I remember as a young boy practicing in a local gym shooting a basketball from half court with my eyes closed. I remember trying to spin the ball on my finger for long periods of time. I could never get it to spin through my legs and transferred to my opposite hand successfully. Nevertheless, I tried to mimic these tricks performed by the original “musicians of the hardwood.” With legendary names such as “Curly” Neal, William “Pops” Gates, Robert “Showboat” Hall, and even NBA great Wilt Chamberlain; the Harlem Globetrotters have signed, sealed, and delivered their message to the world.
Bringing together fans from all races, genders, and ages, the Globetrotters embarked on a path that began some 80 years ago. But it hasn’t been easy as one could only imagine. An all African American basketball club performing in front of crowds of all races around the country and later around the world. Despite the racial tension they would receive from the popular American society, the Globetrotters would find themselves feeling grief from their own culture as well. Many blacks felt the club was degrading themselves with their comedy routines and acts of, what was thought to be, ignorance.
The Globetrotters had one thing in mind it seemed, and that was to entertain. They placed smiles on people’s faces all over the world. These athletes amazed us with their outstanding dribbling abilities with multiple basketballs, blew us away with their razzle-dazzle skills that left opponents spinning in circles, score baskets from impossible distances, and from impossible heights with their high-flying dunking abilities. The Harlem Globetrotters remain a family hit 80 years later as the new classes carry on the tradition, the dream, and the legacy of one of the greatest teams in all of sports.