Harlem Globetrotters sell out FAU’s basketball arena, theatrics ensue
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Friday night saw The Burrow sold out, but it wasn’t to watch FAU.
Instead, fans packed in to see the Harlem Globetrotters, a league of basketball players who revise the sport’s rules and play a scripted game that accommodates their staged tricks.
The event saw a host of local families, but very few, if any, FAU students. With the exception of a handful of Athletics personnel in FAU apparel, FAU went unrepresented amongst a slew of basketball jerseys advertising both college and professional teams. In fact, one member of Athletics remarked to a friend that the Globetrotters “have better attendance than we have at our games.”
The Globetrotters had to delay tip-off so the crowd could find their seats, the mascot, Globie, entertained the crowd by dancing to various Michael Jackson songs. The MC then announced the Harlem Globetrotters would be playing International Elite, who he described as “a really, really good team.”
Before the game even began, one of the Globetrotters was in trouble for hanging off the rim upside down. After the ref admonished the player, who claimed he was trying to have a zen moment, the Globetrotters won the tip off, and Bones, the player who had been hanging from the net seconds earlier, scored the first basket of the game by dunking.
Although the first few runs up and down the court were played like regular basketball, the Harlem Globetrotters quickly began their theatrics through trick bounces and passes, and creating their own version of a three-man-weave. Traveling, to the confusion of some young spectators, was not called once throughout the game.
The first of several penalties was called only minutes into the first period, after one of the Globetrotters grasped an Elite player from behind. When the ref called the player for holding,the Globetrotters insisted “love’s not a foul.”
The referee failed to agree. He then sent the Globetrotter into the “penalty box,” despite the player’s cries that basketball isn’t hockey. The penalty box would be used multiple times throughout the game, as the ref ejected players for both blatant and comical fouls. At least three Globetrotters were sent to the penalty box for pantsing members of Elite who were shooting free throws.
The Globetrotters had more acrobatics at the end of the second half, dribbling while break-dancing, and even timing a perfect pass to a teammate who had just completed three consecutive backhand springs. The gymnastics continued into the second half, the players also began to take more timeouts, and interact with the audience via dance breaks, dumping confetti during the final two quarters.
Even though the game was scripted, the Globetrotters appeared to struggle with its shots, as the Globetrotter’s star Big Easy repeatedly missed hook shots during both warm-up and the game, to the consternation of his teammates.
According to the game’s announcer, Nick Wiget, who has only been with the Globetrotters for three games, the unpredictability makes the show exciting. “Things happen,” he explained, “We go with the flow.”
While the Globetrotters won, when asked, Wiget admitted the score reflected on the board might not have been completely accurate, stating “The crowd doesn’t know the show verbatim. That’s an advantage for us.”