Harlem Globetrotters are coming to campus

Nate Lofton will return to the UC.
File photo/ The Lion's Roar

The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that originated in Chicago, Illinois over 90 years ago. They perform a combination of athleticism, theatre and comedy. 

They will come to the university on Mar. 6 to perform. They have had over 26,000 exhibition games in 122 countries and territories. The Globetrotters play over 450 live events each year all over the world. 

“The Globetrotters put on a fantastic show for all ages,” said University Center Director Duane Shafer. “Their antics entertain guests for the entire game.” 

The Globetrotters are debuting a four-point line in their upcoming tour. 

“This is just something that will add to the entertainment value of the game,” said Shafer. “Trick shots and long shots are a big part of the team’s personality.”

The university is involved through Nathaniel Lofton, who is a university Hall of Famer and now performs with the Globetrotters.

“Yes, Nate Lofton was on Coach Billy Kennedy’s 2004-05 team that won the Southland Conference Championship and advanced to play Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA Championships,” said Shafer. “He joined the Globetrotter organization about 11 or 12 years ago.  When we hosted the Globetrotters in 2008, Nate was supposed to be here for the game but at the last minute, he was reassigned to the team’s European tour.”

Shafer expressed his gratitude and anticipation for the former university player being able to come to the university to play. 

“We’re excited that he’ll be able to play in this year’s game at SLU,” said Shafer. “Nate is a worldwide ambassador for his family, the state of LA, his hometown of New Orleans and for the Southeastern family.”

The team’s mascot is a cartoon globe called “globie,” who travels with the team.

Despite the name, the Harlem Globetrotters did not play in Harlem until 1968. This was over 40 years after the team was formed.

The history of the Globetrotters originated when several player left the Savoy Big Five, a group of  African American basketball players who performed exhibitions in 1928. Led by Tommy Brookins, the Globetrotters were formed and began to tour. By 1929, Abraham Saperstein selected Harlem, New York as their home city due to the ties it had with their heritage. Today, the Globetrotters perform shows worldwide. In addition, the Globetrotters participated in three seasons of “The Amazing Race,” which is a reality competition show. Lofton was a part of the Globetrotters while they were on “The Amazing Race.” 

Shafer invites any and everyone to purchase tickets that are now online at lionsports.net.