Through STEVE JACKSON
America’s longstanding love affair with the iconic Globetrotter basketball began with the Savoy Big 5 in Chicago in 1926. A group of talented black ballplayers from the Chicago area showed off their incredible basketball skills to the fans who came to watch them play ball and have fun, in a dynamic. style, which the Harlem Globetrotters continue to this day. In July 2021, that same brash, upbeat, face-to-face basketball fashion is set for Tampa Bay area basketball fans as well as spectators unfamiliar with a double dribble following a travel infraction. .
The Savoy Big 5 called themselves the Chicago Globetrotters for a year or two. Then, a savvy marketing genius and businessman, Abe Saperstein, joined the team, which adopted the name The Harlem Globetrotters to emphasize its connection to black culture through the name “Harlem.” the small borough of New York, which was quickly becoming the capital of black culture in the United States in the Roaring Twenties. The Harlem Globetrotters didn’t play a basketball game in New York until 1968! Saperstein, also a key substitute player, was white but he knew how to manage players and negotiate all the deals that sent the Harlem Globetrotters on tour all over the United States and around the world. Saperstein has also been able to coach gifted players to sync their fabulous ball skills with their showman personalities and put on a show in addition to becoming an excellent basketball team. The Harlem succeeded the Globetrotters successfully making money in the United States as well as around the world, including communist Russia in 1959.
Always touting great players, the Harlem Globetrotters put on great exposure, not just for black audiences, but white spectators as well. In 1948 and 1949, the Harlem Globetrotters faced the number one professional team, the Lakers, in fact the Minneapolis Lakers, in front of a large and cheering crowd in Chicago. Minneapolis was the professional predecessor of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, which moved west in 1960. The winner of those two games was the Harlem Globetrotters! Until then, and until 1950, professional basketball, the NBA, was a segregated sport.
The world-renowned Harlem Globetrotters will present their newly revamped Spread Game Tour at the Yuengling Center in Tampa on Sunday, July 25 at 2 p.m. The Spread Game Tour is a basketball event like no other. Ankle-breaking moves, jaw-dropping swag and rim-shaking dunks are just a few of the thrills you can expect from this thoroughly modernized show. Part streetball from the players who defined it, part interactive family entertainment, the new tour will showcase the very best of Globetrotters in a dazzling display of talent and play.
The Spread Game Tour introduces new premium fan experiences with unprecedented access and interaction, including celebrity passes, player meet and greets and, in select markets, the #SQUADZONE, where fans are given the opportunity to feel like part of the show.
For more than 95 years, the Harlem Globetrotters organization has been committed to spreading joy through shrewd athleticism and unmatched basketball skills. Globetrotters have always been global goodwill ambassadors. The revamped team is even more committed to making their voices heard in conversations about social justice while inviting communities across the United States to come together and recognize the power of our commonalities and celebrate our differences. The Globetrotters’ mission to spread the game and bring family entertainment to the world continues to drive them today.
Originators of a unique style of basketball, influencers of today’s game, and talented athletes of the highest caliber, the world-renowned Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 124 countries and territories on six continents since their founding in 1926 as the Savoy Big 5 in a Chicago dance hall. Proud inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, their mission to spread the game and bring entertainment to the world continues to drive them today. The Globetrotters, innovators of the game, popularized the jump shot and the slam dunk, and they invented the half-court hook shot. For nearly a century, the Globetrotters have showcased black excellence on and off the field, entertaining, inspiring and advancing the racial progress of today.
The Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-themed entertainment company in the United States, which operates the Harlem Globetrotters from Peachtree Corners, an Atlanta suburb. For more information on the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the official Globetrotters website: www.harlemglobetrotters.com and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Tickets for this event at the Yuengling Center in Tampa Bay are on sale at Ticketmaster.com/. Ticket prices are $20, $30, $40, $50, $70, $80 and $115. Prices do not include resort fees or service charges. Advanced parking passes are available at ParkWhiz.com.