Harlem Globetrotters bring their American dream to Scotland

3 mins read
Credit: Harlem Globetrotters

As basketball jerseys filled the concession stands, visuals alone would suggest an American sports thriller. The chattering of Scottish accents soon filled Glasgow’s SSE Hydro though, and the crowd eagerly awaited its piece of American pie.

“Are you ready Glasgow?!” bellowed the commentator, pronouncing it surprisingly well in his stand-out American accent. The crowd was unprepared, so theatrics started ahead of schedule. “I said are you ready Glasgow?!” Cheers erupted.

Sirens wailed as the team came into view, led by their frontman Big Easy. The players cavorted around the court as each member was introduced, the comedy aspect of their routine becoming increasingly prevalent.

The rival Washington Generals also entered the arena, led by their masked leader Cager. He declared to destroy the Globetrotters with belligerent basketball, encouraged boos from the crowd, and scoffed at Big Easy’s upbeat attitude. He was the bad guy.

The game opened with a blocked shot, but the crowd didn’t realise to cheer. As play ensued though, Glasgow’s scepticism eventually faded as the audience embraced the on-court excitement.

Each Globetrotter was a human highlight reel as epic background tracks matched their movements. High-flying slam dunks, slick passes, and scores from the Globetrotters’ signature four-point line all energised the crowd.

Credit: Harlem Globetrotters

It wasn’t just their basketball talents that brought upon smiles though, as play often paused for immersive comedy routines.

A young girl was brought onto the court for one, and the Globetrotters helped her perform various basketball skills, for which she was rewarded a signed ball.

Big Easy then found her dad and demanded £25 as payment, who obliged, laughing. The gentle giant then slipped the money into the girl’s pocket before she returned to her seat, triumphant.

The jokes stopped momentarily as attention was brought to the organisation’s charity work: initiatives to give disadvantaged children educational and sporting opportunities; a community outreach programme to prevent bullying; and their regular attendance at children’s hospitals across the world.

The Globetrotters are ambassadors of good will, conveying this through their on-court personalities and display of greater goals outside of basketball.

Their performance was a spectacle for fans of the sport and fans of fun, and each audience member left with a little more faith in humanity.

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