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Perhaps the best player never to play in the NBA

Earl Manigault was, unfortunately, another guy who got caught up with the wrong crowd. He was one of the most gifted players to ever step on a basketball court. So much so that he broke the NYC Junior High School record by scoring 57 points in a game.

Earl gained recognition from greats at Rucker Park such as Connie Hawkins and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who went as far as to say that he was the greatest basketball player they had ever played against — and there were many basketball legends at Rucker.

Legend has it that “The Goat” had a 52″ vertical leap, which would be 4″ higher than Michael Jordan’s NBA-record 48. He was famous for being able to grab coins from the top of the backboard. With these kinds of hops, Manigault would’ve been an extremely popular player throughout the NBA.

Regrettably, "The GOAT" developed a heroin addiction in Harlem and spent several years in prison early in his adult life. Later on, he was offered to play with the Harlem Globetrotters, which he turned down because he decided to start his own summer tour. Earl's health eventually began to deteriorate due to heart problems and in 1998 and he passed away at the age of 53.

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