Listen to “Sweet Georgia Brown” and see if you can find a way to not smile. That’s one of the many reasons why the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to impress and entertain audiences around the world. Two Globetrotters, Cheese Chisholm and Scooter Christensen, sat down with Mike Walter to talk about what it means to be a Globetrotter and the impact of their goodwill programs, and even taught Mike one of their signature tricks.
For almost a century, the Globetrotters have been—as their name indicates—globe-trotting around the world, performing in over 200,000 exhibition games in 120 countries. In 2011, the organization opened offices in Beijing to increase their presence in China, one of the fastest growing basketball fan bases in the world.
Harlem Globetrotters: Ambassadors of goodwillFor almost a century, the Globetrotters have been—as their name indicates—globe-trotting around the world, performing in over 200,000 exhibition games in 120 countries. In 2011, the organization opened offices in Beijing to increase their presence in China, one of the fastest growing basketball fan bases in the world.
“The experience is like no other because the Chinese fans they love the game of basketball,” Chisholm said. “And what makes us so special, as Globetrotters, is that we’re great entertainers. A lot of our antics, a lot of our showmanship is non-verbal so we can be funny with the historic water bucket and confetti ream. You can be from any country and understand what’s going on with that so that’s what makes us so unique.”
When they’re not showing off their mastery of ball-handling on the court, they use their talents to engage with kids in hospitals and schools. Through the Smile Patrol, players visit 200 hospitals annually, using their tricks and charm to lift the spirits of patients and their families.
“I went to the room, spinning the ball on my finger, being ‘Cheese’, brightening the room up, the kid smiled, the kid laughed,” Chisholm said. “After I left the room his dad came running out crying saying, ‘Hey, that’s the first time my kid smiled in weeks.’ So things like that definitely make me want to be a Globetrotter and it humbles me.”
As professional basketball players, the Globetrotters have a unique advantage when it comes to leaving a lasting impression on kids, which is one of the many reasons for the success of the ABC’s of Bullying Prevention Program. Through the program, players teach students the ways to prevent and stop bullying, hoping to inspire them to stand up for themselves and others.
Follow the Globetrotters on Twitter: @Globies
Follow Cheese Chisholm on Twitter: @B_Chiz