Shenandoah University’s new James R. Wilkins Junior Athletics & Events Center will soon host one of the most popular basketball teams in the world.
Since the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have been traveling around the world, and their tricks and flips on the court are easily recognized by people of all ages.
“They had this Harlem Globetrotter popcorn special cartoon that would come on every Saturday about 9 o clock, so I use to watch that and then my dad took me to a game when I was in Okinawa Japan.” Fritz Polite of Shenandoah University says.
Polite showed interest in the team when he was a kid, and that turned into an internship as a young adult. In 1999, he became the team’s 1999-2000 millennium tour manager. Now years later with Fritz’s help, the Globetrotters are coming to Shenandoah University.
“It popped in my head that we had this new facility, so I contacted my old boss, Jeff Munn the chief operating officer of the Harlem Globetrotters, and we sent him so pictures and he said ‘yeah let’s see what we can do,’ and we were able to book a date.” Polite says.
The visit will serve as a trip down memory lane for another Winchester native as well.
“My first tour we got up at 4/5 in the morning, flew across the Atlantic ocean so that was my very first experience, and I was a 22 year-old and I thought, ‘what am I doing?'” Peter Warren of Winchester says.
Straight out of college, Warren started playing for the New York Nationals under the umbrella of Globetrotters. The team traveled, practiced and played against the Globetrotters. They did quite a bit of losing too, but Warren says that’s what had to happen when playing against the beloved Globetrotters.
“Some of these Globetrotters were division one players so we thought we can hang with them – we can play with them lets show em what we got. And unfortunately it never worked out in our favor, that’s part of the game. A part of the show.” Warren says.
Warren says he enjoys reminiscing about his time spent playing the Globetrotters, but he looks forward to their visit and sharing that experience with his son.
“Say that use to be me, darting that gut doing the show, looking between my legs like i don’t know what just happened, so I’ll be sitting with him the whole time.” he says.
The Harlem Globetrotters will take to the court on Monday, November 5. For ticket information click here.