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Globetrotter ‘Buckets’ Blakes entertains, educates children

Amid the laughter, there were gasps of amazement

as Harlem Globetrotter Anthony “Buckets” Blakes

entertained and educated the students at Troy

Elementary School Thursday.

Blakes was on a promotional tour for the Globetrotters, who will be

at Trojan Arena at Troy University at 7 p.m. on

Monday, March 9, that included stops at several

radio and television stations. The Globetrotters game

is sponsored by the Pike County United Way and is a

major fundraiser for the organization that supports

15 local agencies through its annual campaign.

But Blakes didn’t talk dollars to the students.

He gave them a brief history of the world-famous

Globetrotters and then used his celebrity and his skills

with the round ball to educate

them about CHEER, a

program that he and all

other Globetrotters support

and promote.

Blakes told the students

that the Harlem Globetrotters

originated in Chicago, not

New York as the name

might suggest.

The Harlem Globetrotters

were formed in 1926 by

Abe Saperstein, who was in

awe of the skills of African-

American basketball players.

He sent players out barnstorming

– playing anybody

who would play them—and

the interest was so great

that the Harlem Globetrotters

were “born.”

They were called the

Harlem Globetrotters

because Harlem was at the

center of the black renaissance

at the time.

As the popularity of the

Globetrotters grew so did

the acknowledgement of

the abilities of the players.

In 1950, Globetrotter

Sweetwater Clifton became

the first black basketball

player to sign a contract

with the National Basketball

Association.

“The Globetrotters helped

break down the racial barriers

in men’s basketball and

also the gender barriers,”

Blakes said.

“In 1988, Olympian

Lynette Woodard became a

Globetrotter. The

Globetrotters have been

integrators and trend-setters

and are also Goodwill

Ambassadors. We travel to

countries all around the

world and help build better

relationships between our

country and others.”

Blakes also talked to the

students about the CHEER

program.

“CHEER is an acronym

for Cooperation, Healthy

mind and healthy body,

Effort, Enthusiasm and

Responsibility,” he said.

“These are the things that

will make you successful

students and good citizens.

Every day, I think about

CHEER and if you will,

too, you will be a good student

and successful at what

you do.”

The Harlem Globetrotters

will be at Trojan Arena at 7

p.m. on Monday, March 9.

Tickets are $21 for adults

and $13 for students. Tickets

are available at all local

banks and will be available

at the door.