Categorized | Sports

Globetrotters put on spectacular show, beat Generals

Ben Blotner
Sports Editor

The self-proclaimed “greatest basketball team ever” made its second-ever appearance in Wooster and first at the College on Monday, Feb. 5. In a display of rim-rattling dunks, exquisite ball-handling skills and good family entertainment, the Harlem Globetrotters bested their longtime rivals, the Washington Generals, 86-82 at Timken Gymnasium.

After the teams were introduced, Harlem’s largest player, Big Easy, went into the stands and took a selfie with a fan before high-fiving several other fans. The Globetrotters then went through their pregame routine, performing a series of elaborate ball tricks in the middle of the court to their theme song, “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

When it came time for the opening tip, there was some banter exchanged between Big Easy and Harlem’s shortest player, Too Tall. The 5’2” guard convinced his teammates to let him take the tip-off, and when the ball was thrown, he jumped into the opposing player’s arms. The game finally got underway and the teams exchanged baskets early on.

After a dunk by the extremely agile Spider gave Harlem a 10-8 lead, the game was paused as the Globetrotters’ Too Tall, Torch and Scooter went skipping across the court with a young girl from the audience and taught her some of their renowned ball tricks. With the game back in progress, Torch — the only female player on the court — absolutely demolished a Generals player’s ankles with a series of impressive dribbling moves. The first quarter ended with Scooter tossing an alley-oop to Clutch, who slammed it into the basket.

The Globetrotters’ other mascot stole the show during the break between quarters. Big G, a giant walking globe, was unfortunate enough to have his eyes fall out onto the floor. This caused him to repeatedly fall on his face before finding them again, after which he proceeded to lick the referee’s bald head.

Early in the second quarter, Spider pulled off a spectacular reverse one-handed dunk to give Harlem a 24-17 lead before hanging on the rim. There was soon another audience participation break, during which the Globetrotters danced with crowd members and performed a magic trick with a fan’s purse. The players also spent some time throwing T-shirts into the crowd, but Generals star Cager stole some of the shirts, causing him to be booed heartily. On the final play of the first half, Too Tall was lifted into the air by the 6’9” Big Easy for a dunk, making it 32-21 Globetrotters.

At the outset of the second half, Harlem forward Hammer was introduced to the crowd and did his own play-by-play before throwing in a one-handed dunk. The Generals were able to make it interesting with a pair of three-pointers and a dunk of their own that got them within seven points. However, Globetrotters guard Flip killed their momentum by leaping over Cager to get to the basket on the next play.

After fouling a Washington player, the Globetrotters switched out the basketball for a balloon before he took free throws, causing him to throw up an “air ball.” Soon after, the clock was paused for a trampoline dunking demonstration by several guests.

Many of these acrobats performed flips off the trampoline before slamming the ball in. For their finale, a chain of three athletes each bounced up and threw the ball backwards to the next before the final one completed the dunk. When play resumed, the quarter ended with the score 54-37 Globetrotters.

The first play of the final quarter saw Big Easy throw a reverse alley-oop over the backboard to a teammate. On a following play, Spider took hanging on the rim one step further as he climbed on top of the basket and danced there for several minutes. He even showed off his twerking skills before jumping down and performing multiple flips.

The teams played in “slow motion” using a beach ball, then a young boy was invited out of the stands. He made a bucket and danced with Big Easy to “Turn Down for What,” prompting the big man to claim the boy as his offspring.

With Harlem on top 80-60, a “technicality” allowed Washington to suddenly come all the way back and tie it at 80-80, setting up a dramatic finish. A dunk by Cager gave the Generals a lead, but Harlem wouldn’t quit, as they soon tied it and a dunk by the appropriately named Clutch gave them the lead to stay. As usual, the Globetrotters took the win, this time by an 86-82 score.

The show was well received by the crowd, as the community of Wooster appeared to enjoy its second ever Globetrotters experience.

“The Globetrotters always give an incredible performance,” said Chloe Burdette ’21. “It was cool seeing the whole Wooster community come together to watch. The players are always so interactive with the audience and the trick shots are awesome to see.”

Harlem will take its show back on the road, next performing at California University of Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

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