(ATLANTA, May 8, 2019) Known as one of the first big time jumpers in the game of basketball, former Harlem Globetrotter Jumpin’ Jackie Jackson passed away on May 4 in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the age of 79.

Jackson spent 15 seasons with the world famous Harlem Globetrotters where he became known on the court for his gravity-defying dunks and was regarded as one of the best dunkers in the game of basketball. Prior to joining the Globetrotters, he became a streetball legend playing in Rucker Playground Basketball Tournaments in the early 1960s in New York City.

In February of 2003, Jackson became only the 22nd person in team history to receive the “Legends” award, which is the second highest honor a former player can receive outside of jersey retirement.

“We are deeply saddened to hear about Jackson’s passing. He made tremendous contributions not only to the Globetrotters organization, but to the sport of basketball as a whole. During his tenure with the team, he changed the way people thought of the slam-dunk and helped popularize its role in the game,” said Harlem Globetrotters President Howard Smith.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Jackson started his remarkable career at the famed Boys High leading his team to the city championship. At Virginia Union, the 6-3 center earned the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s Freshman of the Year award. After graduating, Jackson was the 41st pick of the 1962 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia Warriors. Instead of joining the NBA, Jackson joined the Globetrotters.

He played one season with the team in 1963 before being drafted into the Army. In 1966, Jackson returned to the Harlem Globetrotters where he played along Globetrotter greats Curly Neal, Meadowlark Lemon and Marques Haynes. Jackson toured with the Harlem Globetrotters until 1978.

Jackson is survived by his wife Jean Jackson, son Robert Jackson, daughter Christina Agard, brother Randolph Jackson and five grandchildren. Services for Jackson will be held on Saturday, May 11 in Brooklyn, N.Y.