The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to the Friendly City. However, the team’s journey started almost a century ago.
“We’re actually from all over the country and we got the name Harlem because when we were founded in 1926 by Abe Saperstein, who is a marketing genius,” said Jet Rivers, a player for the Harlem Globetrotters.” He used the name Harlem because at that time, the Harlem renaissance was really popular and he knew that when people heard the name Harlem, they knew it was something to look forward to.”
Despite being named Globetrotters, the team started out local. Little did the first team know that eventually the Globetrotters would be able to travel all over and this Tuesday, they’ll be visiting Wheeling.
“It’s really awesome to come here,” said River. “This game will actually be for the people who don’t usually get to see the Harlem Globetrotters. So, I think it’s a great time for families to come out and have a great time that they’ll never forget.”
But perhaps what is most impressive about the Globetrotters is their ability to break through barriers.
“One of the barriers that we helped break down was the color barrier,” said Rivers. “In 1950, the first African-American player to ever play in the NBA was Nat Clifton and he was a Globetrotter.”
And speaking of barriers, the first professional female basketball player was Globetrotter, Lynette Woodard in 1985 and she helped paved the way for women in sports.
Catch the Globetrotters 7 p.m. Tuesday at WesBanco Arena as the team takes on their long-time foe, the Washington Generals.
The team will take on their long-time foe, the Washington Generals, Tuesday at WesBanco Arena.