McPherson’s Part in the Making of Basketball

Andrew Maranisss Book Games Of Deception

Andrew Maraniss’s Book “Games Of Deception”

Has anyone ever heard about the Globe Refiners? AKA, the “Tallest Team in the World?” I’m sure you have, but have you ever wondered about the story of who they are, why they came, and how it all started? Andrew Maraniss has published a book called “Games of Deception,” all about the first Olympic basketball games held in Berlin, Germany in July 1936. 

What makes this so significant is that half the team had come from McPherson, Kansas. Right here in McPherson we had fourteen athletes travel to Berlin, Germany to compete against Berlin in the Olympics. The team was created by a tournament that took place in Madison Square Garden. The runner up was an amatuer team that was sponsored by our oil factory in McPherson, Kansas. In the end, we played Canada for the gold medal and won 19-8. Since the 1936 Olympics, we have put up a picture and information about the Globe Refiners in our community building off of Main Street.

Globe Refiners Mural in McPherson Kansas


Andrew Maraniss has written about what happened in 1936 olympics in his published book “Games of Deception”.  Maraniss wanted to have sports be nonfiction so the kids reading could get a better understanding of true sports stories that had happened.  His research and traveling helped him to write and publish his book. 

Maraniss  was always interested in the sports category of writing since day one. He was thirteen years old when he decided to start writing about sports books and journals. He became sports editor for the school paper, and won a scholarship for sports writing and journalism. He’s worked very hard to get here. 

Andrew Maraniss also has another book out called “Strong Inside”.  “Strong Inside,” is about an African American man who was the first to play in the NBA. It took Maraniss about 11 years to write this book. Four years to get the research and eight years to pull it all together. 

Maraniss’s book, “ Games of Deception,” is coming to our library, go check it out!