Cool Facts About the Harlem Globetrotters


This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Harlem Globetrotters, one of the America’s most legendary — and entertaining — basketball teams. Here are a few of the coolest facts about the ball-spinning, fancy-dribbling sports staple:

  • The Harlem Globetrotters started out as a regular basketball team traveling the country and playing against local all-star teams. Eventually they added entertainment to their games such as juggling multiple basketballs, twirling the ball on a fingertip and tossing ‘water’ buckets filled with confetti on fans sitting near courtside.
  • The Harlem Globetrotters are named after New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, but the first Globetrotters team actually formed in the south side of Chicago. In fact, the team didn’t play its first game in Harlem until 1968.
  • January 7, 1927 is the date of their first game, played at Chicago’s Savoy Ballroom.
  • The Globetrotters have won 22,000 games..
  • They have played in 120 countries.
  • NBA legends Wilt Chamberlin, Connie Hawkins, Marques Haynes and Meadowlark Lemon are just a few of the NBA legends who also played for the Harlem Globetrotters.
  • In 1950, Harlem Globetrotter Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton became the first African-American player to sign a contract with the NBA and appear in a game for the New York Knicks.
  • The Harlem Globetrotters have become synonymous with the song Sweet Georgia Brown, a whistled tune recorded in 1925 by blues musician Brother Bones.
  • The shortest Globetrotter: Jonte “Too Tall” Hall — 5 feet, 2 inches.
  • The tallest Globetrotter: Paul “Tiny” Sturgess — 7 feet, 8 inches.
  • The Globetrotters were so popular that they went Hollywood during the 1970s. Team members voiced themselves in two cartoons: The Harlem Globetrotters and Super Globetrotters. The team also appeared in the 1981 movie The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.


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