As hundreds of people filed into the sold-out Harlem Globetrotters game on Friday night, 10-year-old Evan Medina was searching for a place to buy some swag.
“There are so many people here,” he said. “I’m really excited to see the trick shots.”
The Globetrotters sold out the Herrington Patriot Center at the University of Texas at Tyler, which seats 2,000.
Hundreds of children waited in line for merchandise, ran around the court and hoped to meet players before the game.
Cherelle “Torch” George said being a Globetrotter is about more than just being great at basketball.
“A lot of people think being a Globetrotter is just about being a good basketball player, but all of the players have great integrity, great character,” she said. “We’re known for being ambassadors of character, just good people.”
Torch was the first female on the Globetrotters team to claim a Guinness World Record, when she set the record in 2018 for most basketball under the leg tumbles in one minute by a female with 32 tumbles, according to the Globetrotters website.
She said that playing for the team is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, and the fans make it all worth it.
“Man, it is amazing being a Globetrotter, travelling the world, impacting kids all over the globe,” she said. “Entertaining fans and putting smiles on people’s faces every single day is truly a dream come true.”
She even had some advice for the little dribblers watching the game.
“Work hard, believe in yourself, and have fun and smile every day,” she said.
After meeting some fans, and a performance from Dance-N-Drill Tyler, the Globetrotters faced off against their arch rivals, the Washington Generals.
“There’s a good chance we’re gonna win,” Torch said. “The Washington Generals are bigger and better than ever this year, but I’d never bet against us on any night.”
The Globetrotters took it a step further and became part of the community, inviting the Grace Community School Cougarettes to perform during the halftime show.