Iowa High School Cross Country Runner Zach Hougland Earns Recognition as "Junior Phenom"

(PHOENIX, Oct. 27, 2015) – The Harlem Globetrotters have recognized Davis County of Bloomfield (Iowa) cross country runner Zach Hougland as a Junior Phenom for coming to the aid of a fellow runner – an act that cost Hougland his first place finish in the district meet this past Thursday.

Hougland had already finished first in the race when he noticed Garret Hinson of Mediapolis on the ground, looking dehydrated and holding his chest. Seeing no one coming to Hinson’s aid, Hougland helped Hinson up and to within a few steps of the finish line. Hougland was disqualified under the rules of the Iowa High School Athletic Association that state no runner can help or receive aid from another runner.

Hinson – who was also disqualified from the race – was later treated at a hospital for dehydration and released.

Despite the disqualification, Hougland – who is receiving an outpouring of support for his selfless act – will still get to compete in the state meet in Fort Dodge on Saturday, as his team scored enough points to qualify. 

“Zach’s display of compassion exemplifies the spirit of the Harlem Globetrotters, and we commend Zach for putting the needs of a fellow human being before his own,” said Globetrotters star Scooter Christensen.

Celebrating 90 years of providing smiles, sportsmanship and service to millions of people worldwide, the Harlem Globetrotters will bring their unrivaled family show to the following Iowa cities in April during their 2016 World Tour:

April 5, Cedar Rapids

April 6, Dubuque

April 7, Cedar Falls

April 10, Des Moines

April 11, Marshalltown

April 12, Fort Dodge

For specific game times and venues, and to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

Known as the Ambassadors of Goodwill™, the Globetrotters look for stories of amazing kids who spread their own goodwill and demonstrate traits like helping others, assisting in the community, outstanding teamwork and being positive role models. The Globetrotters Junior Phenom Award is the team’s way of saying, “Thank you,” and applauding those individuals who go above and beyond.

CLICK HERE to nominate a youngster or a group of youngsters for the Globetrotters’ Junior Phenom Award.

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.