The Harlem Globetrotters have brought a unique style of basketball to crowds all over the world for more than 90 years. Billed as the “Ambassadors of Goodwill,” members of the Globetrotters are bringing their game to the Puget Sound-area Friday through Monday, and families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the rest of the military community are invited to purchase discounted tickets.
The Globetrotters will have games in Kent, Seattle and Everett; military service members can save up to $10 on tickets.
Anthony “Buckets” Blakes is aware of the families that come out to see the Globetrotters. He said military kids might not find a better form of entertainment than one of their games.
“I think with the kids on the bases, they don’t get the opportunities to see us as much,” Blakes said. “They get some entertainment, but is it wholesome entertainment where (they) and their parents have an opportunity to go together and have the same joy and laughter.”
Entering their 91st season on tour, the Globetrotters have made 15 trips overseas. Their most recent was November, but the Globetrotters have made performing for the military a focal point in the last 13 years.
That includes a visit to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, tours of Iraq in 2006 and 2009, Afghanistan back in 2012 and games on four different active-duty aircraft carriers.
“Being deployed so long and then having those childhood memories show up on a military base or an aircraft carrier, they’ll really appreciative and they love it,” Blakes said.
Blakes is entering his ninth season with the Globetrotters. He was a former player for the University of Wyoming where he was one of two players in the Mountain West Conference to finish in the top 15 in scoring, rebounding and assists. He’s had some impressive accomplishments with the Globetrotters.
Last December, Blakes broke the North American record for the tallest shot at 583 feet from the top of the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas. Additionally, he’s set the record for most underhanded shots from half court in one minute — six.
Blakes is expected to be a big part of the new four-point line during this year’s tour. This line is going to be set 30-feet from the basket, which is about six feet and three inches farther than the NBA-regulation three-point line.
The Globetrotters have often been viewed as a team of innovation with various types of dunks, passes and other moves that have been adopted during the team’s 91 years.
“To be a part of a team that sets trends for what’s going on in the NBA, WNBA and in the European leagues, it’s a pretty awesome feeling for me,” Blakes said.
The Globetrotters are scheduled to play Friday at 7 p.m. at the ShoWare Center in Kent, followed by games Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Key Arena in Seattle. The Globetrotters will play Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Xfinity Arena in Everett before finishing up the Seattle-area tour Monday at 5:30 p.m. again at the ShoWare Center.
To learn more about the military discount for all games, call 612-423-3698.