By Charles StadtlanderDecember 22, 2010
SCHWEINFURT, Germany-Over 1,000 members of the community here gathered Monday night, Dec. 6 in Finney fitness center to see the clown princes of basketball get up to their old tricks. The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters squared off against the Washington Generals, their longtime opponents.
The game was filled with the Globetrotters' signature pranks and trick plays, including bouncing the ball off opponents' heads, distracting the referee to pull off complicated and humiliating fouls and sending players who committed fouls to a penalty box. The Generals themselves were the butt of many jokes, including one player who was stripped of his uniform, leaving him in only bright-colored underwear.
During halftime, the Globetrotters met with the garrison commander, Lt. Col. Everett Spain, to present him with an autographed red, white and blue basketball. The players were effusive with gratitude, thanking both the crowd and Spain personally.
"We are honored to come to Schweinfurt to support the U.S. troops," said Globetrotter guard Handles Franklin.
In turn, Lt. Col. Spain presented the players with a commander's coin in recognition of their visit, thanking them for coming to the community. Never short on basketball wizardry, guard Blenda Rodriguez was spinning a ball on top of the coin mere seconds after receiving it.
Not surprisingly, the Globetrotters pulled off a victory, beating the lowly Generals 82-73. The game was filled with high-flying dunks, embarrassing fake-outs and most important to the crowd, a bucketful of cheer-raising antics.