Globetrotters entertain, impress at MHS gym

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Feb. 19, 2001
The greatest basketball show the world has ever known made a pit stop in Meridian Sunday and performed for more than 1,000 fans of all ages at Meridian High School.
For the record, the Harlem Globetrotters soundly defeated the New York Nationals, 96-57, but the bigger story was not the margin of victory, but the level of joy the basketball performers brought to both young and old alike.
The 75th edition of the Globetrotters pulled out some old and new jokes, gags and high flying dunks and halted the action on numerous occasions to get the fans involved.
The 'Trotters ended the first period as they ended the other three, with their patented weave to the strains of "Sweet Georgia Brown" that had every member touching the ball and finishing it with a high alley oop slam dunk to take control of the contest.
Sprinkled in throughout the action were plenty of bits, most fueled by the wit of "Sweet" Lou Dunbar.
Dunbar pulled out everything from making a mockery of referee Edward Yancy to dancing with women and children to pulling out the old reliable buckets of water and confetti, even briefly hijacking the purse of a female fan.
Dunbar, in his 23rd season with the team, said the jokes don't ever get old because they always bring smiles, something the Globetrotters are all about.
Dunbar added the thing that never gets old is seeing the children's faces light up night in and night out.
The game quickly got out of hand, and when Fred "Preacher Man" Smith jammed it home from just past the foul line, the Globetrotters' lead was 40.
Globetrotters coach Osbourne Lockhart said intimate venues such as Meridian are his favorite.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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