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Harlem Globetrotter Donte ‘Hammer’ Harrison displays his gymnastics skills on the rim after making a slam dunk. The Harlem Globetrotters visited the Holmes Center Wednesday night and performed before about 4,000 fans who were delighted by the team’s unique brand of basketball and comedy. Photo by Steve Behr

Originally published: 2013-03-21 18:26:13
Last modified: 2013-03-21 18:26:13

Globetrotters score baskets of laughter and fun

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Basketball is usually just basketball when it is played by Appalachian State's teams at the Holmes Center. Basketball turned sideways is when the Harlem Globetrotters play at Holmes.

A crowd of about 4,000 watched the Globetrotters win yet again, this time a 112-108 victory over the Global Select. The Globetrotters earned the title of "World Champion" and was awarded a large trophy to prove it.

On the way to the win, the Globetrotters made plenty of stops to do what they do best -- entertain the crowd. The unofficial master of ceremonies -- Kevin "Special K" Daley -- made sure everybody at Holmes was in on the jokes the Globetrotters played on each other, the crowd and the hapless referees.

The first was when Special K made sure one of the referees was free of any type of weapons by scanning him with a metal detector. Then Special K asked the portly official if his belly was holding "a boy or a girl."

Special K played the role of "The Showman." He wore a wireless microphone and ran all of the skits and hijinks the Globetrotters pulled during the game.

And there were plenty of them.

One woman had her purse taken away by one of the Trotters only to have it returned to her in a giftwrapped box.

Two other Globetrotters took a pair of young fans -- Hadie Nichols and Mia Smith of Louisville, Ky., on to the court to show them how to spin a basketball on their fingers.

Local radio personality Noah Lockamy from WATA in Boone was the Select's special guest player.

Special K helped Lockamy shoot a 4-point shot from close to half court, a 3-point shot from beyond the arc, and some foul shots.

Lockamy's problem was that Special K wasn't always so cooperative. The ball Lockamy used in his first foul shot was actually a beach ball filled with helium.

"Air ball, air ball, air ball," the Trotters chanted.

When handed a different ball, Lockamy's shots failed to reach the rim since they were weighted down.

Maybe next year.

Then there was the all-time classic Globetrotter skit with the drinking water performed by veteran Tay "Firefly" Fisher, whose simple task of getting Special K a drink of water turned into a referee getting doused with a bucket of water, and some fans getting showered with confetti.

There was actually some basketball played on the court, too. Special rules were added to the game at the start of each quarter, including allowing the use of the 4-point shot for the entire first quarter instead of the first two minutes, doubling the points scored on each shot in the second quarter, and using two basketballs for the first two minutes of the third quarter.

The Globetrotters' lone woman on the court, Tammy "T-Time" Brawner, took over the dribbling during one play, which included sliding on the Holmes Center floor before driving in for a layup.

And the tallest professional basketball player in history, 7-foot-8 center Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, made a dunk without having to jump. Sturgess, who is originally from Great Britain, played college basketball at Mountain State University, an NAIA program located in Beckley, W.Va.

Herbert "Flight Time" Lang took advantage of the 4-point rule by making two straight in the first quarter. Hammer dropped down a dunk in the first quarter, and then performed some gymnastics while hanging on the rim.

And speaking of hanging out on the rim, Juaquin "Hawk" Hawkins lifted his way on top of the basket and committed one of the most imaginable goal-tending violations when he kicked away one of the Select players' shots.