As their name suggests, they’ve galavanted around the globe in every kind of (atmospheric and political) climate; played in front of Soviet premiers and princes and presidents and popes; and served as cheerfully anarchic ambassadors for the sweet science of basketball, and by extension the sort of barnstorming spirit that made America famous.
But where the Harlem Globetrotters almost met their match was in the run-up to a certain winter-storm-that-wasn’t-quite-all-that, by the name of Stella.
While the most storied franchise in sports entertainment was forced to postpone its March engagement at Brookdale Community College due to a prudent tilt to the side of caution, the nearly annual matchup of courtside vaudeville and venue couldn’t possibly be held back for too long — and on Wednesday and Thursday, the Globetrotters return to the Robert J. Collins Arena on BCC’s Lincroft campus for a two-night stand of slamdunk sleight o’ hoops on their worldwide Winter Tour.
While the 90-year old brand has soldiered decades beyond its most classic lineup of Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neal and Geese Ausbie — the 1970s-era guys who boasted their own Saturday morning kids’ TV show, and shared the screen with the Scooby Doo gang and the castaways of Gilligan’s Island — this is not your daddy’s Globetrotters, in more ways than one.
Beginning with the signing of Olympic gold medalist Lynette Woodard in 1985, the Globetrotters have regularly convened co-ed teams on the court, and have featured more than a dozen female players over the course of those three decades since — the most recent additions being guards Briana “Hoops” Green and Bria “Swish” Young. The two women join their fellow Class of 2017 rookies “Jumpin’ Joe” Ballard, “Clutch” Ball, “Beast” Douglas and “Jet” Rivers, in an expanded touring roster that’s toplined by female stars “Ace” Jackson and “TNT” Lister, plus master showmen “Ant” Atkinson, “Hi-Lite” Bruton and “Big Easy” Lofton.
Tickets purchased tickets for March 14 will be honored for the April 12 rescheduling, and those for March 15 will be honored for April 13. Both events are set to start at 7 p.m., and both nights feature a post-game “autograph, photograph and high-five session” with Globetrotter players.
Tickets (ranging from $33.50 general admission to $100.50 courtside seating, and a special VIP bench seat with the team for $303.50) and information on refunds are available here from the team website.