It’s early January on the renowned hardtops of Venice Beach, Calif., and the Harlem Globetrotters are putting on display their amazing skills for a national television audience.
Four minutes into the game, Firefly Fisher hits two straight 4-point shots to give the Globetrotters an early lead.
With the Globetrotters clinging to a two-point lead in the second quarter, Cheese Chisholm drills a 4-pointer on three consecutive possessions. The lead quickly balloons to double digits, and the crowd is going wild.
A 4-pointer? Don’t you mean a three-pointer? Nope, it’s a 4-pointer, another groundbreaking innovation from the team that continues to revolutionize the game of basketball.
The Globetrotters unveiled basketball’s first ever 4-point line, 30 feet away from the basket… over six feet beyond the NBA’s current three-point line, during their 2017 tour.
The 4-point shot has come has come a long way (no pun intended… okay, intended) since it’s inception. When it was introduced to the world on Dec. 5, 2010, the 4-point shot took the form of four spots on the floor, two on each half of the court, 35 feet away from the basket… and the shot was only “active” the last few minutes of each quarter.
Eventually, the shot was available throughout the game, but a player still had to be shooting from one of those four 4-point spots to convert the shot.
The Globetrotters feel the 4-point line, an arc that stretches from sideline to sideline on each half of the court, improves the game.
“I love the 4-point line, because it has more of a basketball feel,” says Firefly, who once drained a Globetrotters-record 10 straight 4-point shots in a game. “I can come down and shoot a 4-pointer from anywhere beyond the line instead of having to run to a specific spot. It gives us a lot more freedom to be players while still displaying our great shooting ability.”
Showman Ant Atkinson, whose holds Globetrotters single-game records with 22 4-pointers and 93 points, agrees.
“Having it as a line on the floor and not spots gives the game a much better flow,” says Ant.
The Globetrotters feel the excitement of the fans when they start filling it up from the 4-point line.
“You can actually feel the anticipation before you launch it, and it gets your heart racing, because the fans love it!” exclaims Cheese.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” says 5-foot-2 Too Tall Hall, one of the shortest players in Globetrotters history. “Fans are amazed a guy of my size can make that shot, and it sends a message to kids that you can accomplish whatever you want with hard work and determination.”
It certainly does take a ton of work and practice to consistently hit the 4-point shots that the Globetrotters make look so easy.
“I usually shoot 100 before a game and 300 to 500 on non-game days,” says Cheese.
“Some players might have to alter their form to take a 4-point shot, but as Globetrotters, we practice the shot so often that we keep the form of a normal jump shot,” says Firefly.
There has been talk the last few years about the NBA possibly adopting a 4-point line in the future. These Globetrotters all agree they would love to see the shot in the NBA – and at all levels of basketball, for that matter – because of how it can quickly change the complexion of the game and gets the fans pumped up.
Until that day comes, the only place you can experience the excitement and skill of a 4-point shot is at a Harlem Globetrotters game. Find your tickets to see this cutting-edge piece of basketball history when the Harlem Globetrotters 2019 World Tour visits a city near you.