Harlem Globetrotters to play at Gill Coliseum

Handles Franklin, member of the Harlem Globetrotters, flashes a thumbs-up at a show. 

James Trotter, News Contributor

The Harlem Globetrotters will play at Gill Coliseum on December 2, bringing their famous basketball style and flair to the Corvallis, Ore. area. Oregon State University is a stop on their current Fan-Powered World Tour, and marks the first show in Corvallis since their April 2012 tour.

Founded in 1926, the Harlem Globetrotters are widely known for their display of acrobatic skill on the court and their attempt to promote wholesome values. Part comedy routine and part gymnastic display, their games strive to include and entertain as many attendees as possible through audience interaction and post-game high-five sessions.

Globetrotter guard Handles Franklin grew up watching the animated Harlem Globetrotter TV show in the 1970s and, according to his tour bio, has wanted to be a member of the team since he was a kid. Franklin, going into his 12th season with the team, said that fans of the sport have a lot to look forward to in their upcoming game.

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“Basketball fans can expect high flying slam dunks, amazing ball handling, great comedy, a lot of fan interaction, but most importantly memories that will last a lifetime,” Franklin said via email.

The Globetrotters will be facing off against their long-time nemesis The Washington Generals. Sporting green and yellow against the Globetrotter’s red, white and blue, the Generals are hungry for another victory, said Franklin.

“They beat us once way back in 1971 and have been chasing that win ever since,” Franklin said via email. “I hear they have a secret weapon this year.”

To make sure that the team maintains their 47-year winning streak, the Globetrotters put a lot of time and effort into improving and maintaining their ability, Franklin said.

“As Globetrotters we play over 250 games a year and we practice before every single game,” Franklin said via email. “So a lot of practice and time goes into perfecting our skills.”

Vice President and Director of athletics Scott Barnes said that Oregon State University is looking forwards to the game and the team’s visit to Corvallis.

“We’re excited to welcome the Globetrotters World Tour to Gill Coliseum and the best college town in the Pac-12,” Barnes said. “It’s a great opportunity for our community to enjoy a combination of great basketball and world-class entertainment.”

On Nov. 8, the Globetrotters worked with Guinness World Records to set five new records, according to an article on the Globetrotter’s website. Globetrotter guard Torch George was the first female Globetrotter to set the record for “most basketball under the leg tumbles in one minute (female),” with 32.

Additionally, Globetrotter forward Zeus McClurkin set the records for “most blindfolded basketball slam dunks in one minute” with five, and “most behind-the-back three pointers in one minute” with three. The Flying Globies, the Globetrotter trampoline dunk squad, broke the record for “most under the leg slam dunks by a team using a trampoline in one minute” with 38.

“It was such an amazing experience working with Guinness World Records. It is really an accomplishment being the best in the world at something,” Franklin said via email. “So much time, work and training go into perfecting these special skills to break these records. We are so happy to hold 21 as an organization and the five we broke this year is icing on the cake.”

Tickets for The Harlem Globetrotters show at Gill Coliseum on Dec. 2 are on sale now through the Oregon State Athletics website for $20 – $90.