TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Harlem Globetrotters were in Topeka Sunday afternoon showing off their basketball antics in Landon Arena.
The Globetrotters combine athleticism, theater and comedy in their style of play. They were created in 1926 by Abe Saperstein in Chicago, Illinois. The team adopted the name Harlem because of its connotations as a major African-American community.
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Though parts of a modern exhibition game are pre-planned, the games themselves are not fixed. While their opponent, the Washington Generals do not interfere with the Globetrotters’ hijinks while on defense, they play a serious game when in possession of the ball and about 20 to 30 percent of a game is “real.”
They originated on the south side of Chicago where all the original players were raised. The Globetrotters began as the Savoy Big Five. They began as a basketball team of Black American players that played exhibitions before dances due to declining dance attendance.
In 1928, several players left and formed a team called the “Globe Trotters” and toured southern Illinois that spring. By 1929, they were touring Illinois and Iowa calling themselves the “New York Harlem Globe Trotters.”