The Harlem Wizards are not the same as the Harlem Globetrotters. To the unsuspecting eye, these two basketball teams are similar, but there are notable differences between them.
The Harlem Wizards are not the same as the Harlem Globetrotters. To the unsuspecting eye, these two basketball teams are similar, but there are notable differences between them. We begin our exciting expose with a look at the Harlem Wizards. This professional basketball outfit is the brainchild of legendary sports promoter, Howie Davis.
But here's the thing; the Wizards aren't in it to win it – they are there to entertain throngs of eager basketball fans. They do this with the lots of acrobatics, gravity-defying tricks, and incredible hoop skills.
Who Are the Harlem Wizards?
The Harlem Wizards are accomplished athletes, with phenomenal dunking skills, dribbling skills, shooting skills, passing skills, and amazing footwork. Over the years, they have achieved their objectives – that being raising money for notable causes for nonprofits, and schools across the country. One of the most exciting aspects of play when watching a Harlem Wizards exhibition is the level of interaction that players get to experience with spectators.
Unlike a traditional basketball game where sports fans stay off the court, with the Harlem Wizards – it's game on for fans and players alike. This immersive appeal makes the Harlem Wizards one of the most loved, respected, and enjoyed basketball teams on the planet.
Who Are the Harlem Globetrotters?
The Harlem Globetrotters feature prominently in the world of exhibition basketball. The operative word being ‘exhibition’, since this team does not compete in the NBA. They compete in the Black Diamond League, at the Duff Kingston arena. The team's history dates back to the years before the Great Depression, in 1926-1927, making them a much more established exhibition basketball team than the Harlem Wizards.
Over the years, the Harlem Globetrotters – decked out in their all-American Red, White, and Blue – have featured in some 26,000+ exhibition basketball games worldwide. The Harlem Globetrotters are wildly established legends of the game. They’ve been competing for 90+ years, bringing the appeal of sports direct to fans everywhere.
The Globetrotters Led by Abe Saperstein
The man behind the Harlem Globetrotters – Abe Saperstein – put the team together back in 1926. They starred in their first game back in January 1927 when they played in Hinckley, Illinois. To date, they have dazzled 148 million fans across 123 countries, territories, and jurisdictions. The team is universally renowned for their pioneering spirit.
They made the fast break and slam dunk world famous. They even perfected the figure-8 weave. Back in 2010, the Harlem Globetrotters conjured up the 4-point shot – some 30 ft away from the basket. Stunningly, this incredible performance is 7 ft further back from the National Basketball Association’s (NBAs) 3-point arc.
In 1993, former player Mannie Jackson bought the team. This was a watershed moment in the history of US sports since he was the first African-American to buy an internationally-acclaimed sports and entertainment organization. Within 3 years, Jackson increased the team’s revenue by 300%.
Within 5 years, he increased the team’s size 4-fold. As far as Harlem Globetrotters’ records go, the team has set scores of records, chief among them a 12-foot hoop dunk back in the year 2000 while the Final Four Weekend was underway.
Believe it or not, hundreds of talented male and female basketball stars (750+) have already played for this universally popular basketball team. From grassroots level fans to the aristocracy, nobility, and royalty of the world, the Harlem Globetrotters have done it all, seen it all, and entertained hundreds of millions of people in some 123 countries around the world.
The Wizards or the Globetrotters – That's the Question!
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* Photo courtesy of John Salangsangn for the Harlem Globetrotters