Harlem Globetrotters Announce 2016 Rookie Class

(Back; l-r) Beast Cunningham, Viper Carter; (Front; l-r) Ace Jackson (no. 1), Rocket Pennington (no. 8)

(PHOENIX, Oct. 8, 2015) – Fresh off of their annual training camp in New York, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters have signed four outstanding new players for their much-anticipated 2016 world tour.

The iconic team is celebrating 90 years of providing smiles, sportsmanship and service to millions of people worldwide.  

“We can’t wait to hit the floor and celebrate our 90th year with families around the world,” said Globetrotters Legend Sweet Lou Dunbar, the team’s director of player personnel, “and we are excited about what these outstanding rookies will bring to the court to help us give our wonderful fans memories that will last a lifetime.”

Among the Globetrotters’ rookie class of 2016 is 6-6 Davene “Viper” Carter. The Dallas native was the “Dark Horse Dunker” in the 2015 college slam dunk competition, where he finished third. Viper helped lead Tarleton State University (Texas) to a record of 106-23 during his four-year career, and he was a starter on the 2014-15 squad that set a school record with 31 wins and reached the NCAA Division II Final Four for only the second time in program history. Viper shot an astounding 66 percent from the field during his Texans career, led the team in rebounding his last two seasons and was a Lone Star Conference All-Defensive Team selection as a junior. His hops were also on display for three years on the Tarleton track and field team, where he twice qualified for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships in the high jump and posted a career-best jump of over seven feet.

Larriques “Beast” Cunningham played two seasons at Lee University (Tenn.), where the 6-5 Royston, Ga., product helped the Flames to a combined record of 51-17 and two NAIA national tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight berth in 2011. He was an All-Southern States Athletic Conference selection as a senior, when he averaged 13 points and seven rebounds a game and dished out 83 assists. A former Georgia state high school high jump champion, Beast played his first two years of collegiate ball at Roane State Community College (Tenn.) and has also played professional basketball in the NBA Development League, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

Hailing from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Crissa “Ace” Jackson is the 13th female player in the history of the Globetrotters, joining current female stars TNT Maddox and Sweet J Ekworomadu. Ace played her first two years of college ball at Savannah State University (Ga.), where she quickly grabbed the starting point guard job as a freshman and led the team in three-pointers and assists. She led the team in scoring and assists as a sophomore and was named to the NCAA Division I All-Independent All-American second team. The 5-4 standout then transfer to Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) for her final two seasons, leading the team in points, three-pointers and assists as a junior and in three-pointers, assists and steals as a senior.

The sharp-shooting Carde’ “Rocket” Pennington played two seasons at Dakota Wesleyan University (S.D.), where the 5-6 guard hit a blistering 47 percent on three-pointers in his career with the Tigers. He began his college career at Malcolm X Community College near his hometown of Chicago Heights, helping lead the team to a 26-6 overall record and their first undefeated season in the City Colleges of Chicago Conference. 

The first-year players will join a star-studded roster featuring Hi-Lite Bruton, Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Bull Bullard, Cheese Chisholm and Thunder Law, as the Globetrotters will play over 330 games in more than 260 cities in 48 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces and Puerto Rico from December 26, 2015, through April 2016. 

More information on the Globetrotters’ 90th year and purchasing tickets – as well as details on group and scout tickets – can be found HERE.

Celebrating 90 iconic years of providing smiles, sportsmanship and service to millions, The Harlem Globetrotters® are a worldwide icon, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills. 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 nine thrilling decades. Sponsored by World Vision, Greyhound Lines and Baden Sports, Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S.