Globetrotters to face arch-rival at Coliseum

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters are set to bring their one-of-a kind show full of comedy, trick shots and unmatched fan interaction to Sam Houston State University’s Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum as a part of the Globetrotters’ 2015 “Washington Generals’ Revenge” tour.

A great challenge lies ahead for the Harlem Globetrotters as the infamous Washington Generals set out to match their historic last victory over the Globetrotters nearly half a century ago. Having been five years since the two teams have faced off, the Generals have been doing whatever it takes to revamp their roster in order to achieve one thing: a victory over the Globetrotters. 

Globetrotters’ player Julian “Zeus” McClurkin said the rivalry stems back to the 70s.

“They haven’t beat us since 1971, but that wasn’t my fault,” McClurkin said. “I was not born yet. You’ll have to talk to Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon about that one.”

McClurkin gave a fair warning to their long-standing rival.

“They are back with a vengeance, recruiting from around the world,” McClurkin said. “But all I have to say is good luck.”

The six-foot-eight forward used to be a General himself before signing to the Globetrotters. 

“I used to play for the Washington Generals, I lost more games that year than any other year,” McClurkin said. “I guess the Globetrotters got tired of me dunking on them and decided to sign me.”

While he has seen success with the Globetrotters and Generals, McClurkin did not always score those high-flying dunks with world-class talent. He was cut from every team he tried out for from seventh to tenth grade and, despite loving the game, he almost gave it up.

“I was told I wasn’t good, I was too nice, they said I wasn’t made for it,” McClurkin said. “I was just a happy go lucky kid. I was told I needed a killer instinct, a mean streak. I started drinking milk, grew five inches. It’s ironic that I ended up on a team that encourages smiling.”

He recalled the first time he saw the Globetrotters play and what sparked his interest in become one himself.

“As a General I played against the Harlem Globetrotters,” McClurkin said.  “That was the first time I got to see them. That was when I first decided I wanted to be a Harlem Globetrotter. You get to smile and have fun on the court.”

Being a professional athlete involves a lot of strenuous exercise. As a testament to not giving up, McClurkin found out as a college athlete that he had exercise-induced asthma. He wants young athletes everywhere that may face similar difficulties to never give up.

“I never let it stop me,” McClurkin said. “If you have exercise induced-asthma, not to let it be a crutch.”

McClurkin, in his rookie year for the Globetrotters, said his perseverance paid off. Getting to travel around the world to arenas like Madison Square Garden helped him love what he does.

“I didn’t have to compromise myself, or become someone else,” McClurkin said. “I love my job. I’ve done things that people can’t take away from me.”

To perfect their ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, the Harlem Globetrotters go through rigorous training and preparation.

“There is a training camp that’s two weeks long in Long Island, New York,” McClurkin said. “We practice tricks, strategy for games. We have a nutrition expert come in and we have two practices a day that are four hours long…Before each of the 310 games, two hours prior to the game we start practicing”

Being known worldwide as ambassadors of goodwill, a member of the military will be honored as the Harlem Globetrotters Hometown Hero. A portion of each game across North America will also be played with a camouflage basketball to symbolize the teams respect for our service men and women.

“It’s a great thing,” McClurkin said. “We are giving back to our military. A portion of all our games will be played with a camouflage basketball to commemorate our military. You can log on to our website to nominate a hometown hero. Any active duty, wounded or retired service man or woman can be nominated.”

McClurkin stressed the importance of education and staying true to who you are to the college athletes of SHSU.

“Get your education,” McClurkin said. “Every member of our team has a college education. We value education. Stay true to who you are. College is where you figure out what you want to do and who you are.  If you have athletic scholarships, keep up your education. Student loans are no joke.”

Boasting a star-studded roster, fans can expect to see Zeus McClurkin as well as the talents of Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard, Firefly Fisher and Moose Weekes.  Featured female stars will include TNT Maddox, T-Time Brawner and Sweet J. Ekworomadu.

The Globetrotters are set to tip-off at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Johnson Coliseum.

Fans are invited to hang around after the show to meet player, get autographs and take photos.

Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Johnson Coliseum box office.

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