Harlem Globetrotters bring their basketball talents to Camp
CAMP FOSTER, Japan - Meadowlark Lemon, Hubert ‘Geese’ Ausbie, Fred ‘Curly’ Neal, Connie ‘The Hawk’ Hawkins, and Wilt ‘The Stilt’ Chamberlain are just a few of many renowned basketball players who have worn the jersey of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters.
The Globetrotters have been a staple of American basketball entertainment for 89 consecutive years and on Dec. 9 they brought their talents to the Foster Fieldhouse on Camp Foster, to excite the troops that are serving overseas.
“It is truly an honor,” said Tammy ‘T-Time’ Brawner, a guard for the Harlem Globetrotters. “It is weird because you think we are the stars and the heroes, but in our eyes you guys are real stars and heroes.”
The event was a part of the Harlem Globetrotters 13th military tour, in which the team travels overseas to U.S. military installations on Japan and Guam. The game was presented by Navy Entertainment, Leatherneck Tour and Marine Corps Community Services.
The Harlem Globetrotters are a team known for their ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment, which were all on display for more than 1,500 service members and their families.
“The event went way past what I thought it was going to be,” said Pfc. Lyman Green, a combat videographer assigned to Consolidated Combat Camera, G-3/5, operations and training, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installation Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan. “The game was enticing and captivating with every action in the show blindsiding me. It was a truly unique experience.”
During the event, the Harlem Globetrotters were matched up against the Washington Generals. A longtime rival of the Globetrotters the Generals, who have not beat the Globetrotters since 1971, used dirty plays and help from the referee, who was a former General himself, to keep the game close and eventually force overtime.
The game was filled with dazzling passes, high flying dunks and comedic in-game skits that brought the crowd to cheers and reminded them of a little slice of home.
“The comedic atmosphere fluctuating through the event reminded me of the type of humor my family has,” said Green. “That particular goofiness that was displayed is rare and will always bring family and friends together.”
Throughout the event, the Globetrotters performed their famous skits from slow motion replays to their football style of basketball, which showcased their one-of-a-kind entertainment.
The game ended with the Globetrotters once again defeating the Generals on an overtime buzzer-beating fanatic dunk by star forward Tydran ‘Crash’ Beaty, which was a perfect climax to the show and left the fans cheering on their feet.
Although the Globetrotters came to put on a show, there purpose coming here was more than just to play a game.
“For us it is a little more special because it is for the troops,” said ‘Crash’ Beaty. “You guys do a lot for us, so for us to come over and give back to you guys…we can’t beat that.”
The Globetrotters displayed their appreciation to the service members by staying for more than 30 minutes after the game, to sign autographs and take pictures with the fans.
“You all are the reason why we are able to play in the states,” said ‘T-Time’ Brawner. “It is an appreciation from us to you because you are over here protecting us all.”