Harlem Globetrotters Announce 2018 Rookie Class

(ATLANTA, Dec. 7, 2017) ­– As the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters look toward the 92nd season, and the start of the 2018 “Amazing Feats of Basketball” World Tour, five new stars will be making their debuts for the team when it tips-off tonight at Florida Gateway College in Lake City, Fla.

The rookie class of Bulldog Mack, Hot Shot Swanson, Money Merriweather, Primetime Maberry, and Torch George, will become the latest stars to join the legacy of Globetrotters who have endeared themselves to millions worldwide.

“This is a terrific group of rookies who are going to add to what makes the Harlem Globetrotters so special,” said Globetrotters legend, Sweet Lou Dunbar, the team’s director of player personnel and head coach. “The Globetrotters have continuously thrilled and entertained crowds all over the world for over 91 years. As we get set for our 92nd season, this group is going to show why the ‘Amazing Feats of Basketball’ World Tour lives up to its name!”

As if the Globetrotters team didn’t have enough flair, Jahmani “Hot Shot” Swanson will bring that much more this season. Standing at 4-foot-5, Swanson has earned the nickname, “Michael Jordan of dwarf basketball” throughout his career. Known worldwide, he has honed his unique style of play taking on all challengers – evidenced by the many videos that have garnered attention on the internet and his social media channels – including celebrities like Jamie Foxx and athletes like Terrell Owens. A ritualistic student of the game, he studies the basketball court before each game and envisions his game plan before tip-off.

A member of the 2017 Harlem Globetrotters’ draft class this past summer along with baseball star Aaron Judge, former college football standout Tim Tebow, and “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, A.J. “Money” Merriweather will bring big-time experience to the team. At East Tennessee State, he led the Buccaneers to an NCAA Tournament berth as a No. 13 seed, and went on to finish runner-up in the annual College Slam Dunk Contest during Final Four Weekend.   The Medon, Tenn., native earned his degree in construction engineering.

Porter “Primetime” Maberry joins a Globetrotters roster loaded with world class dunkers. This 5-foot-5 high-flier did not take the conventional path to get to the Globetrotters. Bypassing college, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native held several jobs before trying his hand on the dunking circuit. It was there that he found his calling in basketball. He made it to the TV program, “Dunk Kings,” where he leapt over NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal to take come the $100,000 prize in front of a national audience.

Rookie Chandler “Bulldog” Mackjoins the Harlem Globetrotters looking to fill the shoes of his brother, while also carrying on his legacy. Mack’s older brother, Chris “Flash” Richardson tragically passed away in 2008 during an overseas Globetrotters tour. Since that moment, Mack has dedicated his life to basketball, becoming a standout in Alabama prep hoops, helping Madison Academy win a state championship, before moving on to Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee. As a freshman with the Lions, he averaged 10.2 points in 22 games, shooting over 52 percent from the floor. He also led the team in dunks, a feat which his brother would’ve been proud of.  Mack is known for his high-flying dunks.

The final member of the rookie class, Cherelle “Torch” George will be the fourth woman to suit up for the Globetrotters in 2018, joining an exclusive club as the 16th female player in team history. Beginning at age 4, when her mother bought her first basketball hoop, she has been obsessed with the sport since. Before transferring to Purdue University, she spent two seasons at Iowa Western Community College, where she scored 1,183 points, including a single-game performance of 48 points. Modeling her game after NBA legend Allen Iverson, the 5-foot-3 hooper has always subscribed to the notion that size doesn’t matter.

The first-year players will join a star-studded roster featuring Ant Atkinson, BigEasy Lofton, Hi-Lite Bruton, Hammer Harrison, Cheese Chisholm, Thunder Law, Firefly Fisher, Ace Jackson, TNT  Lister and Hoops Green as the Globetrotters tip-off their 2018 “Amazing Feats of Basketball” World Tour on Dec.7 and will play in over 250 North American markets, as well as 30 countries worldwide. Tickets are now available at harlemglobetrotters.com.

The Harlem Globetrotters® are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 91 years. 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 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. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the Globetrotters' official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com and follow them on Twitter @Globies.