Embedded Player The Harlem Globetrotters have been a team since the 1920s. Originally started by Saul Saperstein, a white Jewish man, the team's purpose was to get African-American players on the court at a time when they were banned from participating in the NBA. The Globetrotters are accomplished athletes, but they're most known for their theoretical and comedic basketball routines on the court. This week we sit down with Orlando "El Gato" Melendez, the first Puerto Rican to ever play on the team, to talk about his childhood in Puerto Rico and what the Harlem Globetrotters mean to him.