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The Harlem Globetrotters dazzle HCC crowd

March 02, 2000

The Harlem GlobetrottersBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




They danced, they sang, they joked around. The Harlem Globetrotters even played a little basketball against the New York Knights at Hagerstown Community College Thursday evening.

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While the Globetrotters 67-to-54 win came as no surprise, what came in between had the crowd of 2,000 people laughing and clapping.

The event was sponsored by the Hagerstown Community College Booster Club, which brought the team to Hagerstown two years ago, according to Booster Club President Todd McDowell.

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Thursday's performance drew about 400 fewer people than the Globetrotters' last visit, he said.

The Booster Club plans to use the proceeds for scholarships.

McDowell said the Harlem Globetrotters' family-oriented event was a good fit for the organization, which promotes athletics.

Before the tipoff, children and parents played with souvenir basketballs and bought hot dogs, cotton candy, soda and pizza.

A stand sold Harlem Globetrotters T-shirts for $20, programs for $5 and jerseys for $45.

Marc Zeger of Greencastle, Pa., said he came "to see the world's greatest basketball team."

The Globetrotters were exciting to watch and made him laugh, he said.

Kirksten Mitchell, 8, of Hagerstown, said she loves basketball and seeing the Globetrotters even though she said there wasn't much doubt that they would win.

The team mascot "Globie" got the crowd warmed up, dancing with children on the court and doing a series of back flips.

The opposing team, the New York Knights, was introduced and received polite applause as "Globie" read the newspaper and yawned.

The appearance of the Globetrotters in electric blue sweatsuits brought the crowd to its feet.

The Trotters performed a series wild slam dunks and made baskets from around 45 feet away. They kept the Knights, the team that tours with the Globetrotters, on their toes with a series of choreographed dodges and weaves.

Number 50, Matthew "Showbiz" Jackson kept the crowd laughing with his antics, which included preventing members of the Knights from scoring by pulling at their shorts.

The Trotters showed off their dexterity with the basketball by dribbling it off their heads, arms, legs, necks and backs, and juggling it to their theme song "Sweet Georgia Brown."

The team stopped the game periodically to play up to the crowd. Jackson sat on a woman's lap and then pulled her onto the court for a dance. She declined, but her husband got up and gave it a try.

The crowd grooved with the team to such songs as "Freakout," "Mambo Number Five," and "YMCA."

The basketball game took a back seat to the Trotters' antics but their win didn't come easily.

At the end of the second period the Knights trailed by only 7 points. The Trotters' lead remained slim until the end of the third period when they were ahead 61-44.

With their lead secure, the Trotters devoted the fourth period to performing a line dance and giving members of the audience a chance to shoot the ball.

Curley Johnson showed off his dribbling talents by moving the ball around his legs with lightning speed.

He pulled a small girl from the crowd, spun a basketball on his finger and passed it off to her. The youngster managed to keep the ball in the air briefly.

The half-time show featured eight dogs that raced each other jumping hurdles.

The pet tricks were a favorite of Chearod Britton, 11, of Walkersville, Md. Britton said he had never heard of the Globetrotters before but liked seeing them play.

Two male gymnasts also performed during the evening.

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