OGDEN — In downtown Ogden, just off 25th Street and Lincoln Avenue, customers at Moore's Barber Shop can enjoy a little discussion on politics while getting a good old-fashioned trim.
But owner Willy Moore is known for more than his skills with the clippers. He played for the Harlem Globetrotters in the 1940s and 50s.
"I was pretty good, I think. I don't know," Moore said. "They didn't hire blacks to play basketball at the university, so they gave me some money to go to a black school."
That first team, formed under owner Abe Saperstein, was called the Savoy Big Five; they had just as many players.
"It was tough, it was really tough," Moore recalled.
He says he became known as "Ducky" Moore, partly because of where the ball often ended up during practice. "They would throw the ball up in your head, and up in your back," he explained. "That's why they called me Ducky, because I was ducking all the time. It was hard work."
As the team grew, they quickly took on the Globetrotter name. And it didn't take long before Moore realized his team represented more than the sport.
Eventually, their unique skills on the court helped break down racial barriers. When people came to see them on the court, Moore says all of their prejudices seemed to go away.
On top of that, player salaries weren't anywhere near today's standards. Moore pulled in about $5 a game. Though he didn't feel rich, there were times when he says he felt like a celebrity.
After his basketball career, Moore says he was glad to have his training as a barber to fall back on. Nowadays, he spends his off time on the golf course.