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Globetrotters make return trip to Meridian

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Feb. 16, 2001
This Sunday afternoon, basketball fans in Meridian will again hear the strains of "Sweet Georgia Brown" as the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters make their return trip to the Queen City.
The Harlem Globetrotters are in the midst of their 75th anniversary tour and this particular tour stop, at Meridian High's Turnage Gymnasium, promises to be a well-attended one. Officials at Meridian High and Judge Little Sporting Goods the event's two ticket outlets have reported steady sales as of Thursday morning.
Officials at the local sporting goods shop said they have sold over 600 tickets as of Thursday morning, and expect that number to increase as today marks the final day tickets can be picked up at the store.
Willis said there should also be plenty of walk-up tickets at the gate on Sunday.
Ticket prices to see one of the world's most popular sports teams are $19.50 for adults and $17.50 for children ages 2-12 and seniors 65 and older. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. The "Magic Circle" courtside seats are $50.
Founded in 1926, by Abe Saperstein, The Harlem Globetrotters are the world's foremost basketball entertainment troupe. The entire team roster, comprised of nearly 30 players, from colleges all over America, are broken up into three squads.
For example, this weekend the Globies' will make an appearance in Hattiesburg on Saturday, then will make the 90-mile trek up I-59 for Sunday's game, before heading back down to Biloxi for a Monday tilt.
But on this same set of dates, the Globetrotters will also have a group performing in the Pacific Northwest and yet another in New York State.
The squad also boasts two players from the Magnolia State, in former Jackson State center Robert Fairley and former Mississippi State guard Trey Moore. Three current team members considered the old grizzled veterans of the group, are Curley Johnson, Matt Jackson and player-coach Clyde Sinclair, who joined the team in 1988, 1984 and 1981, respectively.
The oldest living Globetrotter, Bob Karstens, is one of only three caucasians to ever don a Red, White and Blue Uniform. The others are its founder Saperstein and Buddy Levitt. Lynette Woodard was the first woman Globetrotter, coming aboard in 1987.
The spectacle of what is also dubbed, "The World's Greatest Basketball Show," has produced such legends as Fred "Curley" Neal, Hubert "Geese" Ausbie, Robert "Showboat" Hall, Meadowlark Lemon and Connie Hawkins thrills adults and children of all ages with its signature brand of basketball.
Team spokespersons insist the games are indeed totally real, with textbook showboating antics, such as buckets of confetti and crowd participation only taking place after the Trotters have set the tone and taken a comfortable lead.
The Globetrotter's regular opponent in the New York Nationals. The possibly more well-known foe, the Washington Generals, folded the tents up for good in 1995.
The Globetrotters have produced their family-style fun in over 115 countries in front 100 million fans throughout their 75-year history, losing only 333 times against over 20,000 wins. The last setback came on Nov. 13, 2000 at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans in front of a national ESPN audience East Lansing, Mich.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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