Fans will write the rules for Harlem Globetrotters show
Even after 18 seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters, Wun “The Shot” Versher still gets excited when he hits the court.
“It still feels brand new to me,” said Versher, 42, considered one of the greatest shooters in the Globetrotters' history. “It's definitely still exciting. It never gets boring.”
Versher and the rest of the Globetrotters will bring their talents to the Convocation Center at California University of Pennsylvania for a 7 p.m. show March 7.
The “Original” Harlem Globetrotters will be playing the game, but fans will write the rules for this tour.
Versher said the tour, dubbed “You Write the Rules,” has fans calling the shots for their games. Before the show, fans can go online at www.harlemglobetrotters.com to vote for which rule they want to become part of the game. They might ask players to use two basketballs at once, for instance, or double the points for each basket made — what one Globetrotter calls “buy one, get one free.”
“We've had some interesting requests,” said Versher. “Two basketballs on the court is always popular. The fans like it when we double the points, that's always fun.”
Known for his 4-point shot, Versher said the scoreboard quickly racks up when the points are doubled, adding to the excitement. The shot is 35-feet from the basket, nearly 12-feet beyond the NBA's three-point arc.
An Arizona State University graduate, with a degree in recreation management, Versher was introduced to basketball at age eight by his uncle Rodwin Palmer, who played at UCLA with the great Reggie Miller. Versher lists the Indiana Pacers legend as the sports figured who influenced him the most.
He said he feels “privileged” to not only play the sport he loves, but give back to the community through the charitable organizations the Globetrotters support.
This season, the Globetrotters are embarking on a season-long alliance to promote breast cancer awareness, playing portions of games with specially designed pink Spalding basketballs to help the cause.
“I feel so lucky to be part of this,” Versher said. “We offer good wholesome entertainment and do our part to make a difference.”
Versher has appeared with the team off the court as well. He was on hand during the Globetrotters' induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and was part of the group that visited the Vatican City in Rome in 2000 to name Pope John Paul II an “Honorary Harlem Globetrotter.”
He has also appeared with the Globetrotters on popular television programs, such as “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “EXTRA,” and “Access Hollywood.”
He even taught some ball handling moves to pop superstar Justin Bieber before a television appearance in Hollywood.
In addition to Versher, this year's Globetrotters roster features stars Special K Daley, Big Easy Lofton, Flight Time Lang, and Dizzy Grant, along with the world's tallest pro basketball player, (7-foot-8 Tiny Sturgess), the shortest Globetrotter ever, (5-foot-2 Too Tall Hall), and female players TNT Maddox, T-Time Brawner, and Mighty Mitchell.
Fans attending the Cal U game will get a chance for an autograph as the team's goal after nearly every game is to sign autographs for at least 15 minutes.
Versher said he enjoys meeting young fans. He tells kids, “You can do whatever you want, but be prepared to work hard for it.”
Ticket prices for the Cal U performance range from $25-$55; admission to the special “Magic Pass” pre-show costs an additional $20 per person. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the Convocation Center Box Office, open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays until the day of the show.
Doors open to the general public at 6 p.m. Parking is included in the price of admission.
For details, ticket information or directions to California University of Pennsylvania, visit www.calu.edu or call the Convocation Center Box Office at 724-938-4600. To order tickets by phone from Ticketmaster, call 800-745-3000, or order online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.