Harlem Globetrotters show off for Buffalo basketball fans
blog by Spencer Trotman • February 04, 2013 @ 12:59pm
Energetic children most between the ages of 3 and 13 filled the First Niagara Center on Friday night, begging their parents to buy them red, white and blue basketballs. Some parents didn’t hesitate to pay, others made witty replies like “how about we take the ball we have at home, and paint it red, white and blue?”
Whether the parents bought the basketballs or not, it didn’t stop the kids from enjoying the night the Harlem Globetrotters had in store for them.
Families early to the game took part in Magic Pass—a pre-game event where fans interact with the players. “Scooter” and female Globetrotter “TNT” spun the ball on kid’s fingers. “Firefly” took jump shots with fans. “Stretch” and “Moose” captured pictures with families in front of a green screen. Some kids were already familiar with the Globetrotters and others had no clue; they just knew they were having a good time.
“We’re supposed to be the best in the world so we have to be consistent everyday. People love us everywhere we go, we’re always the home team,” sharp-shooter Firefly says.
This game was unique as it was the first time ever fans voted for rules of the game. In the first quarter they voted on a “four-point shot.” The four-point circle was located between the 3-point line and half-court. After, the new rule fans voted was the “two ball rule,” teams played with two different balls at the same time.
The fan interaction didn’t stop there. Shortly after the game started, the mic’d-up showman “Big Easy” called out a woman and her husband carrying a trey of nachos for walking in late and ordered them to arrive on time in the future.
The whole arena laughed, and the crowd soon realized no one was safe from the Globetrotter’s jokes.
During the middle of the game, Big Easy brought out a young boy and challenged him to make a free-throw to win a signed jersey. The contestant missed his first two shots—so the whole Globetrotter team ran on the floor, went down on their knees and prayed he make the next one.
He missed two more shots. Then, the opposing team called the Global Select ran to Globetrotters side of the court, got on their knees and also prayed. Finally, he made the fifth shot and won his jersey.
The excitement the children had for the players was unreal. They were focused on every dunk, pass, joke and “did that just happen?” moment. Not only do the Globetrotters offer entertainment, but also set a positive example.
Firefly who holds a degree in psychology with a minor in education and also runs his own basketball camp in Kingston, NY, said:
“I’m always around kids, Globetrotters is the best situation for me. I try to teach my kids ‘S+S=S,’ or ‘sweat plus sacrifice equals success.’
Many of the children that attended are too young to remember this night in the future, but for the moment—it was worth it.