CHICAGO (CBS) — The Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their unique blend of basketball and comedy back home to the Chicago-area this week.
Founded by Chicagoan Abe Saperstein, the Globetrotters began in the 1920s as a team for African-Americans who otherwise were barred from professional basketball.
Nowadays, Special K Daley is the team’s main showman.
“Abe Saperstein wanted to give the illusion that this team traveled all over the world,” Daley said. “That’s why he named them ‘The Globetrotters.’
“But, at that time, we weren’t traveling all over the world. He also wanted them people to know that this was an African-American team so he named it Harlem because at that time, Harlem was known for African-American entertainment.”
Daley’s teammate, Tiny Sturgess, originally from England, towers over everyone at 7 feet 8 inches.
“Getting in a car is quite difficult for me. Airplane travel is sometimes quite difficult but the airlines are quite accommodating to us.
“Just the doorways and stuff like that – just the things that you guys take for granted – is pretty difficult for me, but it’s everyday for me now.”
The Harlem Globetrotters have two performances this Friday at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.