Harlem Globetrotters come to Austin


The Associated Press

A Harlem Globetrotter star dunks during a trip to Portage, Michigan. The Globetrotters visited the northern state earlier this year to ‘Play Basketball on Ice’ as part of their 2013 tour.

Peter Sblendorio

The world’s most exciting basketball team travels to Austin this week. The Harlem Globetrotters will be putting on a pair of performances at the Frank Erwin Center on Thursday and Friday.

The Globetrotters, who will celebrate their 87th anniversary this year, are in the midst of their 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour. In addition to hosting exhibition games across the United States, the Globetrotters will perform in a number of different countries in 2013 including Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Fans at the Frank Erwin Center will have the privilege of watching the Globetrotters perform their trademark trick passes and highlight-reel dunks against the team with the world’s longest losing streak, the Washington Generals. In addition, fans will be given the opportunity to directly impact the game, as the “You Write the Rules” Tour calls for people to visit the Harlem Globetrotters website in order to vote for new features that they wish to see in the game.

Potential rule changes that fans can suggest include having two balls on the court at once, doubling the point value of every basket and implementing a 35-foot four-point shot.

The Globetrotters also feature a trio of female players this season, giving them a total of 11 women in their history. One of them, Mighty Mitchell, will be making the trip to Austin to take on the Generals with the rest of the Globetrotters.

Throughout the tour, the Globetrotters will be using a pink basketball to increase breast cancer awareness. The use of this ball started Oct. 7, 2012, during their show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and it will be used for the duration of their 2013 tour. Pink wristbands will be sold at the Frank Erwin Center this week, and a portion of the proceeds will go to raising breast cancer awareness.

Austin has long been a destination for the Globetrotters, who will be visiting many of the country’s biggest cities during the tour. The Globetrotters have typically commanded large crowds in their past trips to Austin and current player “Cheese” Chisolm told KVUE News earlier in the week that they enjoy performing in front of the Austin faithful.

“We’re very excited to be here. We love playing in Austin,” Chisholm told KVUE. “We’ve been coming here for a while.”

The Globetrotters, who formed in 1926 and changed their hometown to Harlem in 1929, have been highly regarded across the globe for decades and they have had a number of impressive performers in their history. The most notable player to ever put on the Globetrotter uniform was Wilt Chamberlain, who would go on to become a Hall of Fame center in the NBA.

Although there will likely not be a player of Chamberlain’s caliber on this year’s squad, fans going to the see the Globetrotters Thursday or Friday night should get their money’s worth.