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Harlem Globetrotters talks about impact

Basketball innovators return for annual game.

When it comes to new innovations for the game of basketball, few organizations have had the impact of the Harlem Globetrotters. Wun the Shot Versher, an 18-year veteran of the team, recently shared some information on the team’s current Fans Rule World Tour and the annual New Year’s Eve game at the Nutter Center in Fairborn on Tuesday.

Fans rule

“Last year we handed over the reins to our fans, and we’re doing it again this year. They can go to, vote on various rules of the game and have some control over what the Globetrotters do out there on the floor. This time they can vote for Make or Miss, Trick Shot Challenge and Hot Hand Jersey and kind of alter the game or the score and see how it turns out in the end.”

On-court innovators

“What’s cool about the Globetrotters is we do have control. We’re sanctioned by our own selves so we can create new rules and that’s how some of the things are integrated into the NBA. When it comes to slam-dunking, that was started by the Harlem Globetrotters. We’ve been pioneers of basketball for a long time. We actually started some of those things you see in the NBA and that’s why people keep coming back to see what the Globetrotters will do next. People enjoy that excitement and mystery and that’s what has kept us around for 88 years.”

Global game

“Basketball has become a smaller circle around the world, but the Globetrotters were always international. We actually introduced basketball to a lot of countries that didn’t even know basketball. The Globetrotters were pioneers in that aspect too.”

Year-round round ball

“The exposure of the Globetrotters has grown since I’ve been on the team. There’s been more TV exposure. We’re actually touring more. When I joined the team we were doing maybe six months out of the year, but now we’re on the road year-round. When we’re not actually out on the floor playing we’re doing summer camps for kids, TV appearances and other things. There’s always something going on.”

New Year tradition

“We come into Dayton every year and entertain people for New Year’s Eve. It’s been a really cool tradition. Our games are normally at 7 o’clock but we do this game at 2, which works fine on New Year’s Eve. People still have time to get geared up for whatever activity they’re going to do at night. They can get a little excitement with the Globetrotters first before ringing in the New Year.”

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