Harlem Globetrotters bring signature hoop style to Japan's Camp Zama community
December 14, 2011
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Dec. 14, 2011) -- The iconic Harlem Globetrotters brought their signature brand of humorous, theatrical -- and, make no mistake, very athletic -- brand of basketball entertainment to Camp Zama on Dec. 11 at Yano Fitness Center here.
The squad of talented players faced the Global Select in a championship game jointly organized by Navy Entertainment and Armed Forces Entertainment.
The Globetrotters as they are known today -- red, white and blue uniforms, the "Sweet Georgia Brown" theme song -- have been an internationally recognized U.S. basketball institution since the 1970s.
"[The Globetrotters] represent something positive in the community, in sports entertainment, and entertainment, period," said Anthony "Ant" Atkinson, a five-year veteran of the team.
Sunday's event began with a pre-game appearance by Globie, the team's mascot, dancing and playing games with children seated courtside. After tipoff, the antics began almost immediately.
The game was frequently interrupted as the Globetrotters pantsed their opponents, sat atop the rim and swatted shots away, and threw water buckets filled with confetti at the crowd. Their on-court game consisted of synchronized pass routines, dunking over the referee's head, and sliding on the court as they dribbled the ball.
"At a Harlem Globetrotters game, you don't ever remember the score," said Kenny "Blenda" Rodriguez, reiterating the team's focus on entertainment.
Community member Tanesha Clark grew up watching the Globetrotters and said it was amazing to see them live.
"Our parents watched them, we watched them, and now our children get to watch them, so it's an institution that hasn't gone away and will stay around from generation to generation."