As special as the Harlem Globetrotters’ visit to McGuirk Arena was to fans Tuesday night, the experience might have meant more to the basketball heroes themselves.
“The fans here are amazing,” said Chris “Handles” Franklin, a member of the world-renowned performers. “This is a great state for basketball and the fans are really friendly. I enjoy performing for the fans, everyone has been so nice and it’s been a great experience.”
The event, part of the team’s “Fans Rule World Tour,” was everything a Globetrotters fan could hope to see. The Globetrotters provided a festive affair with audience interaction and crowd enthusiasm highlighting the evening.
Perhaps the most entertaining of the group was its leader, Franklin, who wore a live microphone throughout the night that added to the fan interaction.
Besides the on-court antics of the team, the Globetrotters stuck to their dedication to entertaining fans. Standing outside of one of the many entrances to the gym, Franklin posed for pictures with young fans and their families.
As a theme of the tour, an online campaign allowed fans to go to the Globetrotters’ website and vote on trick shots they wanted to see throughout the night. Fans could even write the rules for certain portions of the game.
The constant fan interaction, along with frequent appearances from the Globetrotter’s mascot, “Globie,” put the McGuirk Arena crowd in good spirits, despite the harsh winter conditions outside.
After the game, the gym floor was roped off, and each Globetrotter took a spot along the rope. Hundreds of fans swarmed to get autographs and to pose for pictures with their favorite players.
Among these players was James “Jet” Williams.
“We didn’t have as many people because of the weather, but they still made it sound like there was about 3,000 people in here tonight,” Williams said. “Mount Pleasant is a smaller crowd, but they’re still really enthused and they don’t take it for granted and that’s something that we always enjoy.”
Now with stops in Grand Rapids and Mount Pleasant, the Globetrotters embarked on another Michigan destination for Wednesday night in Birch Run.