By Bill Slane
Earlier this summer, the Harlem Globetrotters spent six weeks in Branson, Missouri, at Silver Dollar City, as they presented, for the first time ever, “The Harlem Globetrotter Experience,” a one-of-a-kind performance showcased three times daily at the iconic theme park.
Featuring highlights from the Globetrotters’ unrivaled touring show and with their trademark basketball wizardry, athleticism and humor, the Experience included a half basketball court specially-designed for the show. The smaller court was the perfect venue for the team to truly display their athleticism and ball-handling abilities to the thousands of fans that attended the show.
“I really liked the intimacy of the half court,” said Zeus McClurkin, beginning his second year with the Globetrotters, “because we were able to just show a little taste of what we’re capable of.”
Third-year Globetrotter Thunder Law feels fans enjoyed the Experience (which featured just the Globetrotters, no opponent) enough to want to see a full live touring show.
“We gave fans kind of a teaser to encourage them to come to a full tour show,” he said, “so we weren’t giving away all of our magic, just a few things that they can expect.”
Zeus was blown away by the support fans showed for them while they were in Branson.
“They loved us, it was crazy. Most of the shows were at the capacity of 900 people,” he said.
The people of Branson impressed the team as well, especially Thunder, who made his first trip to Branson during the team’s stay in town.
“The people in the city of Branson are just overall amazing people, very friendly,” Thunder said.
Thunder, who is eager to go back to Branson next year, also really enjoyed his time off in-between the shows.
“We got to go ride the roller coasters between our performances and got to go to downtown Branson as well, so it was a lot of fun,” he said, adding they also got to spend some time interacting with fans outside of the shows, playing laser tag or go-cart riding with them in the theme park.
Zeus felt right at home.
“Everybody was very nice and kind,” he said. “Great people, great atmosphere, and I’d love to do it again.”
Thunder says he’s already requested to go back next year.
“I had an amazing time, and I’m sure players will be requesting to be part of it next time, because they are going to hear great things from me,” he said.