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franklin county times

Harlem Globetrotters coming to Meridian

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Jan. 3, 2001
For the first time ever, the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Meridian. The Clown Princes of basketball will have a one day performance Sun. Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the Meridian High School Gym.
The Globetrotters are celebrating their 75th anniversary of providing family fun while showing off great hoop skills and make children and adults alike laugh with their unique brand of basketball comedy.
Tickets go on sale Jan. 8 at Meridian High and Judge Little Sporting Goods. Prices for the event are 19.50 for adults, while kids 2-12 and seniors 65 and over will save $2.
The hoop troupe has a long and storied history, beginning as a barnstorming group known as the "Savoy Big Five" in 1927. The name was changed in 1930, and since then, the Trotters have performed for more than 120 million fans in 115 different countries. In 1996, they were the first team to visit free and democratic South Africa.
The hardwood vaudeville-esque group has played in every type of court imaginable, from bull fighting arenas, to drained swimming pools. The group that has such famous alumni as Meadowlark Lemon, Reese "Goose" Tatum, Marques Haynes, Wilt Chamberlain, Connie Hawkins and Curley Neal have spawned two motion picture films soon to be a third and even a cartoon series.
These days, the Globetrotters do more than just play the Washington Generals. In 1998, the same year they celebrated their 20,000th game, the "Ambassadors of Goodwill" captured the Los Angeles Summer Pro League title and cruised to wins over the top four teams from the Lebanese Basketball Federation. They have also bested the college All-Stars on several occasions, the most notable, an 82-80 win last Final Four weekend in Indianapolis.
Late last year, the Trotters fell to the defending national champion Michigan State Spartans in an ESPN-televised event.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.