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Tiger Woods Bows Out of Masters, Life Goes On

Tiger Woods, citing health issues, will not be playing this year's Masters. That's akin to Christmas without your favorite auntie; Thanksgiving without the turkey. But, in golf's case, the tournament marches on, a new champion will be inscribed on its storied trophy and a new green jacket fitted to another's shoulders. But make no mistake, the event, the game is not the same without Tiger Woods.
Is the perpetual kid done?  Not by a long tee shot, he is not!  And while many say he is getting the just desserts he's earned through careless living and risky behavior, try being as talented as Tiger from as long as you can remember and not be tempted and tainted by the celebrity and  the scrutiny of the 24/7 media in today's Internet Age.  I know. In my own time I succumbed to the game outside The Game and barely, just barely, lived to tell about it. There are players Tiger's years or older, healthier but not in better shape, who are still competitive in major tourneys like the Masters. Tiger will join them once again.  He has learned life's great lessons.  I can tell. I also know that certain sure-fire lessons in my program of  Power Living Lifestyle can help Tiger Woods return sooner than he could ever imagine. If you doubt that, Tiger, call me.  The counsel comes free and it's been fire-tested
by yours truly,
Dr. Jumpin' Johnny Kline.

Dr. John Kline
1900 Acklen Ave. Ste.1707
Nashville, TN 37212
(615)457-3418

To: John Hareas, V.P. NBA
c.c. Adam Silver, Commissioner NBA

Dear John,
In 1957, the Detroit Pistons came over from Fort Wayne and with my Motor City background and reputation as the best defensive forward on the Globetrotters-- could I leap then, that's where I got the nickname "Jumpin' Johnny"!-- it was logical that I try out for the newly arrived team.  I did and got to scrimmage in the tryouts with the NBA pros on the Pistons.  I especially jelled with their star player, George Yardley, who like me was a fabulous leaper (one of the first players in the league to popularize the "slam dunk") but also a deadly jump shooter.  Did we cook together in exhibitions against the likes of Bob Pettit and Cliff Hagan of the St. Louis Hawks! Talk about a Dynamic Duo! Yardley from Hollywood, California and Johnny Kline from the Detroit projects. Result: George went on that season to become the first NBA player to eclipse 2,000 points;  I was cut from the team.The Pistons coach, Charlie Eckman, could not look me in the eye when he delivered the news and asserted personally that cutting me was not a move of which he approved.  In any event, Yardley's team went 33 and 39; I returned to my team, the Globetrotters, who again went undefeated for the season.

John, I'm trying out again for employment with the NBA at age 85.  I seek neither "reparations" for the pension I never received; nor some measure of monetary lifetime achievement.  I seek to land a paying consultancy with the league as an historian/archivist-at-large with vast hands-on experience and the "props" to prove it.

For starters, I propose penning an ongoing column for your website called Basketball History 101: The ROOTS.

I would begin with Abe Saperstein's vision (shared by others) of the viability of basketball as a spectator sport combining athletic skill and consummate entertainment value.  After all, the Globetrotters gave us the working/playing prototypes of Magic, Bird, Shaq, Michael and, of course, much earlier they gave one of their own: Wilt the Stilt.

A mind is indeed a terrible thing to waste. I can also be a traveling spokesman, as schedule allows, for the league and an ambassador for the Grand Old Game itself because I am the Grand Old Game himself:  Dr. Basketball, 1,000 Years of Hard-Court History as I am referred to at the Black Legends of Professional Basketball website.

You name the retainer fee. 
I am ready to start work immediately.
Warmest regards,

Dr. John Kline, PhD.

Last question, about office dress code: Can I wear my basketball sweats under my suit and tie?

"You never lose when you put the team first."

Dr. John L. Kline Ph.D. Remembers
Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” Campaign

In 1982, Nancy Reagan was asked by a schoolgirl in Oakland, California what to do when offered drugs, she responded “Just Say No”. This phrase proliferated in the popular culture of the 1980’s and was eventually adopted as the name of Club organizations and school anti-drug programs. Nancy Reagan became actively involved by traveling more than 250,000 miles throughout the United States and several nations, visiting drug abuse prevention programs and drug rehabilitation centers. She also appeared on television talk shows, recorded public service announcements and wrote guest articles. When asked about her campaign, the First Lady remarked, “If you can save just one child, it’s worth it”.

Dr. Kline was appointed by Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young as Director Drug Prevention Services and then later as Director of Drug Free Schools and Communities. The United States Information Agency (USIA) selected John to serve as goodwill ambassador and address issues on steroids and other drugs in the Bahamas.

Dr. Kline was selected to be a Regional Director for the “Just Say No” campaign and attended three days of training in California to implement this program in the Mid-West.

Dr. Kline reflects on his experience with Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign and states; “Drugs were a major factor and this was the first time that the White House became involved globally in the drug problem. We needed help, especially in our schools and this campaign helped. I thank Mrs. Reagan for her efforts and may she rest in peace knowing that she helped when we needed help.

May God Rest Her Soul,
Dr. John L. Kline Ph.D.

A Letter to the Commissioner from Dr. John (Jumpin' Johnny) Kline

To: Mr. Adam Silver, Commissioner

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION


Dear Commissioner,
Fifty-nine years ago, I applied for work within your organization and was summarily rejected.

I return in the indefatigable spirit of my Harlem Globetrotters pedigree of "Never Lose"-- also the title of my autobiography-- to re-apply for employment with the National Basketball Association.

In 1957, I sought employment as a player of great enthusiasm and natural athletic ability.

Today, in 2016, I bring the same heart-bred enthusiasm and a wealth of basketball experience, both as a player and as an historian of the long-revered sport.

I don my best suit. my best shirt, shoes and tie to apply for a position I suggest be titled Director of Historical Perspective (DHP), making myself available for consultation, internet editorial contributions and, as schedule permits, appearances on the NBA's behalf.

Toward that goal, I also attach my extensive resume in a host of executive positions.

And although the premise of this correspondence at my age is rife with public relations possibility, please allow me to add that this is not a PR gimmick or ploy but a serious overture for work with the NBA at a fee that you deign acceptable for my prospective services as an historian, archivist and spokesman, all of which I am qualified and able to lend to the cause of the betterment of the sport.

The Black Legends of Basketball Foundation website has touted me as "Doctor Basketball: 1,000 Years of Hard-Court Experience." The description requires only the smallest measure of hyperbole, that is, exaggeration of the highest level.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Warmest regards,
Dr. John (Jumping Johnny) Kline, PhD

Doctor Basketball
1,000 Years of Hard Court Wisdom

Cam Newton a Show-Off or the Next Big Thing?

What I said before the Big Game is this:
Cam Newton, the talented quarterback of the Super-Bowl-bound Carolina Panthers, celebrates touchdowns like running backs and wide receivers, with flamboyant dances and cheerleading gestures certain to inspire or incense fans of the sport.  Quarterbacks, like his revered counterpart on the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning, are supposed to lead by leadership and essential dignity, right? Wrong!  A half century before Newton there was Cassius Clay, soon to be Muhammad Ali, and, yes, another quarterback, Joe Namath of the white shoes and the brash predictions. How quickly memory fails! Besides, unlike Cassius, the taunting poet, Cam Newton does not denigrate his opponents but only makes grand party of his team's heroic exploits. So let Cam be Cam and Peyton be Peyton and enjoy the 50th Anniversary of Sport's Biggest Event.

What I have to say afterward is the following: Cam, if you are going to expect us to get caught up in your enthusiasm during your campaign to glory, please conduct yourself with the deportment of a gracious loser when you are not so fortunate as to win football's grand trophy your very first time out.  Be a leader for your team in victory and a leader in hard times. Twenty-six years old is not too early to start. Just ask Doctor Basketball or read my life story Never Lose. Never losing came the hard way for me, too.

Yours Truly,
Doctor Basketball

Dr. John L. Kline Ph.D. – Has Strong Feelings for the People of Flint, Michigan

In 1949 through 1952, while I was at Wayne University, I worked with my Father distributing Black newspapers and magazines. I was given the opportunity to extend the distribution into new markets which included Flint, Michigan. The people in Flint were very helpful as I worked with them in extending the distribution of these newspapers and magazines.

The recent news about the contaminated water supply in Flint and the fact that the administration of this water supply knew for years before anything was done to help these innocent people in Flint disturbs me greatly.

Human bodies are constantly changing, what we eat and drink are the building materials that make the body grow or deteriorate. The human body needs to constantly renew itself and needs physically positive foods and water just to maintain this growth. The people in Flint, both young and old, were left unprotected and need massive help to reverse their situation. I want to do something to help them.

I’ve decided to donate 95% of the profits from all my books, DVDs and materials sold on my website to help the people in Flint, Michigan. I will continue this donation through June 2016.

I hope that together we can be a factor in mending the damage done to these innocent people in Flint. Especially, the children who have had their lives affected by this mismanagement of their basic water supply and will need help for many years.

I appreciate your working with me in this effort to support this worthy cause.

Thank you,
Dr. John L. Kline

John L. Kline Ph. D. - Concerned about the "Soul of Basketball"

Dr. Kline is concerned, as time ticks away and players such as Meadowlark Lemon leave us, many of their great stories and experiences die with them. These experiences and stories from the pioneers of professional basketball are a part of history that should be captured and told to current and future fans. Recently in a conversion with the Harlem Globetrotters Vice President of Communications Brett Meister, I was informed that I was now the oldest living Harlem Globetrotter player. I reflected on my many player friends that are no longer with us and was frustrated that a great part of professional basketball history has also died and may never be passed along to current and future basketball fans. This history is the "Soul of Basketball".

Basketball started in 1896 and spread through the YMCA's. The "Black Fives" were one of the pioneers of professional basketball, they played a faster more innovative style of basketball. In the early 1900's some of the long shots and free throws were underhand shots, the game was much slower than today's game.

Bucky Lew was the first Black professional basketball player in 1904. Fat Long, Toots Wright, Inman Jackson, Kid Oliver and Ron Pullins in the 1920's from Wendell Phillips High School in the Southside of Chicago, are just a few of the professional African American basketball pioneers that helped grow the game, but they are unknown to today's fans. The Brooklyn Smart Set Club, the Loendi Big Five, the Incorporators of New York City, the St. Christopher Five and the Monticello Five organized Barnstorming tours across the eastern part of the country spreading the game of basketball, but are unknown to today's fans. The two teams that dominated professional basketball in the early years were the Original Celtics started in 1914, an All-White team and the New York Renaissance called the "Rens" started in 1922, an All- Black team . The Celtics won 44 straight games setting a record only to be surpassed by the Rens who won g 88 straight games in 1933, a record that still stands today. The Celtics dominated basketball until the Rens beat them in 1925. This competition continued through the 1930's. In 1926 the American Basketball League (ABL) rejected the Rens because the players were Black and the Original Celtics rejected the ABL in protest and
solidarity with the Rens.

During this Barnstormin' period, one of the major difference between these teams was off the court.  When the teams went on the road, the Black teams had problems finding places to eat and sleep after their games and had to drive in their cars up to 3 hours to find places that would accept Blacks.

Barnstormin' happened before the skies were filled with Jets that cross the country in under five hours, before television brought the game of basketball to every home, when professional basketball players earned hundreds of  dollars versus today's players earnings hundreds of million dollars. It was done for the competition, the love of the game, this is the "Soul of Basketball " and today's fans are unaware of these players and their teams that introduced the game of basketball to our country and later after World War II, in concert with the U.S. Government and through the Harlem Globetrotters, to the world.

When asked, fans will say that the pioneer professional basketball players were Wilt Chamberlain, George Mikan, Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Julius Ervin, Oscar Robinson, Jerry West or Karim Abdul Jabbar but these great players came decades after the game was established by the true pioneers mentioned above. All of the true pioneers have died and with them many stories about the history of
basketball also died.

"Jumpin Johnny" Kline experienced the Good, the Bad and the Ugly aspects of professional basketball and has collected an exhibit of African American professional basketball from 1891 through 1960. Dr. Kline has also written a treatment for a movie called Barnstormin'. Fans need to be educated and learn about these pioneers and teams that helped grow the game and are the "Soul of Basketball". Don't let this important part of Professional Basketball History die!

Dr. Kline 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 1900 through 1950. BLPBF supports the African American pioneers that 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 "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.

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 was also listed in the "Top 25 African American's who pioneered the integration of Pro Basketball.

Dr. John L. Kline Ph.D. is the oldest living Harlem Globetrotter player and has many stories and experiences to share with fans about his journey from "Jumpin' Johnny" Kline to Dr. John L. Kline Ph.D. that are a part of professional basketball history and is the "Soul of Basketball.

Dr. John L. Kline can be reached at (615) 457-3418

Memories of Meadowlark:

Manny Jackson Meadowlark Lemon  “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline

In 1953 Abe Saperstein, the original Owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, was in Germany at a U.S. Army base meeting with Meadowlark Lemon who was serving his military obligation in the Army. Meadowlark had acquired a good understanding of the German language, in fact whenever he went off base with friends to a restaurant, Meadowlark ordered the food. He joined the Harlem Globetrotters when his military tour ended.

He was assigned to the Harlem Globetrotters Southern team as the back-up for Sam Wheler who was the showman on that team. Sam had only two fingers on his right hand. I started with the Harlem Globetrotters the year before Meadowlark and played against him several times when I was on the Kansas Stars.

Meadowlark played on and off for the Harlem Globetrotters until he started his own team in 1988 called “The Meadowlark Lemon Harlem All Stars”. He was an ordained Minister and his team prayed before each game and at halftime. He received his Doctorate of Divinity in 1998.

I am saddened by his death and I realize that the number of pioneers of professional basketball is diminishing and with it many great stories about the game and its players. Farewell Meadowlark.

“Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline


Op-Ed – John L. Kline Ph. D. Reacts to Lamar Odom’s Experience
Released 11/3/15

Dr. Kline is an All American basketball player from Wayne University, Detroit MI. He joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1953 and played with them around the world through 1959. He was pound for pound one of the most dominate players in the history of the game. At 6’ 3” 195 lbs. he would out rebound Wilt Chamberlain 7’ 2”, Ray Felix 6’ 11”, “Sweetwater” Clifton 6’ 7” Bob Pettiet 6’ 9” and Bill Spivey 7’ 0”. “Jumping Johnny” Kline had uncanny awareness of all players around him. He led his team in scoring, assists, rebounds, steals and was always positioned to defend the opposition’s best player.

In 1960 after his travels around the world with the Harlem Globetrotters he returned to Detroit and discovered a community dominated by drugs to which he succumbed. After 9 years of addiction to heroin, cocaine and alcohol, he entered the National Mental Health Methadone Program to try to break his drug addiction cycle. He spent 3 months as an in-patient and 2 months as an out-patient at the Lafayette Clinic Physiatrist Hospital. He returned to the now Wayne State University in 1973 to complete his Bachelor’s degree, earn 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. He worked with the Mayors Committee of Human Resource Development (MCHRD) and 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 Nassau, Bahamas.

Dr. Kline has a doctorate in mental illness and drug addiction, has experienced “first hand” the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly” aspects of professional basketball and is moved by the recent reports of Lamar Odom facing similar problems. His background and experience as a celebrity professional basketball player falling into the addiction of drugs and alcohol with the strength to overcome these diseases, earning a Ph.D. and working to fight these diseases qualifies him to help expedite the cure for fellow players.

He asks that any player or anyone knowing a player facing problems like Lamar Odom has recently experienced contact him for help.

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 1900 through 1950. BLPBF supports the African American pioneers that 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 “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 has published fifteen books, three movie screenplays, three movie treatments and maintains a traveling exhibit of professional basketball from 1900 until 1950. He speaks around the country promoting programs which improve Life Skills from his 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 was also listed in the “Top 25 African American’s who pioneered the integration of Pro Basketball.

It is imperative that the Complete History of basketball be passed along to the next generation of basketball fans. The next time you hear fans extolling the skills of Kobe Bryant or LeBron James, remind them of the African American pioneers of professional basketball that were excluded initially from the NBA but built the game of professional basketball in the United States and around the world. These legends are the soul of the game and deserve recognition and respect.

Dr. John L. Kline can be reached at (615) 457-3418.


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Harlem Globetrotters Set Standard for U.S. Olympic Team
By Bill Hoover, Jr.

President George Bush has dubbed the United States 2008 Olympic athletes the “Ambassadors of Liberty” and expects them to represent liberty-in-practice to the rest of the world in Beijing, China, next month. Dr. “Jumpin” Johnny Kline, representing a group of the former Harlem Globetrotters who are among those that President Harry S. Truman’s administration first labeled the “Ambassadors of Goodwill,” hopes that this year’s Olympic Men’s Basketball team offers goodwill by using the Olympic Games to bring attention to the men who blazed the way for their professional success. The Black Legends of Professional Basketball, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that Kline founded, has a fund established to assist the financial needs of 27 of the former Harlem Globetrotters who are responsible for popularizing basketball around the world, but the organization needs the current players’ help.

During the l950s, when the U.S. government was battling the anti-American propaganda of communism, the Truman administration realized that the country could benefit from the worldwide popularity of the Harlem Globetrotterg. Therefore, the decision was made to embrace the Trotters by giving them the moniker of Ambassadors of Goodwill and formally assisting the team on its Around the World Tour of 1952. This tour included 141 games played in 168 days, from April 19 through October 3, while covering 51,000 miles. In comparison, the Ambassadors of Liberty will compete only 17 days, from August 8 through August 24, never leaving Beijing.

Kline, who played with the Trotters during the 1950s, also points out the difficulty that these 27 men experienced in the 1940s and 1950s by saying, “These Harlem Globetrotters played under difficult conditions, with segregated hotels and eating facilities, in most towns and cities where they played. This meant that after a game, the team had to travel in their old school bus up to 300 miles, before finding a place that would accept them to eat and rest for the night.”

In addition to helping America advance its anti-communism agenda, the Trotters did much for the development of the game of basketball. While the NBA was unheard of overseas and struggling to stay alive in America, the Trotters, on the other hand, were internationally known and loved. The Globetrotters’ games and clinics, not the NBA or Olympic Games, did the most to popularize and help develop the game of basketball around the world. The countries of Argentina, Australia, Croatia, Iran, Lithuania, Russia, Angola, China, Germany, Greece, Spain, as well as the United States, the 12 countries whose men’s teams will compete in this year’s Olympics, are amongst the world’s countries that benefited from the performances and clinics of the Harlem Globetrotters of the 1940s and 1950s.

And even though the 1952 trip was a smashing success for the U.S. government, author Ben Green points out in his book Spinning the Globe, that it wrapped up with a punch in the gut for the Trotters. Disgustingly, two months after returning to the United States, a scheduled game at Louisiana State University was canceled by the school’s president who said that having blacks play in the school’s gymnasium would destroy “our way of life.”

Well, it would seem that our way of life in America should include honoring and supporting our pioneers and elders. This certainly includes our basketball greats, like these 27 former Harlem Globetrotters. In addition to suffering indignities like the one at L.S.U. during their careers as Ambassadors of Goodwill, these Globetrotters were never given a pension or health benefits for their retirement years. Thanks to the Black Legends of Professional Basketball, a fund does exist in their names; but the coffers are next to empty. Time is running out for this aging group, which recently lost two more men.

Kline wishes that these 27 men could have been the invited guests of the men’s team at the opening ceremonies in Beijing; but since that no longer appears to be a possibility, he is now hoping that the Olympic Committee can unite these 27 men with the men’s team when they return home after the games. By taking the time and effort to recognize the contributions of these surviving Harlem Globetrotters of the l940s and 1950s, the Ambassadors of Liberty will be providing much needed publicity which can help increase financial donations to the fund. The fund is essential to make it possible for these men to be able to live the balance of their lives with dignity.

For further information about the Goodwill Fund, contact Dr. John Kline at
(615) 457-3418 or at johnkline@comcast.net.

Kline’s 27
1. Hubert Ausbie, 2. Don Barnette, 3. Stanley Burrell, 4. Joe Buckhalter, 5. Mel Davis, 6. David Gaines, 7. J.C. Gipson, 8. Carl Green, 9. Chuck Holton, 10. Charles Hoxie, 11. Ernest Jones, 12. Henry Kean,
13. Webster Kirksey, 14. John Issacs, 15. John Kline, 16. Al Price,
17. Charlie Primas, 18. Bobby Hall, 19.George Smith, 20. Harry Sykes,
21. Herschell Turner, 22. Ernie Wagner, 23. Charles Ward, 24. Frank Washington, 25. Bob Williams, 26. Johnny Wilson, and 27. Vertis Zeigler.
 


 


Contact


Black Legends of Professional Basketball Foundation
1900 Acklen Ave, Ste. 1707
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 457-3418

Info@blacklegends.org

 

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