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Washington Generals to honor Villanova alumnus Red Klotz with uniform patch

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The recently deceased Villanovan will have his signature sewn on every Washington Generals uniform during their 2015 World Tour with the Harlem Globetrotters.

You've noticed the "JK" patch on Villanova uniforms this season, honoring former 'Cats coach Jack Kraft, but he wasn't the only Villanova basketball legend who passed away this summer. Louis "Red" Klotz was a Villanova alumnus and former owner, coach and player for the Washington Generals. A 5-7 guard, he played two seasons on the Main Line before shipping out to serve in the Military during World War II.

The team that made Klotz famous, however, was the Washington Generals -- an organization best known for losing to the Harlem Globetrotters thousands of times during various world tours. The team he founded will dedicate their new season (starting December 26th) to him, wearing a patch bearing his signature during each of their games during the 2015 World Tour; all of them against the Globetrotters.

Klotz passed away on July 12, 2014, at the age of 93.

"To honor Red's unmatched legacy, the Washington Generals will be wearing a uniform patch with his signature when playing the Harlem Globetrotters on their 2015 world tour," said Generals General Manager John Ferrari. "Red's spirit will live on each time the Generals take the court against the Globetrotters, and each game will represent a renewed opportunity for victory."

The 2015 tour will be the first time that the Washington Generals will play without Klotz's involvement since he put the initial Generals organization together in 1952. It is the 89th consecutive year the team will be touring with the Globetrotters.

The complete press release from the Generals follows:

WASHINGTON GENERALS TO DEDICATE SEASON TO LEGENDARY OWNER RED KLOTZ

(WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2014) - The infamous Washington Generals, the storied opponent of the world famous Harlem Globetrottersannounced today that they will dedicate their upcoming season to Louis "Red" Klotz, the iconic mastermind behind the Generals and a key figure as a player, coach and owner over more than 60 years of competition with the Globetrotters.

Klotz passed away on July 12, 2014, at the age of 93. The 2015 tour - the 89th consecutive year of touring for the Globetrotters - begins on Dec. 26, 2014, and will be the first without Klotz since 1952.

"To honor Red's unmatched legacy, the Washington Generals will be wearing a uniform patch with his signature when playing the Harlem Globetrotters on their 2015 world tour," said Generals General Manager John Ferrari. "Red's spirit will live on each time the Generals take the court against the Globetrotters, and each game will represent a renewed opportunity for victory."

The Generals are poised to pose a great challenge to the Globetrotters this year and are more determined than ever to match the franchise's historic last victory over the Globetrotters in 1971 when Klotz - then the team's 50-year-old player/coach - hit a last-second shot to seal the win.  It has been five years since the Globetrotters and Generals have faced off, as the Generals have been searching far and wide for the best players to retool their roster and have been preparing for one thing: victory over the Globetrotters.

Fans can see this highly-anticipate matchup on the court by visiting harlemglobetrotters.com for the complete tour schedule and ticket information.

For over six decades, Klotz put together a team to face the Globetrotters for more than 400 games a year, including - in addition to the Generals - teams such as the New Jersey Reds, New York Nationals, International Elite, Global Select and World All-Stars. The working relationship with the Globetrotters was formed in 1952, when Globetrotters founder Abe Saperstein offered Klotz the opportunity to form a team to play the Trotters on a regular basis.

Klotz became the first non-Globetrotter to have a jersey retired by the team when the Globetrotters honored Klotz in his native Philadelphia on March 13, 2011.  Klotz became only the sixth person to ever receive this distinction when the Globetrotters retired his number three jersey, which he wore as a player for parts of four decades with the Generals.

Before forming the Generals, Klotz was a standout player at the professional, collegiate and high school level in his native Philadelphia. He won two city titles and two Philadelphia Player of the Year awards at South Philadelphia High School before playing collegiately at Villanova.  He then played professionally for the Philadelphia SPHAS of the American Basketball League before joining the NBA's Baltimore Bullets midway through the 1947-48 season, a season in which Klotz and the Bullets went on to defeat the Philadelphia Warriors to win the NBA title.