Harlem Globetrotters Announce 2015 Rookie Class

The Harlem Globetrotters’ 2015 rookie class includes: (Standing, l-r) Smooth Staples, Turbo Davis, Dragon Taylor; (Kneeling, l-r) Crash Beaty, Dizzy English, Spider Sharpless

(PHOENIX, Oct. 15, 2014) – Fresh off of their annual training camp in New York, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters have signed six outstanding new players for their much-anticipated 2015 “Washington Generals’ Revenge” World Tour. 

The Globetrotters will face a great challenge this year, as the infamous Washington Generals are more determined than ever to match the franchise’s historic last victory over the Globetrotters in 1971. The new crop of rookies will be counted on to help fend off that challenge.

“The Globetrotters haven’t played the Generals in five years, and we hear they have been going to the ends of the earth to find the best players to help them get that elusive victory,” said Globetrotters Legend Sweet Lou Dunbar, the team’s director of player personnel, “but the Globetrotters have also reloaded with a terrific rookie class, so we will be ready.”

Among the Globetrotters’ 2015 rookies is Angelo “Spider” Sharpless, who spent time with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers in summer league action in 2013.  The 6-4 leaper from Plymouth, North Carolina was the Boxtorow Division II National Player of the Year and CIAA Player of the Year his final season at Elizabeth City State University (N.C.). He led the conference in rebounding (8.8 rpg) and was third in scoring (20.5 ppg), while shooting 50.7 percent from the field. Sharpless was the only player in the conference who was in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots. He was a two-time All-CIAA honoree (2012, 2013), and this reverse alley-oop to himself in 2012 earned the #1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. 

Tyrone “Turbo” Davis of Northwood University (Fla.) was selected by the Globetrotters in their 2013 player draft.  The speedy 5-4 Davis, from Staten Island, New York, was a 2012-13 NAIA Division II All-American after leading the nation in assists per game at 7.86. Davis also led the Seahawks – where he played for legendary coach Rollie Massimino – with 2.3 steals a game, earning a spot on the Sun Conference All-Defensive Team to follow up his 2011-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year campaign.  Davis set the school record for career assists and steals before he even entered his senior season, a season in which he helped lead Northwood to a 30-4 record.

Blessed with a 44-inch vertical leap, Chris “Smooth” Staples took an unconventional path to the world’s most famous basketball team – from former football standout to highly-sought show dunker. The 6-3 Detroit native – cousin of Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Woodley – was recruited to play football at Wayne State University (Mich.) and Eastern Michigan University but found his true calling as a professional dunker.  He has performed his high-wire act in over 20 countries around the world, has been featured by Sports Illustrated, has become a YouTube sensation with an array of dunking highlight videos, and was even coached by LeBron James during an exhibition game played during NBA All-Star weekend in Houston in 2013.

Detroit native Carlos “Dizzy” English played parts of three seasons in the NBA Development League after averaging 8.3 points per game in his career at Cleveland State University. The 5-9 dribbling dynamo played the two years prior to his time at Cleveland State at Mott Community College (Mich.), where he helped lead the team to a 61-10 record over that span.

Tydran “Crash” Beaty played basketball at the same school as current Globetrotters Showman Hi-Lite Bruton, Benedict College (S.C.). The 6-6, Union, South Carolina native – sporting a 7-foot-2 wingspan and tremendous strength and leaping ability – help the Tigers to consecutive conference championships and NCAA Division II Tournament berths in 2012 and 2013.

DeAndre “Dragon” Taylor spent time with the NBA Development League’s Springfield Armor in 2012 after leading Northern Michigan University in scoring and rebounding that year.  The 6-4 Chicago native and dunking sensation sports a 45-inch vertical leap.  

The first-year players will join a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard, Firefly Fisher and Moose Weekes – plus female stars TNT Maddox, T-Time Brawner and Sweet J Ekworomadu – as the Globetrotters will play over 310 games in more than 250 cities in 49 U.S. states and nine Canadian provinces from December 26, 2014, and will run through May 2015. 

More information on the Globetrotters’ tour and purchasing tickets – as well as details on group and scout tickets – can be found HERE.

Sponsored by World Vision, Greyhound Lines and Baden Sports, The Harlem Globetrotters® are celebrating their 89th consecutive year, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages. Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans-among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents-over more than eight thrilling decades.