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New Age Harlem Globetrotters Carry On Old Tradition

The global pandemic known as COVID-19 took the world by storm when it reached it’s peak a few months into the year 2020. Social activities were put on hold as we were introduced to the quarantine. Two years later the world is taking steps to a return to normalcy. More jobs are transitioning from remote back to in-person, and entertainment events have let the fans back into the arenas. One particular event that made its return, has been a traditional event for the past 96 years. It’s an event that provides a combination of sport, entertainment and family fun.
The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters have made their way back to the touring circuit. They are currently touring across the country, and entertaining fans with high-level basketball skills, comedy and theatre. Known as an exhibition basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters are a collective group of former college athletes. In addition to their humorous skits, the Globetrotters captivate their fans with fancy dribbling, long-range shots and high-flying dunks.
The Globetrotters originated on the south side of Chicago, and made their debut in 1926.
Some fans assume the team was formed in Harlem, but the basketball team actually adopted the name in order to capitalize on the cultural notoriety of one of New York’s most popular African-American neighborhoods. The Harlem Globetrotters would compete in the Chicago area, and once their popularity increased, the team started touring the country. They consistently participating in the World Professional Basketball Tournament. They won the tournament in 1940, and eight years later the Globetrotters made headlines when they beat the then NBA champions, the Minneapolis Lakers. A year later the Lakers would get a chance at redemption, but the Globetrotters had other plans as they defeated the Lakers in the highly anticipated rematch.
Throughout the 1960’s 70’s, and 80’s, the Harlem Globetrotters popularity reached it’s peak. Thanks to the evolution of television, the Globetrotters were able to use it as a platform to reach millions of homes. They would entertain fans on a national and international level by consistently beating their exhibition rivals, the Washington Generals. Some of the most legendary Harlem Globetrotter players during this time period were Meadowlark Lemon, “Sweet” Lou Dunbar, and Fred “Curly” Neal. As we embrace the new era of Harlem Globetrotters, we see some things haven’t changed. They still have the entertaining skits, display top-level basketball skills and consistently defeat the Washington Generals.
The blueprint that was created generations ago, is still alive and well when you experience a modern day Globetrotters event. The one noticeable change within the team is the diversity. For example, the team consists of players such as the 6 foot 7 high-flying finisher Bounce Moody, the 4 foot 6 fancy dribbler, Justin “X-Over” Tompkins, and the highly skilled female baller from Purdue University, Torch George. Occupying the position of head coach is the legendary  Globetrotter “Sweet” Lou Dunbar.
The actual event starts off as a basketball game, but then it ventures off into classic Globetrotter-style entertainment. Briefs skits amongst the players, and fan participation, is part of the package. During halftime, players and fans pay a special tribute to the late Fred “Curly” Neal, the iconic Globetrotter who passed away in March 2020. Neal played in over 6,000 games while traveling to 97 different countries. With his shaved bald head, Neal was one of the most recognizable Globetrotters. He was the main ballhandler, and he played a key role in the team skits. The tour is a special dedication to the legendary number 22.
As the games resume you will witness more basketball, and more comedic skits. Once the game gets deep into the final quarter, the Globetrotters will turn the comedy down and become more potent with the basketball skills, as they focus on securing the victory. After they collect the win, the Globetrotters will celebrate by interacting with their fans. The 96-year-old event featuring the Harlem Globetrotters is alive and well. If you’re looking for an evening filled with sport, entertainment and fun for the entire family, make sure you check out the Harlem Globetrotters 2022 “Spread Game” World Tour.
To see if the tour is making a stop near you, visit their website at HarlemGlobetrotters.com.
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