The Harlem Globetrotters perform their famous "Magic Circle" at the Dragon Fitness Center Dec. 2 before their exhibition game against the Washington Generals. The "Magic Circle" was created in 1942 and is a series of ball tricks performed by each player before any game played by the Globetrotters.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class LaVel Sterling)
Harlem Globetrotter guards "Blenda" Rodriguez and "Handles" Franklin, give out a free basketball to an Aviano youth at the Dragon Fitness Center Dec. 2. The Globetrotters also gave away free items, such as headbands and wristbands.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class LaVel Sterling)
Harlem Globetrotter guard "Rocket" Rivers slides away from the Washington Generals defenders at the Dragon Fitness Center Dec. 2. The Harlem Globetrotters came to Aviano Air Base to perform two exhibition games against the Generals as part of the Navy and Armed Forces entertainment tour.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class LaVel Sterling)
Globetrotter guard "Cheese" Chisholm receives a lift from forward "Hammer" Harrison with dunking the ball at the Dragon Fitness Center during an exhibition game against the Washington Generals Dec. 2. The Globetrotters also performed different skits and tricks throughout the course of their game.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class LaVel Sterling)
Harlem Globetrotter forward "Thunder" Petway assists an Aviano youth in performing a trick at the Aviano Youth Center Dec. 3 as part of the Globetrotter University program. The program aims to inspire youth to stay active by doing sports.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class LaVel Sterling)
by Airman 1st Class LaVel Sterling
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
12/13/2010 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters visited Aviano Air Base to perform two exhibition games against the Washington Generals Dec. 2 and 3 at the Dragon Fitness Center.
The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibitionary basketball team that has entertained fans around the world with trick basketball moves and comedic skits for 85 years. This is the Globetrotters eighth annual military tour.
"The military crowds enjoy the performances so much," said Globetrotter Guard "Rocket" Rivers. "Our purpose is to show our appreciation for the military. We just want to bring a little bit of America over to wherever they are abroad. We wouldn't be able to do our jobs, live our lives and have the freedoms that we have without the sacrifices that the men and women of our Armed Forces make."
During the exhibition games against the Washington Generals, the Globetrotters high-flying alley-oop slam dunks, dances, and skits, including Globetrotter football and 2-on-5 basketball, provided entertainment that kept the crowd laughing throughout the evening.
"I'm ecstatic to come back and see the smiles on their faces when they see us coming," said Globetrotter forward Kevin "Turbo" Pearson.
During the Globetrotters also met up with children and teens at the Aviano Youth Center as part of the Globetrotter University program. Team members mentored the kids and encouraged them to be active by teaching them basketball basics, such as passing and shooting as well as some of their simpler tricks.
"Meeting the Globetrotters, seeing their 'hyperness' and how they like basketball influences me to be a better player," said Elisha Smith, an Aviano High School student.