I made a list of things in my 20s that I never did in childhood that I was determined to do. Things I saw friends doing that weren’t an option in my family of five kids with limited income.
I meant to knock them all out the first couple of years.
It didn’t happen. In fact, it took until Sunday, at age 61 to finish my list. I finally saw the Harlem Globetrotters.
OK, I missed the years of Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal (a NC boy!) Friends keep telling me they saw them in person and yes, it burns. But I saw them on TV! They were on more often then, or maybe it’s just there are now so many channels and I seldom watch TV these days. They even had a cartoon.
During this season they are doing a tribute to Curly, who died in 2020. It was great to see so many clips of his smiles and engaging personality.
Fun fact - The average salary of a Harlem Globetrotter is $91 k. They play most of the year, though December through April is their North American “season”, and the rest of the year is doing international goodwill trips. Less money, more travel. You’d have to love it and they seem to. Also nite some had NBA careers.
In contrast the average NBA player makes around $8.32 million, though their season is October through mid-April, then post season until the championship in June, Their practice schedule still seems pretty rigid in the off-season. They say they get about 20-30 vacation days.
Somewhat irrelevant, but I Google things like that during the game.
I enjoyed most of the antics, though I would prefer a bit less “comedy” and way more basketball. I guess they have to pace themselves.
They play four quarters and have a “special” four-point shot line that can change the score in minutes,
The Washington Generals, their perennial opponents, tended to use that line the most, but it didn’t matter. Even though they hit a lot of those shots, the Globetrotters came through.
One of the fun things about the current Globetrotters is they celebrate diversity, on this team including a woman “Torch” and the award, 4’5” “Hot Shot”. They could probably use them a bit better, but at least kids see them as a part of the team and they’re breaking down more barriers,
I cheered most for our North Carolina guy, “Spider” Sharpless, who went to Elizabeth City State University. Look at his moves here.
All in all, I am glad I went and enjoyed myself immensely. One of the coolest things about the Globetrotters is they will play about anywhere. My friend talked about seeing them at one of the elementary schools in our county for a fundraiser, They’ll play in big arenas and small. I’m glad they bring joy and delight folks with the tricks and fun that can be basketball. They prove you can carry in with history (some of the schtick has been going on since the first), but you also can make it your own.