The legendary Globetrotters play ball at Kean’s Harwood Arena

By Shelsie Ducheine

How often is comedy, athleticism and theatre, all included together in one event? Rarely ever, you would assume, but when the Harlem Globetrotters visited Kean University on January 30, they did just that.  Not only did they provide an audience with trick moves and slam dunks, but they kept their audience laughing and have been doing so for some time now.

The Harlem Globetrotters originated in 1926 in Chicago by a man named Abe Saperstein. He formed this small basketball team, which was then named the Savoy Big Five, in hopes of bringing attention to a nightclub, but things did not go as planned. Instead the talent being promoted on the team brought more attention and people across the country were intrigued.

Vastly, the team expanded and was renamed the Harlem Globetrotters. Soon after they signed Reece “Goose” Tatum, a man who developed comedy movies, to change the direction of the team. That is when the combination of theatre and basketball was first introduced. Since then the Globetrotters have been extremely successful.  It’s been more than 85 years later and Harlem Globetrotters are still trotting. They showed Kean students and their families just what they have been representing for years.

Hardwood Arena was packed with people on Thursday night and the event kicked off with dance competitions and entertainment from “world known” mascot Globey. Children were pulled out of the audience to participate, one of whom who beat Globey in a one on one battle.

Steven Cleary, a 7 year old boy who was amongst the children expressed his excitement. “I’ve never been to something like this,” Cleary said. “I like to dance and I love basketball. It’s perfect. “

The Globetrotters weren’t shy about dancing either. Multiple times during the middle of the game, they would break out in choreographed dances. They sang, cracked jokes, but none of it overshadowed the athleticism and basketball talent of which the players were capable of. There were shots thrown way past half court, swift dunks were slammed, and some shots were made without without even looking. Although the show was generally directed towards a younger crowd, students at Kean were impressed just as much. One of those students was Jasmin Coy, a Senior Communications major.

“Some of the things they were doing I’ve really never seen before,” said Coy. “I wish I brought my nephew. I know he would have loved this just as much as I did.”

The team as most would imagine was primarily men, but the girls in the crowd had someone to look up to as well. T-Time Brawner, the female of the team, was just as talented and able to keep up with the boys. She dribbled the ball while sliding on the floor, and did it all with her hair down.

The Harlem Globetrotters seemed to leave a big impression at Kean and plan to keep doing so all over the globe.


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