They are the undisputed masters of handling basketballs. They will throw them off a cruise ship, and still hit the basket ashore. They have the coolest moves. And they are funny. This year, the Harlem Globetrotters are embarking on another world tour. In fall they will be in Israel, and in spring of 2019 in Germany, Poland, France and the United Kingdom.
Officially, they are an exhibition basketball team, meaning they will demonstrate what real basketball players are capable of. While doing so, they will make their audiences cheer and laugh, since they are actors and comedians too.
Europe will welcome the latest generation of the Harlem Globetrotters. Because the team was first put together in 1927, there have been lots of replacements. Many generations have been part of the fun.
Back then, 91 years ago, the “Savoy Big Five”, the predecessors of the Globetrotters, were a basketball team consisting of African Americans exclusively, who played exhibitions, meaning they showed sensational tricks with basketballs. In 1940, the Globetrotters won the World Professional Basketball Tournament, in 1948 they beat the Minneapolis Lakers.
In 1958 and 1959, they performed in the Netherlands as well as in Russia, which was their first international success. Over the decades, they played anywhere but in Harlem, which is the place they got their team name from. But, as late as 1968, it finally happened.
It also took long until women were part of the Globetrotters. And after the last female player left the team in 1993, it would take them until 2011 to return. That was when the excellent player TNT joined. She will be part of the lineup in Israel and Europe. But she is not alone.
The guys are just as fast as the girls, and most of them are tall. Their names are “Too Tall”, Clutch, Dizzy, Dragon, Buckets, Jet, Slick and thunder, just to name a few. All of them are basketball masters, comedians and true artists in one.
On September 25th, 26th and 29th, 2018, they will hit venues in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, respectively. Then, starting on March 5th, 2019, they are scheduled for a million performances in Europe. In Poland, they will appear in Gdynia, Torun, Poznan, Wloclawek, Opole, Bielsko, Lublin, Katowice and Wroclaw.
The Fraport Arena in Frankfurt is next, on March 14th, followed by Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Schwerin, Wetzlar, Stuttgart, Mannheim, Neu-Ulm, Bamberg, Saarbrücken and Munich. The Harlem Globetrotters will then cross the border to France on March 30th, 2019. From April 24th to May 6th, it’s the United Kingdom’s turn.