I got an early birthday present on Thursday. I got to go and see the Harlem Globetrotters while they were in Cleveland! You have NO IDEA how excited I was. ♥
You’re probably thinking, “What’s so special about the Globetrotters?!?! It’s just another over-priced sporting event.”
That’s where you’re wrong. #1 Tickets are reasonably priced for a family. The average ticket price is $25. #2 I was laughing and enjoying myself just as much as the 8 year old girl that was sitting in front of me.
Incase you aren’t sure who the Harlem Globetrotter are let me get you up to date:
The Globetrotters were founded by Abe Saperstein in 1926. The team was made up of the best African American players in Chicago. On January 27, 1927 the Globetrotters played their very first road game. They got a total payout of $75.
They started out playing “real games” in Illinois and the mid-west. Then one day in 1939 the Globetrotters had a 112-5 lead during a game they were playing. The Globetrotters decided to start goofing around during the game and the crowd loved it.
The Globetrotters had their own Saturday morning cartoon show and were on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
In 1993 the team almost went bankrupt due to And1 tours, the decline of the Wide World of Sports and NBA players doing tricks during regular season games. A few years later, the Globetrotters started playing college teams which upset fans that came to watch the Globetrotters and their comedy.
The Globetrotters have re-established themselves. At their games now, you still get their old slap stick comedy that has been loved by many for years. There are also some new and improved 21st century references.
At the game Thursday a child from the audience had trouble making foul shots. Special K, a Globetrotter, let the crowd know the child could be a “future member of the Boston Celtics”. Cleveland fans loved that.
The Globetrotters have also incorporated texting into their routine. During the game you can text whether you’d like the Washington Generals coach to wear a tutu or a hot dog costume if the Globetrotters happen to lose. (Hint: chances are good the Globetrotters win.)
- #22 Fred “Curly” Neal: Curly was a Globetrotter for 22 seasons. He played in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries. He attended Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina where he lead his team to the CIAA title game his senior year.
- #13 Wilt Chamberlain: He signed with the Globetrotters in 1958. He played in the NBA 1959-1973 where he scored 100 points during a game against the New York Knicks on March 12, 1962. His number was the first ever retired by the Globetrotters. He attended the University of Kansas.
- #40 Marques Haynes: Played from 1947-53 and 1972-79 with the Globetrotters. Haynes was known for his dribbling skills that wowed the crowd. He played in more than 12,000 games and nearly 100 countries. He was the first Globetrotter to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Haynes attended Langston University where he lead the team to a 112-3 record in his four years there.
- #36 Meadowlark Lemon: He played for 24 seasons in more than 7,500 consecutive games. Lemon sent a letter to the Globetrotters requesting a tryout then spent two years in the Army. He played his first full season in 1954. He received the John W. Bunn Award for his lifetime contributions to basketball.
- #50 Reece “Goose” Tatum: He played with the Globetrotters for 12 seasons. Tatum was known as the “Clown Prince” of the Globetrotters. In the 1940s Tatum was a baseball player for the Birmingham Black Barons and the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro National League
Last year, the Globetrotters started a program called S.P.I.N. meaning Some Playtime Is Necessary. S.P.I.N. is a program designed to make fitness fun for kids, while promoting and encouraging an active lifestyle.
The Globetrotters enlisted the help of thousands of kids and adults at YMCA’s across the United States, and families from coast to coast in their backyards and at local playgrounds, and established a world record with the simultaneous dribbling of basketballs.
In 2004 the Harlem Globetrotters started the program C.H.E.E.R. which stands for Cooperation, Healthy Mind & Body, Effort, Enthusiasm and Responsibility. The “Ambassadors of Goodwill” have visited nearly 1,000 schools promoting this program.
The program was designed with assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and state educators. The program focuses on elementary school students and involves the Globetrotters incorporating their skills with a “C.H.E.E.R.” basketball.
The Globetrotters show isn’t just full of basketball tricks. There’s actually a key message that they want you to take away. That message you ask, it’s don’t cheat.
The coach from the Washington Generals puts a lid on top of the Globetrotters basketball hoop so they can’t score. He also makes them use a remote controlled ball. After both of these events happen, the announcer prompts the audience to boo. He asks, ” And what do we think about cheating, Cleveland?”
I love that message! I love that every kid gets to sit next to their parents and boo a cheater. And the fact that the parents encourage their kids to boo is heart-warming. It’s actually promoting a good message.
I love the fact that the Globetrotters have two community outreach programs. In today’s obese world it’s nice to see more athletes promoting fitness.
The Globetrotters also promote good and clean family-fun. It’s not often you can take a child to a sporting event and not worry about drunks, swearing and steroids. This is the kind of show that I hope continues on for years and years since it is doing such good in the world. I hope one day to even take my children (not for a long time, mom) to go see the Harlem Globetrotters.
After doing some research, okay that’s a lie I looked at the all-time roster, I found some LOCAL Globetrotters. I had no idea!!! Warning, this is a pretty long list:
- Chad Allen from Miami (Ohio)
- Robert Aston from Toledo
- Donald Barnette from Miami (Ohio)
- Curtis Bell from Woodward H.S.
- Wille Bell from Woodward H.S.
- Wyatt “Sonny” Boswell from Scott H.S.
- Agis Bray from Wilberforce
- Andre Bryant from KENT STATE!!!
- John “Bill” Chavers from Baldwin Wallace
- Al Dixon from Bowling Green
- James Doughty from Ohio State
- Jesse Jemison from Cincinnati
- Damon Jones from Wilberforce
- William Jones from Woodward H.S.
- Norman Lee Jr. from Roosevelt H.S.
- Melvin Levett from Cincinnati
- Elzie Lewis from Wilberforce
- Donald “Ducky” Moore from Cleveland Central H.S.
- Tony Peyton from Scott H.S.
- Derick Polk from Ohio State
- Louis “Babe” Pressley from Cleveland Central H.S.
- Al Price from Libby H.S.
- Bernie Price from Libby H.S.
- Frank Washington from Wilberforce
- Tony Wilcox from Wittenberg
Note: All pictures but the one included in the Famous Globetrotters section I took during the Harlem Globetrotters show on Thursday, April 17 in Cleveland, Ohio.