L. Kline, PhD
Dr. Kline is
in the process of developing two movies, Barnstormin’
and Never Lose. The following film treatments
describe the movies in brief detail.
Set primarily in the decades of the
Harlem Renaissance and the great Depression, BARNSTORMIN'
is a drama about the black pioneers that helped break
the bonds of segregation and bring basketball to the
nation and the world.
For more information on BARNSTORMIN'
CLICK HERE and for NEVER
NEVER LOSE is the remarkable story of John
Kline who came up from the streets of Detroit to
become an All American, traveling the world as a
Harlem Globetrotter before drug addiction shattered
his life and family. Out of the pits of hell he
struggled to find his identity as an African American
man earning a PhD and dedicating his life to helping
Pound for pound, at only 6-feet, 3-inches
tall, "Jumpin' Johnny" Kline was considered the best
power forward in basketball from 1950-1960. Despite his
size, he led his Wayne State University and Harlem
Globetrotter teams in scoring, rebounding, assists and
steals while defending much taller players on opposing
teams. He regularly out-rebounded All-American college
players such as 6-foot, 7-inch Dick Rickets of Duquesne
University; 6-foot, 7-inch Maurice Stokes of St. Frances
College in Pennsylvania; 7-foot, 1-inch Walt Dukes of
Seton Hall University and the Detroit Pistons; 7-foot,
1-inch Wilt Chamberlain of the University of Kansas, the
Harlem Globetrotters, and Philadelphia Warriors; 6-foot,
11-inch Ray Felix of Long Island University and the
Baltimore Bullets; 7-foot Bill Spivey of the University
of Kentucky, the Harlem Globetrotters, and the Boston
Whirlwinds; 6-foot, 10-inch Lee Garner of Alcorn College
in Mississippi; and 6-foot, 7-inch Nat "Sweetwater"
Clifton of the Harlem Globetrotters and the Detroit
After his basketball career ended, Dr. Kline overcame
drug addiction to become one of the nation's leading
educators, authors, historians, and community leaders.
He has worked diligently to inspire young athletes to
greatness; help individuals live healthier lives; and
bring recognition to the African Americans who helped
pioneer one of America's favorite pastimes.
Following are highlights of the basketball legend's
basketball for Wayne State University in
Detroit, the young "Jumpin' Johnny" Kline
breaks a number of school records, including
the indoor high jump (6 feet, 6-1/2 inches)
and the outdoor high jump (6 feet, 7
becomes the nation's premiere college
basketball forward. Our Sports Magazine
names him an All-American, and he garners
"Most Valuable Player" and "Athlete of the
Year" honors from Wayne State University. He
also is named the "Most Valuable Player" by
the organizers of the first University of
Detroit Motor City Tournament. He breaks the
hop, step and jump record for WSU, an
achievement that still stands today.
He breaks seven
high jump records at various college
He drops out of
Wayne State University to begin a seven-year
stint as a basketball forward for the Harlem
Globetrotters. "Jumpin' Johnny" credits Gus
Finney for paving the way to the
The player moves
to Harlem in New York City and plays with
the Sunbury Mercurys, an Eastern
Professional League team based in nearby
nearly loses his life while struggling with
heroine and cocaine addiction. He enters the
Lafayette Clinic in Detroit for
He assumes his
first job in 10 years as a drug abuse
research assistant for the Lafayette Clinic
in Detroit. The facility acknowledges his
travel experience and familiarity with the
city's street life.
He is named
Deputy Director of the Methadone Program
overseen by the Mayor's Committee on Human
Resources Development in Detroit.
He is named
Director of Student Affairs for Detroit's
He joins the
Michigan Mental Health Department as the
Patient Rights Administrator. The former
player returns to Wayne State University to
earn a bachelor's degree in science. He
leads a group to Ghana in West Africa for a
series of educational and cultural
He returns to
the Lafayette Clinic, serving in various
roles. He remains with the facility until
Karibu Associates, a Detroit-based
He receives a
master's degree in education from Wayne
State University. He leads his second group
to Ghana for a series of educational and
is named a patient rights advisor for the
He is inducted
into the Wayne State University Sports Hall
He founds the
National Association of African Americans,
an organization connecting people to their
roots in Africa.
He receives his
doctorate in history and philosophy
education from Wayne State University.
"Jumpin' Johnny" pursues the degree to show
drug addicts they can accomplish anything.
Young appoints him Director of Drug
Prevention, providing a $2 million budget to
help educate citizens about the city's
growing problem with drug addiction.
Dr. Kline is
named to the State Nursing Board by Michigan
Gov. Jim Blanchard. He starts his Youth
Athletic Enrichment Program, a community
educational program for middle school
athletes to help reduce drug use and curtail
a 40 percent student dropout rate in public
He develops a
workshop curriculum on drug prevention for
Detroit Public Schools.
Detroit Public Schools as the Director of
Drug Free Schools. "Jumpin' Johnny" helps
develop an intensive program aimed at
educating 175,000 students about the dangers
of drug use.
Dr. Kline leads
health retreats in Jamaica.
Detroit Public Schools as the Director of
Health Promotion and Wellness.
He attends the
Million Man March in Washington, D.C., and
helps develop health programs for the
Million Man Alumni Association.
basketball star founds the Black Legends of
Professional Basketball, a non-profit
organization aimed at educating the public
about the history and contributions of
America's black basketball pioneers. He
writes the autobiography Never Lose. The
book provides details about his life,
including his basketball career,
international travels, victory over drug
addiction, and educational accomplishments.
hosts the "Gathering of Legends" in Detroit.
The annual awards banquet features a Hall of
Fame induction ceremony for former Harlem
Globetrotters and overlooked NBA players.
wages a national campaign to get the first
Harlem Globetrotter (Marques Haynes)
inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.
This opened the door for the Globetrotter
team and individual Globetrotter inductees
Meadowlark Lemon and the first female member
Lynette Woodard. The same year, he hosts
jazz and health talk shows for radio station
WDTR-FM in Detroit.
Dr. Kline writes
the textbook for his Youth Athletic
Enrichment Program. Urban Rites of Passage,
Volume I gives middle school students
invaluable insights on the value of athletic
leadership, education, and drug prevention.
He receives the "Distinguished Service
Award" from the Harlem Globetrotters and the
"Michigan Amateur Athlete of the Year Award"
from the governor of Michigan.
He writes Urban
Rites of Passage, Volume II. The same year,
he receives the "Legends Award" from the
Harlem Globetrotters and the "Distinguished
Service Award" from the Team for Justice for
his work with convicted felons. He
successfully lobbies the Michigan state
Senate to pass a resolution honoring black
basketball legends for their contributions
to the game.
convinces U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks
Kilpatrick and U.S. Senator Carl Levin to
sponsor bills in the U.S. Congress honoring
black basketball pioneers for their
contributions to the game. House Bill 59 and
Senate Bill 57 both pass with majority
votes. The same year, he writes the books
The Life and Times of Jumpin' Johnny Kline
and The Power of Positive Living, a guide to
better health and wellness.
magazine About Time and the Mississippi
newspaper The Jackson Advocate carry
"spotlight" articles about the basketball
legend. The same year, he releases Black
Pawns in the Cold War, a book detailing how
the U.S. State Department used the Harlem
Globetrotters in the 1950s to help defeat
Dr. Kline is
inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of
He moves the
Black Legends of Professional Basketball
Foundation to Brentwood, Tenn., and launches
a campaign to help raise funds for retired
members of the Harlem Globetrotters, many of
whom face financial hardships and
life-threatening illnesses. He presents a
lecture and memorabilia exhibit at
Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Press spotlights the basketball legend in a
nationally wired feature story. He releases
the second editions of his books Never Lose
and The Power of Positive Living and
develops a screenplay for Never Lose.
direction, the Tennessee-based Black Legends
of Professional Basketball Foundation names
the late legendary athletes Johnny Isaacs
and Al "Runt" Pullins as the first
recipients of its newly established "Black
Basketball Pioneers of the Year" award. He
pens Barnstormin', a book that details the
invaluable roles of black basketball players
during the 1920s, '30s and '40s, a period
when African Americans were not allowed to
participate in the white professional
basketball leagues. The book is developed
into a movie/TV screenplay.
For more information about Dr. Kline's
weight management program, health and nutrition program,
life coaching for athletes and others, and community
development programs, please call (615) 838-7330.
L. Kline Ph. D. – Dedicated to help others
he returned to Detroit in 1960 after his travels around
the world with the Harlem Globetrotters he succumbed to
drugs which dominated his community. After 9 years he
entered the National Mental Health Methadone Program to
try to break this drug addiction cycle. He spent 3
months as an in-patient and 2 months as an out-patient
at the Lafayette Clinic Teaching Institute. He completed
his Bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University in 1973,
earned his Master’ degree in 1977 and his Ph.D. degree
in 1985. John was named Director of the Methadone
Program in the City of Detroit and worked with the
Mayors Committee of Human Resource Development (MCHRD)
which he eventually became Director. Dr. Kline
worked for the State of Michigan in substance abuse
research and patient rights. He started his own Health
Promotion and Wellness Company and was appointed by
Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young to Director of Drug
Prevention and Education Services. He became the
Director of Drug Free Schools and Communities for the
Detroit Public Schools and Michigan’s Governor James
Blanchard, recognized Dr. Kline’s expertise in substance
abuse and appointed him to the Michigan Board of
Nursing. He was selected as Regional Director of Nancy
Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign on drugs and the United
States Information Agency (USIA) selected Dr. Kline to
address issues on steroids, cocaine and other drugs in
In 1986 Dr. Kline developed the Youth Athletic
Enrichment Program (YAEP) at Wayne State University.
YAEP spread to the recreation centers and then grew into
all eighty Middle Schools in Detroit, Michigan. The
YAEP, “after school” program, included 2,000 students
per year. It was successful and continues today. It
consists of programs that plant the seeds of better Life
Skills that open the eyes of all students using the
academic/athlete leader concept in Inner-City schools.
Dr. Kline’s vision is to take this program national to
the 27 cities where NBA Teams play their home games. The
Program consists of Power Living Clubs for students and
the Power Living Wellness/Disease Prevention Program for
adults in Inner-Cities.
He founded and is President of the Black Legends of
Professional Basketball Foundation (BLPBF), a Detroit
based 501 C 3 non-profit tax exempt
foundation which promotes and preserves the history
and culture of African American basketball from its
inception in 1891 through 1950. BLPBF supports the
African American pioneers who paved the way for their
inclusion in the NBA.
In 1998 he led the campaign inducting Marques Haynes as
the first Harlem Globetrotter into the Naismith
Basketball’s Memorial Hall of Fame (NBMHF). Dr. Kline
led the process which resulted in the Michigan Senate on
12/12/02 passing Resolution 286 which recognized the
African American Pioneers of professional basketball. He
also led the process on 10/7/05 when the
109th Congress issued Resolution 59 which honored
African American Pioneers of professional basketball
players. He continued with Resolution 57 introduced in
the U.S. Senate by Senators Carl Levin and Debbie
Stabenow, which also honored African American pioneers
of professional basketball.
Dr. Kline was inducted into the African American Hall of
Fame, the Wayne State University Hall of Fame, the
Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the Harlem
Globetrotters exclusive Legends Circle. The Naismith
Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame inducted Dr. John L.
“Jumpin Johnny” Kline into the Hall of Fame in
Springfield, MA on August 11, 2011 when he was awarded
the Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award.
Dr. Kline developed the Power Living Lifestyle program
for individuals or teams. This 5 to 9 day hands-on
program raises the performance of college and
professional players beyond their expectations and can
extend their years at the top of their profession. He
has published fifteen books, three movie screenplays,
three movie treatments and maintains a traveling exhibit
of African American Professional Basketball from 1891
until 1950. He speaks around the country promoting
programs which improve Life Skills from his latest book
“The Power of Positive Living”.
On March 10, 2012 Yahoo! Sports, published the “Top 25
Greatest Harlem Globetrotter players of All Time “
Jumpin Johnny” Kline was listed number fifteen. He has
dedicated his life to helping others help themselves and
their communities. The Power Living Lifestyle Program
was sent to the White House during the past five years
and elements of this program are found in the
President’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program.
As you review this website check the products Dr. Kline
has developed to help individuals and communities in
Inner-Cities across the United States, including his
unique Exhibit of African American Professional
Basketball teams around the world from basketballs
inception in 1891 through 1950 when the NBA first
considered allowing African American players into its
Association. Today, over 93% of all NBA players are
African American. Given the opportunity African
Americans will succeed.