Tag Archives: Basketball

Sports: The Harlem Globetrotters

 

In their 80+ years of existence, the Globetrotters have played more than 20,000 games in 118 countries. And they've almost never lost. Wow - these guys must be good. Uploaded to Flickr by New Jersey State Library.

The first whistled notes of “Sweet Georgia Brown” let you know that basketball wizardry — and more important, lots of laughs — are coming. The Globetrotters are in the house.

They’ve been around since the late twenties, and are reported to have played more than 20,000 games in 118 countries. Their usual opponents are the greatest optimists in sports, the Washington Generals. The Globetrotters’ record in this series: 13,000+ wins, 6 losses.

 

Uploaded by write2us.net.

During their early years the team was a showcase for black basketball players who couldn’t play against white teams. The Globetrotters have actually retired several numbers, including Wilt Chamberlain (played for one year before being accepted into the NBA), Meadowlark Lemon, and Curly Neal.

Over the years, entertainment became their focus, and today they’re one of the best family-friendly acts touring the country. If you’ve never see them, take a kid and go. I promise it’ll be an immensely enjoyable experience — but don’t be surprised if you enjoy it more than the kid.

Originally posted April 18, 2009

Sports: David Robinson

 

David Robinson is a 2x NBA Champion, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Hall of Famer. But his character is even more impressive than his résumé. Uploaded by basketwallpaper.com.

There are two kinds of athletes we cheer for. First are those who perform for our favorite teams, easily identified by their team uniform. Much rarer are the players who we root for because of the kind of persons they are away from the bright lights. David Robinson is more than a Hall of Fame basketball player; he is a true role model not for athletics, but for character.

We saw this at the beginning of his NBA career, because it was delayed two years so he could fulfill his obligation to the US Navy following his graduation from the Naval Academy (Great American Things, July 18, 2010). Robinson’s service earned him his nickname “The Admiral.” Listing his basketball accomplishments would take a post all its own, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Rookie of the Year
  • NBA Champion (2x)
  • Most Valuable Player
  • Defensive Player of the Year
  • NBA 50th Anniversary All-Star Team
  • Olympic Gold Medal (2x)

Uploaded by timesnewsnetwork.com.

But as great as Robinson’s basketball career was, all who know him recognized that his character was even greater. Just one example – in 1991, Robinson visited some fifth graders at an elementary school in San Antonio. He promised that he would give a $2,000 college scholarship to all who stayed in school. In 1998, he made good on his promise – but he gave them $8,000 instead. Robinson’s main charitable effort has been the Carver School in San Antonio, a free private school for underprivileged children. To date, he and his wife have donated $11 million to fund the academy.

Greg Popovich, Robinson’s coach in his final years with the Spurs, had this to say about his star player: “He’s got much more sense than to stay involved in basketball. He’s got a lot of interests that actually have impact on the world and have some value, unlike the rest of us. He’s way too committed to real life to do something as silly as basketball the rest of his life.”

Sports: The Harlem Globetrotters

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by despeaux.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by despeaux.

The first whistled notes of “Sweet Georgia Brown” let you know that basketball wizardry — and more important, lots of laughs — are coming. The Globetrotters are in the house.

They’ve been around since the late twenties, and are reported to have played more than 20,000 games in 118 countries. Their usual opponents are the greatest optimists in sports, the Washington Generals. The Globetrotters’ record in this series: 13,000+ wins, 6 losses.

During their early years the team was a showcase for black basketball players who couldn’t play against white teams. The Globetrotters have actually retired several numbers, including Wilt Chamberlain (played for one year before being accepted into the NBA), Meadowlark Lemon, and Curly Neal.

Over the years, entertainment became their focus, and today they’re one of the best family-friendly acts touring the country. If you’ve never see them, take a kid and go. I promise it’ll be an immensely enjoyable experience — but don’t be surprised if you enjoy it more than the kid.

Sports: March Madness

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by natc.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by natc.

The championship game, feh. Fans of the two schools involved care immensely, basketball fans care some, Joe Sixpack just hopes it’s a good game. So what propels this sporting event into a listing of Great American Things?

The brackets.

The chance to pick those 12 seeds to upset the 5 seeds. To see the Richmonds, the Cleveland States, the Austin Peays become giant killers. To parlay a $5 investment into — get out of here! — maybe $150. Everyone does a bracket or three. Everyone has hope.

And then, once in a blue moon, there’s Villanova beating Georgetown. Or Lorenzo Charles stuffing Derek Whittenburg’s air ball. What could be better than that?

Having picked Villanova or N.C. State in your bracket, that’s what.