Henry "Bill" Gates III" at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.