Globetrotters bring thrills to Estevan
By David Willberg
1) Harlem Globetrotters member "Hammer" soars to dunk two basketballs during the Harlem Globetrotters visit to Estevan. The Globetrotters played two-ball basketball for a couple of minutes, and used pink balls to create awareness for the fight against breast cancer.
2) Globetrotter "Jet" dances atop a basketball rim to the delight of the audience.
3) The Globetrotters and the Global Selects vie for a loose ball during their appearance in Estevan.
Basketball wizardry and children's entertainment were delivered at Spectra Place in Estevan on January 6, as the famed Harlem Globetrotters made an appearance in the city.
The Globetrotters defeated the Global Selects 99-87 in the game to retain their title as champions of the world, but the bigger attraction was the entertainment value supplied by the iconic travelling basketball squad.
Children accounted for much of the 1,500 people in attendance, and they giggled and cheered at the skill showcased by the basketball players, and at the associated antics and promotions. The team's mascot, Globie, and the talkative showman, "Special K Daley," were often at the forefront of the entertainment.
Even before the game started, the Globetrotters displayed outstanding ball skills and dribbling abilities during the warm-ups. Once the game began, they showcased their tremendous passing skills and quick ball movement. Players would slide across the court on their sides while holding onto the ball, or execute several passes within a one-second or two-second span, and then set up their sharp-shooters for long range shots; or work the ball inside, where a seven-foot-eight behemoth, aptly nicknamed "Tiny," would execute a no-jump slam dunk.
There were many promotions during the game, too. The game was paused several times so that members of the Globetrotters – usually led by Daley – could interact with the fans. Children could win prizes if they could successfully sink a free throw, pull off an imitation of a Globetrotter, or defeat Globie in a game of musical chairs.
Daley would also clown around with the referee, or try to distract a Selects player during a free throw.
At one point in the second quarter, Globetrotter "Jet" danced atop the rim of a basketball hoop.
Three members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders – Chris Getzlaf, Shomari Williams and Jordan Sisco – were in Estevan to sign autographs and serve as honourary captains for the event.
The Globetrotters visit was one of the first stops in the "You Make the Rules Tour," and fans were able to choose the special rule that would be employed in each quarter.
A four-point shot was the special addition for the first quarter. Players could earn four points for their team if they sank a shot from one of the four designated locations on the floor. The Globetrotters made a couple such plays early to jump out to a 14-2 lead.
The Selects rallied in the second quarter, thanks in large part to their ability to capitalize on another rule, which offered double points on all baskets. On the strength of a couple six-point plays, the Selects seized a 39-36 lead. But by half-time, the Globetrotters were up 60-55.
The chosen rule for the third quarter proved to be the difference, as the Globetrotters and the Selects played a little two-ball basketball for the first two minutes. The Globetrotters outscored the Selects 16-4 while two balls were in play to take a 76-59 lead. One of the players, "Hammer," dunked two balls almost simultaneously.
Pink balls were used during two-ball basketball as part of the Globetrotters effort to fight breast cancer. Then the Globetrotters reverted to their trademarked red, white and blue basketball.
Four-point shots were employed once again in the fourth quarter. The Selects chipped away at the lead, but a pair of four-point shots by five-foot-two guard "Two-Tall" dashed any hope of a Selects comeback.
After the game, the Globetrotters posed for pictures and signed autographs for spectators. Many of the fans had Globetrotter basketballs, or jerseys with Daley's No. 21.
Estevan was one of the first Canadian stops for the "You Make the Rules Tour." After the appearance in Estevan, the Globetrotters travelled to Regina and Saskatoon.