The legendary Harlem Globetrotters will show off their new four-point shot in the 4 Times the Fun showcase at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday.
Harlem Globetrotter Aundre Hot Shot Branch said it is always a pleasure playing in Austin, and he looks forward to UT fans cheering him on.
Branch is in his eighth season with the Globetrotters, and previously played at Baylor University, where he is the seventh leading basketball scorer in the schools history.
It was always competitive playing against UTs basketball team, I have the best-worst memories from the Frank Erwin Center, Branch said.
Branch almost lost his finger while playing against UT one year and received numerous stitches from his injury.
Being part of a team that carries such a great legacy with the world has been an honor, and has given me the want, will and passion to do it even more, Branch said. The Globetrotters have broken down color and social barriers in basketball since its inaugural year and have worked a lot with philanthropic organizations such as C.H.E.E.R. For Character, an elementary school program that teaches students valuable character traits.
The Globetrotters will play more than 270 games in more than 220 cities and six Canadian provinces. Compared to the NBA, Branch said the tours are much more demanding, and require players to be away from families 7-8 months out of the year.
John Graham, Director of the Frank Erwin Center, said that the Globetrotters have played at the stadium every year since it opened 33 years ago.
I first saw the Globetrotters 50 years ago and was absolutely mesmerized. I felt no different when I recently saw it with my 5-year-old granddaughter, Graham said.
Business graduate student Brian Pfitzinger said he first saw the Globetrotters when he was very young.
It would be fun to see again if I had a younger sibling to take, Pfitzinger said.
Zach Reeves, an architectural engineering sophomore and occasional basketball player, said he enjoys the team because of their novelty.
From an entertainment standpoint I like what they do, but from a technical standpoint they do not meet the standards of the NBA, Reeves said.
The 4 Times the Fun World Tour plans to change the game of basketball by introducing the 4-point shot, which has never been done in basketball before, Branch said.