Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - ADVERTISEMENT - —Su­san­nah Felts

When the leg­endary Har­lem Glo­be­trot­ter Mead­owlark Lemon passed away in De­cem­ber 2015, the na­tion mourned a great sports show­man. But the Globetrotters play on, much as they have since the team’s found­ing in 1926 in Chicago, pil­ing up wins (25,000 and count­ing) while of­fer­ing their unique blend of ath­leti­cism and en­ter­tain­ment, and per­form­ing good works off-court.

A Har­lem Globetrotters game is like no other. Play­ers de­light au­di­ences with awe-in­spir­ing feats of co­or­di­na­tion, trick shots and ball-han­dling wiz­ardry. But be­ing a Glo­be­trot­ter re­quires more than raz­zle-daz­zle, says Zeus McClurkin, a for­ward and Guin­ness World Record holder for the most slam dunks (15!) in un­der a minute. “One must be a great ath­lete, have an out­go­ing per­son­al­ity and be a good per­son,” he says. “For 90 years we have used th­ese at­tributes to put smiles on faces all over the world.”

In fact, Globetrotters are am­bas­sadors of good­will who give back in ev­ery com­mu­nity they visit. And a grow­ing list of phi­lan­thropists, in­clud­ing Rev­erend Jesse Jack­son, Whoopi Gold­berg, Nel­son Man­dela and Pope Fran­cis (who was given a No. 90 jer­sey), have been named hon­orary team mem­bers.

Over the years, the team has seen big changes, in­clud­ing fe­male play­ers like Olympic gold medal­ist Lynette Woodard, who be­came the first in 1985. But the Globetrotters’ rep­u­ta­tion for rim-rat­tling dunks and the abil­ity to spin bas­ket­balls on their fin­ger­tips holds up as much as ever. As does their sense of hu­mor. “One thing I am es­pe­cially grate­ful for,” McClurkin says, “is the in­creased length of our shorts over the years.” Visit Pa­ for a gallery of pho­tos and to find out where Glo­be­trot­ter Cheese Chisholm got his nick­name.

Mead­owlark Lemon

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