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Dec 12, 2018
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Eight decades of (semi) serious dribble


Juan Villa / The Collegian

Whether it’s a slam dunk or a bucket of confetti over a referee’s head –– the Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their humor along with their A-game to the Save Mart Center tonight at 7 p.m.

To date, they’ve done over 20,000 exhibition games combining basketball and comedy. In their 82 years of basketball court antics, they continue to hit the funny bone of a dedicated fan base who has followed them through the years — many original fans passed on the love to their kids. With a TV show that first aired in the 1970s and lived on in re-runs, the basketball parody of sorts has endured the test of time.

For Erin Turner, a senior interdisciplinary health and rehabilitation sciences (IHRS) pre-rehab counseling major, watching the Globetrotters on TV was a father and daughter bonding moment.


Juan Villa / The Collegian

“[It was] always a thing I did with dad. I was daddy’s girl,” Turner said about her father, who once played basketball in a Cal Poly league. “Just my dad laughing in the living room … that’s what I remember.”

Memories of growing up with the cartoon are the same stories that Gary Howery, a junior IHRS pre-rehab counseling major told as he shared that he’s been a fan for eight years. Though he’s never seen the group in person, the group reminds him of home. For Howrey, it was his mother who got him watching the show.

“[I watched the Globetrotters with] my mom on TV when I was younger,” Howrey said.

Though they were at the height of popularity during their show, their story was recently made into a documentary in 2005, “Harlem Globetrotters: The Team that Changed the World,” and features interviews with Bill Cosby.

A legacy that, even now, continues to gain them new generations of fans as their audience laughs with their combination of laughs and athletics.

But laughs aside, The Globetrotters are entertaining for an important cause. Proceeds from their shows go to the CHEER program, a community outreach program that has donated over $11 million to charities since 1993.

Jennifer Gant, a senior IHRS/undeclared major, lit up when asked if she knew any Globetrotter fans.

“Oh my son Brandon loves basketball, yes. My son has been watching basketball for 10 years — he’s been watching since he was four,” Gant said, sharing that it was Brandon’s father who got him into it.

As for proclaimed daddy’s girl, Turner said that the most memorable part of the show was all of the funny antics she remembers watching, but it was her Dad whose laughter could be heard across the house.

“All of the tricks and stuff … my dad was hilarious,” Turner fondly remembered.

When asked if she watches any longer, she shared that her dad moved to Reno and her husband isn’t a Globetrotters fan.

“My husband likes football,” Turner said as she laughed.

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