Friday Five: The Harlem Globetrotters

As much as I would have liked to have jetted off to somewhere exotic over the Christmas break (I so want to say I've been to the Free and Sovereign State of Quintana Roo because it has the best name ever) the only 'globetrotting' we did was watching the Harlem Globetrotters. I've never seen them perform live, and I was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was. I laughed a lot, and I wasn't the only one. Their self-described "Amazing Basketball Fun and Family Entertainment" pretty much nails it. In fact, I was disappointed when the show ended, which is saying a lot because my butt was numb from sitting on a hard plastic seat for two hours.

At one point, the team spokesman said something about the Trotters' 89-year-history, and I was taken aback. I knew they'd been around since the early '70s--that's about as far back as my functional memory goes--but nearly 90 years? Get out. Turns out that the team--originally called The Savoy Five after Chicago's Savoy Ballroom--was organized in 1926 by 24-year-old Abe Saperstein. The name was changed the following year, and The Harlem Globetrotters have been going strong ever since.

Five fun facts:

Sweet Georgia Brown became team's theme song in 1952.

Baseball hall-of-famers Bob Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins and NBA phenom Wilt Chamberlain  all played for the Globetrotters.

In 1985, the team signed their first female players, Lynette Woodard and Joyce Walker.

They're the only sports team with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Honorary Globetrotters include Henry Kissinger, Bob Hope, and Pope John Paul II.

Have a great weekend!


liz young said…
Even I'd heard of the Harlem globetrotters, so they must be famous! Didn't realise they were a comedy act - or do they only do that as an extra?
Jenny said…
It's almost equal parts comedy and basketball skills. They do some audience participation and mascot silliness, too.

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