Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters
an African-American basketball team that plays exhibition games in the US and around the world, doing tricks with the balls to music to show their skills and make people laugh. They began in the US in 1927. In 1998 they played their 20 000th game.

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African American professional basketball team.

The team was organized in 1927 in Chicago by the promoter Abe Saperstein and initially was a competitive team that won a world professional championship in 1940. Since the 1930s the team had incorporated comic routines into their games, and, with the integration of the NBA in the 1950s, the team increasingly emphasized comedy over competition. For the next 50 years the Globetrotters played exhibition games all over the world, displaying spectacular ball handling and humorous antics and always defeating their official opposition, the Washington Generals. In the mid-1990s the team returned to playing competitive games.

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▪ American basketball team
 predominantly black professional U.S. basketball team that plays exhibition games all over the world, drawing crowds as large as 75,000 to see the players' spectacular ball handling and humorous antics.

      The team was organized in Chicago in 1926 as the all-black Savoy Big Five. Sports promoter Abe Saperstein acquired the team soon after and owned it until his death in 1966. In January 1927 the team debuted in Hinckley, Ill., under the name New York Globetrotters. The name was changed in 1930 to Harlem Globetrotters to capitalize on the cultural notoriety of one of New York's African American neighbourhoods. The barnstorming team amassed an impressive record over the next decade and in 1939 participated in the first professional basketball championship, losing to the Harlem Rens in the final game. The next year the Globetrotters won the tournament.

      It was about this time that they first experimented with adding comedy to their games. Inman Jackson was the first to assume the role of “clown prince” on the team. As the National Basketball Association became racially integrated in the 1950s, the opportunities for competitive games on the barnstorming circuit dried up. As a result, the team made comedic entertainment its central focus. Some outstanding Globetrotters were Reece “Goose” Tatum, Marques Haynes, Clarence Wilson, “Meadowlark” Lemon, Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain (Chamberlain, Wilt), Herb “Geese” Ausbie, and Lynette Woodard, the first woman to play for the team.

      Mannie Jackson, a former player, purchased the team in 1993. In 2000 the team returned to competitive play with a series of exhibition games against top collegiate teams. In 2002 the team was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Universalium. 2010.

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