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Game on: Harlem Globetrotters set to smash glass records in Colorado

America's team dribbling in 'Pushing the Limits World Tour' to Loveland, Denver

Brawley “Cheese” Chisholm shows off his namesake cheesy grin as he leads the fans in a dance during a Globetrotters game in 2018. He and his teammates will hit the court at Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center this Friday as part of their Pushing the Limits tour.
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The Harlem Globetrotters have been displaying comedy, theater and athleticism on international basketball courts for more than 94 years. From squaring off against exhibition rivals the Washington Generals to performing trick shots in triple-digit games, the crew will bring its show on the road to Loveland, Denver and Broomfield this weekend for its “Pushing the Limits World Tour.”

And with it, the players will attempt a new world record at each stop along the way.

“We can go anywhere in the world and have the same impact on people’s lives,” Globetrotter Shane “Scooter” Christensen said. “We go to these different countries, and may not be able to speak the language that well, but always get the message across of bringing families together and hopefully making memories that last a lifetime. I always tell people that you never remember the score at a Globetrotter game. You remember laughing, smiling, having a good time, but you’ll never remember the score.”

And that’s what makes the game so special, the Globetrotters’ goal is to bring fun to town while showing off favorite tricks and attempting to break records.

Brittany “Ice” Hrynko shows a young fan how to balance a basketball on her finger during a Globetrotters game in 2018. She and her teammates will hit the court at Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center Friday as part of the “Pushing The Limits” tour.

Before the game begins, audience members with a “Magic Pass” will be invited to interact with the players by taking photos, getting autographs and learning dances and moves from the entertaining group.

“A lot of times we’re kids’ first introduction to the game of basketball,”  Globetrotter Julian “Zeus” McClurkin said. “I think it’s cool that when kids see us, they see guys and girls out there playing basketball and having fun — not taking this game too seriously. We’re just here to enjoy ourselves and have fun, and when they see that we’re still successful and having fun, then it shows them how to play the game of basketball the right way — and to use it as a vehicle to take you to different places all over the world.”

When the lights dim, the glow-in-the-dark basketballs, headbands and wristbands will glow. Unique to this tour, the Globetrotters will ring in an exciting iteration of the “Magic Circle” warm-up routine.

On the court, things will get more intense, too. The team’s signature four-point line will be moved back farther as the players try to break previous records. The Globetrotters are bringing the tour to more than 200 cities across 31 countries, showing off signature slam dunks, ball spins, long-distance shots and audience engagement that has made the team an indelible part of the American culture across many generations. The Globetrotters will also host a traditional game with the Generals, who they have embarrassed for decades. (Washington Generals were rumored to have beaten the Globetrotters three times, the last of which was in 1971, and have lost more than 16,000 games. But to be fair, it’s part of the act.)

Kris “Hi-Lite” Bruton invites a fan wearing his jersey onto the court during a 2018 Globetrotters game. He and his teammates will hit the court Friday at Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center. (Harlem Globetrotters / Courtesy photo)

“We all have something really special that we bring to the table,” Christensen said. “We actually feed off the fans because it’s so sporadic … We all do a great job of trying to catch those spontaneous moments.”

But the most important part of the game, at least for McClurkin, is his ability to inspire kids to work towards their dreams. He said he was cut from every team he played for until his junior year of high school. Then he was recruited to play for the Generals after graduating from college.

“I did everything I could to prove them wrong, and that landed me a spot with the Globetrotters, eventually,” McClurkin said.

After a few years of playing the bad guy for the stooge team, he joined the Globetrotters in 2015, where he went on to earn the Guinness World Record for most dunks in one minute — 16 — while managing exercise-induced asthma.

“So I made it to the Generals training camp,” McClurkin said. “From there, I got the chance to see the Globetrotters for the first time and I fell in love with the team. It was amazing seeing how they interact with the fans and how they’re known worldwide. They make a positive impact in every community that they go to. I said, ‘I want to be a Globetrotter.’ So eventually they got tired of me dunking on them and they signed me with a contract.”

For Christensen, his journey to the team was equally surprising, but no less motivational. He said he was scouted at a pick-up basketball game while working in Phoenix, Arizona. They invited him to training camp — and 15 years later, he is still with the team as a part-time player and part-time assistant coach.

“I knew at a young age I wanted to play basketball, either with the NBA or pro-ball overseas,” Christensen said. “If that didn’t work out, I was going to be a motivational speaker about it, run camps, or anything with the game of basketball. That’s what I wanted to do.

“I had no intention of being a Globetrotter, it just kind of fell in my lap, I was at the right place at the right time. And it’s just been the best basketball experience I’ve ever experienced in my life.”


 

If you go

What: The Harlem Globetrotters “Pushing the Limits World Tour”

When: 7 p.m. Friday in Loveland, 1 p.m. Saturday in Denver, 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Broomfield

Where: Budweiser Events Center, 5290 Arena Circle, Loveland; Pepsi Center,1000 Chopper Circle, Denver; 1stBank Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane

Cost: $27.50-$321.50; pre-show Magic Pass $22

More info: harlemglobetrotters.com

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