Fans set the tone, and rules, for annual Harlem Globetrotters game
When the iconic Harlem Globetrotters kick off their “Fans Rule” Tour in Pittsburgh, a game held here annually on the day after Christmas, the fans, indeed, can dictate some of the game's dynamics, says guard Dizzy Grant, known for his comical impersonations of other basketball players.
Fans at the Dec. 26 game at Consol Energy Center will vote on quirky new rules to be used in the game. Prior to the game, fans can vote on Facebook and other social media and select a new game rule.
Fans can pick the Hot Hand Jersey rule, where a player wearing a special jersey gets double points when he scores; or Make or Miss, where the quarter starts with two players on each team. When someone scores, another player joins the team, and when they miss, a teammate must leave the court; or even Trick Shot Challenge, where teams challenge each other to make trick shots — the team that makes the shot gets five points; if the players miss, the other team gets five points.
“We give fans an opportunity to vote on different rules in the game to add excitement to the game,” says Grant, 31.
When he isn't trotting around the globe, Grant lives in Fishers, Ind. “It's just a new thing we've done this year to give our fans another opportunity to” enjoy the Globetrotter experience.
Globetrotters each have nicknames, and Grant — in his eighth season with the team — got his “Dizzy” name from his teammates, who said they felt dizzy after guarding him, because his dribbling and other movements had them going in circles.
Grant, who graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005, dreamed of playing professional basketball. During a tryout to play overseas, Grant met a Globetrotter talent scout and found a better fit than the NBA would have been, he says. Grant gets to combine his comedian streak and engaging personality with athletics.
“That's what makes (Globetrotters) so special,” he says. “We're great basketball players, but we have the ability to entertain. We look for guys who can play basketball at a high level and guys who have that outgoing personality it takes to be a Harlem Globetrotter.”
Part of the Globetrotters' off-court role is acting as “Ambassadors of Goodwill” by participating in community-service projects. About a week ahead of time, a Globetrotter visits the city where the team will play. They do things like the “Smile Patrol” with patients in hospitals, and the “ABCs of Bullying Prevention” in schools, which promotes the virtues of action, bravery and compassion, Grant says.
The North American Tour kicks off Dec. 26 in Pittsburgh and lasts through April. Then, players will go overseas to places like Europe, Australia, China and New Zealand.
“Come on out and have a great way to celebrate the holidays with the Harlem Globetrotters,” Grant says.
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
- Baby girl dies when run over by pickup truck in Indiana County
- Amazon.com distribution center planned for Pittsburgh’s West End
- Pirates’ Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer’s role
- Aliquippa father is charged by Beaver County DA in girls’ dresser death
- Well-traveled Clemons trying to find home with Carolina Panthers
- 2014 has been among deadliest for the world’s airline industry
- Friday’s scouting report: Pirates at Rockies
- Minority Leader Costa says Democrats can take state Senate if Wolf expands lead over Corbett