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Globetrotters bring comic Madness to HCC

March 16, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- March Madness, when NCAA basketball reaches a crescendo, wasn't the biggest thing in hoops in Hagerstown on Monday.

It was the four-man weave, the hip shimmy, the cotton candy grab and anything else to make an audience laugh.

The Harlem Globetrotters rolled into Hagerstown Community College on Monday with a satchel of tricks and gags cultivated through decades of entertaining people.

The "grandma" picked out of the crowd, who dribbled around like a pro, was really Globetrotter guard Anthony "Ant" Atkinson dressed up like an older woman.

During one sequence, as his teammates snaked around the court with quick-touch passes, forward Kevin "Special K" Daley stuffed the basketball up the front of this jersey -- then pretended to give birth to a bouncing, baby ball.

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With more hijinx than basketball, the 'Trotters had much of the crowd chuckling for much of the evening.

It hardly mattered that the Washington Generals, the longtime straight men while the Globetrotters clown around, were losing again.

"I like the way they interact with the kids, bring them into the game," said Blaine Grove of Hagerstown.

His 5-year-old son, Trae, said he got a kick out of watching a Globetrotter bounce a ball on his head, then kick it.

"I like (that) they do all this fun," said 8-year-old Rachel Corwell, who was sitting with her aunt, Kelly Knode of Clear Spring, during a break.

Knode said their group included two younger children, ages 2 and 4, whose attention span was more limited, but it was a good show.

Erin Thomas of Hedgesville, W.Va., said her children, 3-year-old Daniel and 2-year-old Audrey, got into the spirit of the game.

"They're clapping along and they think it's fun," Thomas said.

The Globetrotters don't make it to Hagerstown every year, but when they do, they attract a big crowd.

Robert "Bo" Myers, HCC's athletic director, said about 3,000 people packed into the Athletic, Recreation and Community Center on Monday. The Washington County Parks and Recreation Department brought in bleachers.

Four years ago, a Globetrotters game drew about 2,100 people, Myers said.

Money from ticket sales went to the HCC Hawk Booster Club for scholarships.

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