Thursday, 23 Mar 2023

A Harlem Globetrotters History

Founded in 1926, The Original Harlem Globetrotters have played in 123 countries and territories worldwide. The Harlem Globetrotters’ history is full of world records, popularizing some of the most well-known basketball tricks to this day and millions in charitable contributions. Known for wholesome family entertainment and mixing sport with comedy, the Globes expanded beyond the court in the ‘70s and ‘80s to television, spreading their message of goodwill throughout the media. The Globetrotters have earned accolades from leaders around the world.

This year marks the 44th time the Globetrotters have brought their show-stopping basketball skills to the Frank Erwin Center. Austin audiences have been treated to up-close trick shots, The Globetrotter’s signature style of humor and unparalleled showmanship for over 40 years. In addition, the Austin community has benefited from the Globetrotter’s commitment to making a positive impact and spreading goodwill. Read on for a bit of Harlem Globetrotters history!

Celebrating on the court in 1990
Showing off dance moves in 2002

Globetrotters History: Early Austin Games

The Harlem Globetrotters played their first Austin game in 1978 and subsequently booked their next game for the following year, 1979. Legendary players such as Huburt “Geese” Ausbie, Billy Ray Hobley, Fred “Curly” Neal and more treated Austinites to a game like no other at the Frank Erwin Center. 

Celebrating on the court in 1979

In 1985, the Globetrotters blazed another path when they took on Lynette Woodard, the first female to ever play on a men’s pro basketball team.

Lynette Woodard in 1986

At the time, the team consisted of other Globetrotter legends – Sweet Lou Dunbar, whose son paid a visit to Austin last week, Osbourne “Good” Lockhart, James “Twiggy” Sanders, and former Texan Men’s Basketball player Jimmy Blacklock.

The Harlem Globetrotters in 1986

Globetrotters Legend: Jimmy Blacklock

This year, the Globetrotters will honor Jimmy Blacklock as a “Globetrotter Legend” on Feb. 28 at the Frank Erwin Center, where Blacklock starred as a Longhorn college player and earned induction in UT Athletics’ Hall of Honor. The Globies will present him with the “Legends” ring, due to his major contributions to the success and development of the organization. Now in his fifth season as a Globetrotters coach, Blacklock played in over 2,500 games between 1974-1987.

Coach Jimmy Blacklock

The Harlem Globetrotters have been known throughout their history as creators of lasting family memories, one smile and rim-rattling dunk at a time. A family experience like no other, children will be on their feet, laughing until it hurts and loving every moment!

The audience on their feet in 1990

Put a new spin on family time with the Harlem Globetrotters this Thursday and Friday, Feb. 27 and 28! The Globies are bringing their all-new larger-than-life “Pushing the Limits” World Tour to the Frank Erwin Center. Upgrade with the “Magic Pass,” a once-in-a-lifetime experience with your family where you have an opportunity to spend time on court with the Globetrotters – shooting, trying out ball tricks and getting autographs and photos! Memories of a lifetime will be made as the Globetrotters continue their tradition of first-rate family entertainment in Austin. 

Tickets for The Original Harlem Globetrotters “Pushing the Limits” World Tour on Feb. 27 & 28 are available at

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