John Kline, Jr.

Obituary of John Lee Kline, Jr.

Dr. John Lee Kline, Jr., the oldest living Harlem Globetrotter known as “Jumping Johnny,” and All-American basketball player at Wayne University (now Wayne State University) in Detroit made his final transition on July 26, 2018 at 5:18 am at the home of his daughter and son-in-law Sharon and Dr. Melvin Lee Hill of Lebanon, TN.  Dr. Kline was inducted into the African American Hall of Fame, Wayne State University’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the Harlem Globetrotter’s Legends Circle for his work with substance abuse prevention, education and research, patient rights, and health and wellness promotions.  Kline founded and presided over his organization The Black Legends of Professional Basketball Foundation, which sponsored an annual fundraiser to honor senior players and establish a retirement plan for those that paved the way for the NBA. He also authored fifteen books including his life story detailing how he went from being a celebrity to his struggles with substance abuse to triumphantly earning a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree in history and philosophy of education. Kline’s life as an advocate of many projects and worthy causes he championed to give back to the community and efforts to make life better for others will be celebrated on August 25, 2018 in his hometown of Detroit, MI.