|Jonte "Too Tall" Hall|
Jonte Hall has been signed to the Harlem Globetrotters and will begin playing during the 2012 world tour, which kicks off on December 26th.
As is accustomed with the Globetrotters, Jonte has adopted a nickname (the Generals are so awesome their players don't need nick names.) So as of December 2011, Jonte will be known as "Too Tall" Hall.
Hall is being billed as the smallest Globetrotter ever at 5'2". Although, everything I have seen about him in the past list him as 5'3".
Jonte joined the Washington Generals a season and a half ago, near the end of the 2010 World Tour. He joined during the international leg, a common place for the Generals to "test out" new players.
Jonte formerly played basketball for Catonsville Community College in Marilynd. He also briefly played with the now defunct Baltimore Pearls of the ABA.
Jonte is not the first Washington General to make the jump to the Harlem Globetrotters. Joining such former General and Globetrotter greats as long time Globetrotter Donald "Clyde" Sinclair, Frank Stephens who played with the Globetrotters during their prime in the 60's and 70's. Not to mention current Globetrotter, Dizzy Grant. Who played for the New York Nationals in their final season before joining the Globetrotters.
Here is hoping a long and successful career with the Globetrotters for Jonte Hall.
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For those who are curious, here is a quick rundown of the other nine future rivals of the Washington Generals.
Jacob "Hops" Tucker - Some of you may remember Jacob Tucker from winning the Denny's Slam Dunk Contest.
Out of Illinois College, Jacob's performance at the Slam Dunk Contest, not to mention his insane 50ft vertical leap, got him drafted by the Globetrotters.
Of all the draft picks for 2011, Tucker was the one who was most vocal about being interested. So his joining is the least surprising. Regardless, anyone who has seen the videos of him dunking on YouTube knows that he was taylor made for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Paul "Tiny" Sturgess - Really? "Tiny"? They are nicknaming their tallest player ever "Tiny". I get the joke, don't get me wrong. I am just disappointing they went with such a predictable nickname.
Regardless, Sturgess was also part of the 2011 Globetrotter draft. I am a bit more surprised by him, although he would have been my second choice to join from the draft.I kind of thought he would get a good minor league or overseas contract based on his size alone. Their loss is the Globetrotters gain though, and the Generals nightmare.
Strugess hails from Loughborough, England and played previously for Mountain State University in West Virginia.
On an interesting note, Strugess is the only rookie to not be shown in the promotional photos of the new class. He also has a broken link on his profile at the Globetrotters page. I don't know if he was a late choice, they are going to do some "unveil the giant" kind of thing, or the link is simply broken.
Strugess was the tallest player ever in the NCAA and will become the tallest Harlem Globetrotter in the teams history at a whopping 7'8". The Generals better bring a ladder.
Darnell "Spider" Wilks - Wilks is the third draft pick to make the team. I could be wrong because I often am, but I think this is the first time three draft picks actually went on to play for the Globetrotters.
Considering the other draft pics were a 13 year old who won't be playing for another 10 years or so (if he chooses to join at that time), a soccer star, and a guy who was shortly after drafted by the Lakers, Wilks was the only other draft pick really in the running to end up on the Globetrotters.
Still, a lot of critics sited how the draft was "mostly for show" so with half the draft picks ending up playing for the Trotters they are welcome to give their critics a big "suck it!"
Wilks previously played for the University of Cincinnati and was a runner up in the Slam Dunk Contest.
John "Jett" Williams - Yet another participant in the Slam Dunk Contest, which as you might guess is a favorite of the Globetrotters to recruit from. For obvious reasons.
Williams previously played for UNC-Asheville where he led the team in blocks during his senior year and was second in rebounding.
While he has not gotten as much attention as some of the more "flashy" draft picks, Williams is definitley going to be one to watch. I think after when it is all said and done, and everyone has finished their careers with the Trotters, Jett might be the breakaway star of the draft.
Fatima "TNT" Maddox - Previously playing for Temple University, Maddox is only the 9th women to ever play for the Globetrotters, and is the first women to play for the team in 19 years.
I had heard that Fatima was at the training camp but was halfway convinced it was just a rumor. After 19 years, I kind of figured that women playing for the Trotters and Generals might have becom a thing of the past.
I also figured Maddox would make the WNBA if she ever were to play in the states. Of course, I am not sure the Trotters don't pay better, although that's sad if it's true.
Maddox previously played for Temple, where she led them to a Atlantic 10 Tournament Title in 2006, and also played basketball in Sweeden.
Maddox is also very good with the 3-point shots. Given that I haven't ever really seen her dunk, I am betting she will be scoring a lot of 4-point shots for the trotters in 2012.
Patrick "Flip" Atkins - Flip may be only 5'9" but when he played for Trinity International University, he led the team in assist, steals and rebounds in his senior year. Not someone to be trifled with.
Atkins is also a former member of the Jesse White Tumbers, who are no strangers to a basketball court themselves, regularly performing during halftime at many NBA and NCAA games.
Jermaine "Stretch" Middleton - I really don't know much about Middleton. He is being billed as the third tallest player in Globetrotter history at 7'4" putting him behind Sturgess and Globetrotter Dut Mayar.
The Generals might want to bring two ladders!
Quade "Quake" Milum - A former player for the University of Akron, Milum is also a former high school High Jump Champion. He competed in High Jump at Akron as well as basketball.
In Akron he ranks eigth in blocked shots for a career, and tied for 9th in blocked shots for a season. Looks like once more the Generals will have to pick their shots carefully as they won't be allowed many mistakes.
Anthony "Biggie" McClain - McClain is a former teammate of Wilks at University of Cincinnati. During his time there, McClain led the Bearcats in field goal percentages this last season.
I'm kind of surprised by this one. I haven't seen McClain play much, but he doesn't strike me as the kind of player the Trotters would normally recruit.
He is tall at 7 feet, but he never really did a lot of dunks or anything "fancy" that I know of. I'm curious to see how they use him.
So there you have it, the latest batch of rookies for the Globetrotters. It is definitley an eclectic group, who along with the returning Trotters is likely to give the Generals plenty of grief.
Is does seem unlikely that this will be the year the boys in Green and Gold finally score an elusive win, although I live in hope. But I have no doubt that the Generals will do what they truly do best, help elevate Hall and the rest of the rookies game to the next level. Which is where they truly shine.
Lets just hope that Hall doesn't share too many of the Washington Generals insider secrets in the locker room talk. Seriously, don't they already have enough to overcome?