From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Grant, Ulysses, Sr.

(born: August 11, 1934  -  died: April 26, 2016) Ulysses Grant, Sr., a 6' 3" forward/center, was a recognized basketball player from Louisville, KY, a star high school player at Central High School there. He was said to be one of the best one-handed shooters on the court who was a consistent scorer throughout his career.

Starting in January 1956, Grant played for the Harlem Road Kings, a traveling basketball team founded by Reece "Goose" Tatum after he left the Harlem Globetrotters in 1954; Sonny Mitchell and Chuck Duncan of  Louisville also played on the Road Kings team. Grant played for the Harlem Road Kings for one year and was Rookie of the Year. While still a member of the Road Kings, he played in a charity game between Louisville and Fort Knox which the Louisville team won. Ulysses Grant was the second-highest scorer in that game with 18 points; Dick Keffer scored 28 points.

In 1957, he was playing basketball with the Trailermen (also called Kingham Trailer) team in Louisville, coached by Fred Hampton. The team had joined the Major Basketball Association (MBA) that was open to A-1 independent teams. The previous season, the Trailermen had won the city-wide elimination tournament and represented Kentucky in the AAU Tournament in Brownstown, IN.

In January 1958, Grant began playing center for the College of the Scriptures while continuing to play for the Trailermen in the MBA. While playing at the College of the Scriptures he scored 42 points in a game against Southeastern Christian College located in Winchester, KY. 

In 1960, Grant was playing for the St. Augustine team in Louisville. In 1963 through the early months of 1964, he played for the Hazelwood A.C. team in Louisville.

Ulysses Grant was born in Louisville, the son of Napoleon and Onie O. Keltee Grant. He died in 2016 and is buried in the Green Meadows Cemetery in Louisville. 

Sources: "Scriptures five wins," The Courier-Journal, 1/26/1958, Section 2, p. 2; "Harlem Roadkings play here Saturday," The Tracy Press, 1/13/1956, p. 8; "Presenting the Harlem Roadkings," The Sun-Advocate, 2/18/1956, p. 2; "Clown prince of two sports," Jet, 2/2/1967, p. 55; "Star game," The Courier-Journal, 4/15/1956, Section 2, p. 3; "U.L. cage products win," Courier-Journal, 4/16/1956, p. 19; "Trailermen play tonight," The Courier-Journal, 12/3/1958, Section 2, p. 9; "SS Simon-Jude, St. Augustine win," The Courier-Journal, 4/9/1960, Section 2, p. 11; "Williams scores 44 for Bradford boys," The Courier-Journal, 12/11/1963, Section 2, p. 5; and Ulysses Grant, Sr. at Find A Grave.


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“Grant, Ulysses, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-14 16:38:10