Harlem Globetrotters dribble, pass, laugh their way into the hearts of Ansbach Community
By Mr. Thomas Hamilton (Franconian News)December 10, 2013
ANSBACH, Germany (Dec. 10, 2013) -- What do Pope John Paul II, Wilt Chamberlain, Joyce "Sweet J" Ekworomadu and Henry Kissinger have in common? They are all Harlem Globetrotters.
The Harlem Globetrotters entertained a sold-out crowd in the Bunch Fitness Center at Storck Barracks Dec. 8, 2013.
While The Harlem Globetrotters have played more than 22,000 games in more than 120 countries in the 85 years since their start in Chicago -- yes, that is right, Chicago, Ill. -- in 1927, Karen Fritz of Navy Entertainment mentioned that this performance was special as for the last 12 years they have been entertaining Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines at home, overseas and on ships during the holiday season.
This is the 12th annual holiday tour that Armed Forces Entertainment and Navy Entertainment have been bringing the Harlem Globetrotters to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
The Harlem Globetrotters have entertained the military in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, South Korea, Europe, Africa, the South Pacific and even on Aircraft Carriers at sea. What started out as a show to boost troop morale after 9/11 turned into an annual event that the Harlem Globetrotters look forward to, even though the tough touring schedule takes them away from their friends and families during the holiday season. Hacksaw, while presenting USAG Ansbach a commemorative, autographed basketball stated that
"It's an honor for us to come and give back to those who give so much," said Hacksaw, while presenting USAG Ansbach a commemorative, autographed basketball.
"We enjoy bringing a bit of America to the troops overseas," said "Sweet J" Ekworomadu, current Globetrotter.
The event began with Globie, the Harlem Globetrotters mascot, entertaining the crowd with a game of musical chairs and a magic trick.
The Harlem Globetrotters then entertained the crowd for more than an hour with their basketball-handling skills, acrobatics, two-handed and two-basketball flying slam dunks, and half-court hook shots. The group made the entire fitness center roar with laughter.
At the end of their performance the Harlem Globetrotters signed autographs, had their pictures taken, and spent time talking with the spectators. They ensured that each and every person present had the chance to spend a moment with them.
Armed Forces Entertainment, Navy Entertainment, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers and many other volunteers made this event happen.