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  • Writer's pictureKen Murray

Date Night with the Harlem Globetrotters

Shelly and I went to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the EagleBank Arena at George Mason University in Virginia. Shelly had never seen the Globetrotters play and was curious as to what it was all about. I saw them live when I was 12 or 13 when "Curly" Neal and "Meadowlark" Lemon were playing, and it was great. I also used to watch them on ABC's Wide World of Sports in the 1960's and 1970's. It was great basketball, great performance, and great entertainment.

We began the evening with dinner at Oh George! Tables and Taproom restaurant across the street from George Mason University. The weather was beautiful, and we dined outside. We had an order of Bang Bang Calamari, which was good, then Shelly ordered a fired chicken sandwich special, and I ordered a sausage pizza. Both entrees were decent. We had a nice, relaxing time waiting for the 7:30pm game time, but we'll try another restaurant next time.

EagleBank Arena is quite nice for watching basketball and musical performances. It's small, so every seat is good. The game started at 7:30pm and, for me, was moderately entertaining. Having seen the Globetrotters in their prime, I was disappointed with the quality of the basketball and the entertainment part of the game. The reality is that Division I basketball players who don't make it to the NBA have many more professional basketball opportunities than they did in the 1960's and 1970's. They can play in international leagues and the NBA G-league. Back in the "olden days", they might play for the Globetrotters. So the basketball talent in terms of shooting and ball-handling just wasn't there.

The Globetrotters in their prime also had many more jokes, skits, and pranks, and spent a lot of time interacting with the audience. This group of Globetrotters had little interaction with the audience, and very few entertaining antics. They basically shot 40 footers, did the "three-man weave", and dunked the ball. A major annoyance for this old man was at the very beginning of the performance, when the team did the "magic circle". They did their ball tricks on center court, but the Globetrotter musical theme theme of "Sweet Georgia Brown" was drowned out by the DJ playing annoying, special-effect sounds. Here's how they used to do it:

All that said, I had a great time with Shelly, and I think if you have 8-year-old kids who are enamored with basketball, they will like the show. Lots of long-range shooting and lots of dunks. But I would also recommend that you watch some Youtube videos of the Globetrotters in their prime with "Curly" and "Meadowlark" to get an idea of their enormous talents and entertainment value.

Here's a couple photos and videos of the game.

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