Sunday, July 31, 2011

Washington Generals Top Players: Derick "Dizzy" Grant

Before he was entertaining YouTube users with impressions of basketball greats, or nailing 4-point shots, he was a New York National.

I am talking about none other than current Globetrotter Derick "Dizzy" Grant.

Born December 3rd of 1982, Derick first saw the Washington Generals play the Globetrotters when he was 7 years old. Little did he know he would one day be part of the show, playing for both teams at different times.

Indeed, Grant has stated in interviews that many people told him he wasn't good enough to make it as a basketball player. But Derick set out to prove them all wrong.

Indeed, Derick eventually went on to play for the College of New Jersey. While playing there, Derick was a first team all-conference selection in both his junior and senior year. Grant also was the New Jersey Athletic Conference player of the year during his senior year.

Among his other college accomplishments, Grant led the league in scoring for his senior year with 20.8 points per game. In addition his 1542 points are the second highest in his school's history and he ranked third in the conference in 3-pointers made per game. The last turned out to be a sign of things to come.

After graduating in 2005, Derick proved the critics wrong when they said he could never make it as a pro-basketball player by being recruited by the New York Nationals, the name the Washington Generals were going by at the time. Among his team mates were other notable Nationals, Shawn Faust (one of the few players to play for both the Nationals and Generals) and future elite basketball trainer Michael Atkinson.

After playing a season for the Nationals, Globetrotters owner Manny Jackson liked what he saw, and Grant was "traded" to the Harlem Globetrotters. Derick took on the name "Dizzy" and has been with the Globetrotters ever since.

One of the more popular current Globetrotter players, Dizzy has also gained a cult following with his recent YouTube videos where he impersonates NBA players.

Dizzy made Globetrotter history in December of 2010 when he scored the first ever 4-point shot in a game against the Generals at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which aired nationally on ESPN2. Both the ball, and the 4-point circle he scored the shot from, have since become immortalized in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

From being told he couldn't make it, to being part of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Dizzy has shown he has the heart of a champion. Whether he wears the colors of a New York National or a Harlem Globetrotter.

Related Links

DIZZY'S GLOBETROTTER PROFILE

"DIZZY" SPINNING AROUND THE GLOBE WITH HISTORIC TEAM

LIFELONG HOOP DREAMS COME TRUE FOR HARLEM GLOBETROTTER

Friday, July 29, 2011

Buckets Blake to Promote Games in Willwood from August 10 -13

With the Argentina and China tours over the Washington Generals will be off this week, before heading out to play in the Willwood Convention Center the week after.

That will be the Generals first game in the US since I started this blog. While I appreciate how much both teams do all over the world, it is nice to finally see them "come home" as it were.

Since there is no schedule I wanted to share some appearances Buckets Blake will be making to promote the games in Willwood.

Friday, July 29 at 1 p.m.
At the Splash Zone Water Park, 3500 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ
Buckets will be shooting basketballs into Giant Water Bucket

Friday, July 29 at 7 p.m.
At the Ocean City Library, 1735 Simpson Avenue, Ocean City, NJ
Features Story Time with Buckets Free Admission

Saturday, July 30 at 1 p.m.
 Gateway 26 Arcade, 26th & The Boardwalk, North Wildwood, NJ
Fans meet Buckets, free admissions.

Saturday, July 30 at 4 p.m.
Byrne Community Center, 401 W. Youngs Ave, Wildwood, NJ
For a free basketball clinic (first of two clinics) and is free to kids ages 6-12

Saturday, July 30 at 6 p.m.
At Tony Luke’s, 6200 New Jersey Ave, Wildwood Crest, NJ
Bucket will be searing up Tony Luke’s famous Cheesesteaks

Saturday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m. (before Bennie and the Jets take the stage)
Centennial Park, 6700 Ocean Ave, Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260
Where Buckets performs at the Crest Summer Concert Series, Free admission

Sunday, July 31 at 5 p.m.
Scoop Taylor Park (outside), 5800 Ocean Ave, Wildwood Crest, NJ
For a free basketball clinic (second of two clinics) for kids ages 6-12.

If you are in the area and have any little Globetrotter fans, or even better little Washington Generals fans, be sure to take them to meet Buckets. Just remember, be respectful. Fun is the first order of business, and not all fans realise who the REAL stars of the Washington Generals / Harlem Globetrotters games are. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Randomness Week 11

Washington Generals vs The Harlem Globetrotters in
Nintendo 64 action. 
First off, I recently heard that Brian Tracey, of Bentley University was drafted by the Washington Generals. Good luck to Tracey in what will undoubtedly be the start of some great memories touring with the Globetrotters. Maybe he will even help bring the Generals to their next win. What? It could happen!

Yahoo! Answers had someone ask the question "Should the Washington Generals basketball team release a movie called "The Undefeated" like Sarah Palin?" Palin haters might like to read some of the responses, I especially liked the one that pointed out that the Generals actually have a better track record than she does. CLICK HERE!

I reported a while back about former General Chris Poore, being named the coach of Scott High School after replacing their existing coach. Turns out Poore apparently got a better offer, as he was named the head coach of Jefferson County High School, coaching the Patriots. To read more CLICK HERE!

A lot of the Washington Generals recent series of games at the Obras in Argentina has been making it's way to YouTube. But the stand out comes from YouTube user jmzurdo8916. A good chuck of coverage from one of the games at the Orbas has made it onto his channel, with well over an hour of footage from the game, including the warm ups and the first ten minutes of game play, as well as clips from the rest of the game. Below is a list of the clips.


While not the entire game as you can see that was definitley the highlights. Thanks to Jmzurdo8916 for sharing so much of the game. While the footage was not in English as is often pointed out for a Generals vs Globetrotters game, laughter is universal. Which is definitley shown here.

And to close off the post, here is a clip from a different game in Orbas on July 22nd featuring Special K teasing the Generals before the game starts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The New Coach - A Washington Generals Parody From Funny or Die

I just got an e-mail directing me to an epicly funny video.

"The New Coach" is a video from Funny or Die made by Sean Kearney and Mark Saul. It is a parody of various inspirational sports teams, starring none other than our favorite group of underdogs, The Washington Generals.

Although they get the time and location wrong (hey, it says "based on" a true story), it is a funny look at what might have happened in the locker room during the Washington  Generals infamous win.

I encourage everyone to give it a watch, I think you all will be happy you did. And if you liked it GO HERE to comment on and rate the video.


Monday, July 25, 2011

An Awesome Video Of The Generals and Trotters

For today's update I am sharing a video I found, and love, that features a look at some of the best of the Globetrotters moments.

This video, features a musical montage of some of the Harlem Globetrotters greatest moments from their early days all the way to the late 80's. There is a version of this that has been on YouTune for a long time. But unlike the YouTube version, which only features the first 10 minutes this video is the full, almost half hour version.

Not surprisingly this video is all about the Globetrotters. But as anyone can tell you, you can't show a video of the best moments of the Globetrotters without showing their dancing partners for the majority of their existence. There are even a few shots of the Generals making baskets, which is rare in such videos.

It features everything from clips from public appearances and interacting with the fans, but the bulk of the video is shots of the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals doing what the do best. Performing impressive trick shots and comedy that will make anyone laugh.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Best of the Guest Generals: Mark Winnie

While having a TV news reporter as a Guest General is certainly nothing new, Mark Winnie is still something of an anomaly among the Guest Generals.

Most guest Generals who come from TV are sports reporters, or the main anchor men. Sometimes they are morning show host as well or people who handle fluff pieces. Which is logical, a Washington Generals game is definitley not hard hitting news. But on 2009 in Atlanta, GA Mark Winnie found a way to break the mold.

A reporter out of Atlanta, Mark Winnie is best known for covering hard hitting crime stories in the area. First with the news papers, and then eventually on TV with WSBTV.

But on that night Mark took a break from covering the ugly side of the news, and became part of one of the best nights of family entertainment on earth. Donning the "00" he tried, without success of course, to help the Washington Generals get that elusive win.

But what I loved most about his time with the Washington Generals was the almost obligatory article he did afterwards.

Mark focused his coverage not on himself, or on the Globetrotters. No, Mark devoted his coverage to my favorite team, the Washington Generals. He even went so far as to give a mention to each member of the team he played with.

It is no secret that I respect the Washington Generals for working just as hard as the Trotters, without taking the glory. So seeing a reporter show that same appreciation definitley made me smile.

You can CLICK HERE to read the article. For one night Mark Winnie let the Washington Generals take center stage.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Washington Generals Top Players: Herman Schayes

Schayes (Right) as a Texas Cowboy.
Born in 1933 to Romanian Immigrants, Herman Schayes came from a family of basketball greats.

His older brother, Adolph "Dolph" Schayes, was an NBA great and basketball hall of famer, who played for the Syracuse Nationals (later the Philadelphia 76ers) for 16 years. Dolph's son Danny also played in the NBA for a whopping 18 years.

Some would say with a lineage like this, the 6-3 Schayes would seem a likely candidate for the NBA himself. And while basketball did define his life the same way it did his brother. Fate had different plans for Herman Schayes.

Herman started playing basketball in DeWitt Clinton High School until his senior year, when the city banned extra after school activities. With no team but a desire to play, Schayes and a group of neighborhood boys formed their own team playing in city parks, police leagues, or anywhere else they could.

With the help of his brother, Herman earned a scholarship in 1951 to what is now known as Colorado State University. He eventually transferred to Hofstra University in New York to be closer to home.

During the Summer after transferring to Hofstra, Herman played basketball for upscale hotels in the area. At the time it was common for such hotels to draft college players to play games, as a means of entertaining the guests.

During this time Schayes met hotel athletic director William "Red" Holzman, a friend of Red Klotz. Holzman asked the young player if he was interested in playing against the Harlem Globetrotters.

At the time, as the NBA was still struggling, The Globetrotters were considered the best there was in basketball. So Schayes jumped at the chance to be part of their legacy, even if it was as their opponent and foil. So it was that in 1954 Herman Schayes became the newest member of the Washington Generals.

Schayes played with the Generals from 1954 to 1959. But ironically, his most notable contribution to the team was playing as a member of the Texas Cowboys, one of the Generals many alter egos over the years.

The all white Cowboys persona was invented for a 98 game European tour in 1956. The Cowboys wore leather jackets with fringes and cowboy hats. Playing up the cowboy gimmick for the European crowd.

The team was advertised on the tour as a team equal to the Globetrotters in skill and experience. A team that seldom ever lost in the US, but had never faced the Harlem Globetrotters prior to the European tour. This was in actuality a fabrication, created to build up suspense for the games.

But no matter what the publicity claimed, the Texas Cowboys were still Washington Generals underneath. The Cowboys lost all 98 of their games during the tour, but they did help the Globetrotters bring laughter and an escape to a country still sober from World War II. Because as I said, they were still Washington Generals underneath.

Schayes returned to the states once the tour was over, and shortly thereafter he earned a tryout with the Syracuse Nationals, the team his brother belonged to. Unfortunately, he was drafted into the army later that same year in 1956 and never learned if he was good enough to play for the NBA.

Herman spent most of his time while enlisted playing in the Army's basketball league before returning to the Washington Generals in 1958. The same year Wilt Chamberlain joined the Globetrotters.

Shayes left the Generals in 1959, and took on several jobs; including managing a bowling alley, selling insurance, managing a health and beauty store.

After retirement, the former world traveler found himself feeling restless and took on a job as an athletic director in Springbrook Hospital in Florida. There he deals with patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease, alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and schizophrenia. Helping people who, like him and the teammates he once traveled the world with, were wrongfully dismissed as losers themselves.

Herman Schayes never made it to the NBA. But in many ways he was the real winner.

He was part of the Globetrotter legacy at a time when the Trotters were the pinnacle of basketball. And while he may have spent his 6 years on the team as a "loser" on the court, Shayes has said in interviews he never saw himself as a loser in life.

Indeed, Shayes made his mark in the legacy that the Washington Generals and the Harlem Globetrotters have built together. He will never follow his brother into the Basketball Hall Of Fame. But when all is said and done, Herman Schayes became his own kind of superstar.

Related Links.
 
"Athletic Director No Stranger To Losing" - St. Petersburg Times

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Playing Schedule For The Week Of 7/24/11-7/30/11

And once again it is that time, as I give you guys the schedule for the Washington Generals games next week.

The Generals finish up their games in the Orbas arena before continuing their tour of Argentine before making a stop at Paraguay.

The schedule is as follows

7/24/11 - At the Obras, in Buenos Aries, Argentina at 3:30PM - BUY TICKETS
7/24/11 - At the Obras, in Buenos Aries, Argentina at 7:30PM - BUY TICKETS

7/25/11 - At the Estadio Delmi in Salta, Argentina at 9:00PM 
7/27/11 - At the Coliseo Don Bosco in Sunchales, Argentina at 8:30PM
7/28/11 - At the Club Echague in Parana, Argentina at 9:00PM
7/29/11 - At the Club Regatas in Corrientes, Argentina at 7:00PM
7/30/11 - At the Leon Condu in Asuncion, Paraguay at 7:00PM

If you will be in the area during any of these games than as usual I encourage you to go down and show your support for the Washington Generals. 

And on a final note, speaking of the Obras, here is a video a fan took of "Globetrotter Football" at the Obras. 

If anyone knows what the heck that is in the lower right hand corner feel free to tell me also. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Randomness Week 10

Copyright © by Mark and Andrea Busse.
Used under Creative Commons.
YouTube user Sebaroxx got some great footage of the game last Wednesday in Sante Fe, Argentina, including the Washington Generals entrance. Coincidentally, he didn't post the Harlem Globetrotters entrance. Clearly he knows who the REAL stars are. The videos are HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!


Cape Community News has a story on the Washington Generals playing four games against the Globetrotters in Willwood, NJ from August 10th-13th. Not much news aside from Big Easy being scheduled to lead the Globetrotters, although it does also contain ordering information. To read the article CLICK HERE! 

Ovacion Online has a story on the Globetrotters visit to Mendoza. It is not in english but even if you can't read it, it has some great pictures of the game. CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Three Types Of Washington Generals Fans

Copyright © by CameliaTWU. All Rights
Reserved. Used under Creative Commons.
I have some people that when I tell them about the blog, they are surprised that I get as many hits as I do. And by that I mean they are surprised I get any hits at all.

The Washington Generals are not meant to attract a huge legion of fans. The people behind the scenes go to great lengths to keep that very thing from happening.

But the truth is that while their fans are dwarfed by Globetrotter fans, much like many of the Washington Generals players are dwarfed by the Globetrotter players, the Generals most definitley do have a following. 

So what kind of people root for a team that always loses and can't keep the opposition from pulling their pants down? It is my opinion that Washington Generals fans fall into three categories. 

1.) The "Globetrotters Cheat" fans - These fans are the ones who like to point out how the Trotters bully the Generals, how they travel with the ball constantly, how the officials suck at their job. These fans are of the same breed that like cheering for the "heels" in professional wrestling. 

They obviously know that the Trotters behaving like they do beacause this is one big show, but get a kick out of cheering for the "bad guys" and pointing out the obvious flaws. But they do it all in fun, although some cross into the "obnoxiously cheering" category ,which is juvenile and uncool considering how many kids hear them badmouthing their heroes for no reason.

2.) The fans who see the Generals for what they "truly are" - This is the category I see myself falling into. These are the fans who know and respect that the Washington Generals may never win another game, but they admire the players willingness to do anything to help the Globetrotters entertain the fans, even if it means being the butt of their jokes. And they are the fans that appreciate that even though they don't "win" these are clearly great athletes who obviously love the game they are playing.

3.) The Underdog Lovers - A lot of people like to root for the underdog, in a lot of ways it is the American way. The Washington Generals are the ultimate underdog. In fact, I think the only team in sports to win fewer games than the Generals is Charlie Brown's baseball team. 

The Generals are unique in that they are one of the few "unlovable underdogs" to most people. But there are plenty of people who still respond to that underdog, and for them the Washington Generals is a team taylor made for those people. 

However, I have found some traits that I think are common place with any and all of us Washington Generals fans. 

We all like to buck the trends. Anyone can cheer for the Globetrotters but it takes a special person to root for someone you know going in won't win. It doesn't mean you respect the Globetrotters less, but there is something to be said for proving you can form your own opinion. 

The other thing I think is common to all Washington Generals fans is that deep down, we all want to see or hear of the next big win. Yes we all know it may never happen, but I think no matter which camp you fall into all Washington Generals fan's know how epic it will be when/if our boys can pull off a win one more time. 

You thought it was insane when it happened after 18 years of the Generals playing the Trotters? Imagine how big it will be when it happens after over 40 years, and with the internet to ensure it will not go un-noticed until the Trotters decide to tell us about it?

It will be epic! And I think deep down every Generals fan goes into a game thinking that maybe, just maybe, this will be the day and they will be able to see it. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Best of the Guest Generals: OMG Mike

OMG Mike is a former cast member of the "Paul and Young Ron Show", a morning radio program broadcast on WZZR-FM in the West Palm Beach radio market, Sun 103.1 in Key Largo and Sun 99.5 in Key West.

OMG was well known for doing many stunts on the show at the instructions of host Paul Castronovo and "Young" Ron Brewe. These included being put in front of big puddles on roads with heavy traffic, auditioning for American Idol, and being gunned down in a paintball gauntlet.

But it was in 2008, at the Bank Atlantic Center in Fort Lauderdale that OMG got the call for his next stunt. To play with the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters.

OMG did NOT have an impressive showing as a player, but he tried hard. The reason he is in this entry, much like many Guest Generals who didn't play a spectacular basketball game, is his video.

With a few exceptions (such as The Butler Bulldogs, Michaela Johnson, and Necholas Stokes) most Guest Generals have little to no basketball experience and often are not in peak physical shape to boot.

Pretty much all the guest Generals have fun with the irony, that in reality the last thing any team trying to break a losing streak would do is recruit one of them.

But the difference between OMG and most Guest Generals, is most of his peers will use this to make jokes about seemingly being oblivious to how bad they are. OMG chose a different route of self depreciating humor and pretty much acknowledged the fact his short stature was not going to do the Generals any good in the game.

His video also gave ample camera time to coach Reggie Harrison and then team captain Shawn Faust. The Washington Generals get very little moments to shine, and even a lot of Guest Generals spend most of their time in covering their stint as a Guest General by focusing on the Trotters.

That is understandable, they are the featured act after all. But I got a soft spot for any guest General who is willing to use their time to give Generals players their 15 minutes.

Plus, we now know the luxurious dressing rooms the Guest Generals are provided. It pays to be famous.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Washington Generals Top Players: Sean McCartney

Photo courtesy of Sean McCartney.
Used with permission.
Whether it is as a Washington General, a basketball coach, a teacher or a writer, Sean McCartney seemed destined to help entertain and mold young people.

Born in 1971 (the year the New Jersey Red's shocked the world!), Sean McCartney first started playing basketball at Glen Oak High school, before graduating and attending college at Alfred University in upstate New York. Where he also played basketball.

McCartney graduated from Alfred in 1993 with a bachelors in Communications. From there he was recruited to play for the Washington Generals and went on to play two seasons with the team. His second season was the last one the team played as the Generals before changing their name to the New York Nationals.

After completing his second tour with the team, Sean returned to Alfred where he earned his masters degree in Education and began to find his true calling as a teacher. The man who had pent two years helping the Globetrotters make kids laugh was now helping shape them for the future.

Sean became a teacher and for a while coached basketball at, ironically enough,Washington High School. He taught at Glenwood Middle School in Plain Township, OH and currently is employed at Plain Local Schools in Canton, OH.

But during his teaching career Sean turned to his other love, writing.

He began writing a series of books called the "Treasure Hunters Club". A young adult series about a teenage boy and his famous treasure hunting uncle. The books are considered a cross between Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys and Indiana Jones. The teams world travels are likely inspired by McCartney's own two years of traveling around the world himself as a General.

His first book, "Secrets of the Magical Medalions" came out in July of 2010, it was successful enough to warrant a second book in May 7th 2011, titled "Breaking the Beal Code".

Whether he is teaching kids in the classroom, or helping them discover the joys of reading as an author, Sean has spent most of his adult life in one way or another inspiring youngsters and helping them bring out their full potential. In that sense, he exemplifies some of the best things that a Washington General stands for.

Check out the trailer for "Breaking the Beale Code"

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekly Playing Schedule For The Week Of 7/17/11 - 07/23/11

It's time once again for the schedule for the next weeks Washington Generals' games.

It is an exciting week as the tour of China comes to a close. Meanwhile the Argentina tour plays their first five of the eight games scheduled at the Obras, in Buenos Aries.

The schedule is as follows...

7/17/11 - At the Andes Talleres in Mendoza, Argentina at 6:30PM
7/17/11 - At the Xuchang Professional Skills Academy Stadium in Xuchang, China at 7:30PM
7/19/11 - At the Guangxi Arena in Nanning, China at 7:30PM

7/20/11 - At the Guangxi Arena in Nanning, China at 7:30PM
7/20/11 - At the Obras, in Buenos Aries, Argentina at 8:00PM - BUY TICKETS
7/21/11 - At the Jiangnan Arena in Chongging, China at 8:00PM
7/21/11 - At the Obras, in Buenos Aries, Argentina at 8:00PM - BUY TICKETS
7/22/11 - At the Obras, in Buenos Aries, Argentina at 4:30PM - BUY TICKETS
7/22/11 - At the Obras, in Buenos Aries, Argentina at 8:00PM - BUY TICKETS
7/23/11 - At the Obras, in Buenos Aries, Argentina at 5:00PM - BUY TICKETS
7/23/11 - At the Obras, in Buenos Aries, Argentina at 8:00PM - BUY TICKETS

Man, I wish the Washington Generals would play that many games in a row in Oklahoma City. I would plan my vacation around that!

If you are in or will be in China or Buenos, Aries at the time I encourage you to go down and support the Washington Generals. As they work hard to entertain people so far from home.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Going Slightly Off Topic To Talk About Jordan McCabe

I put off posting about this for a while since it was not truly about the Washington Generals, but it isn't like the Harlem Globetrotters play for a different basketball league. So I decided to make an exception and jump slightly off topic. The perks of running your own blog.

Since the recent Globetrotter Draft I have been watching some videos of Jordan McCabe and I got to say this kid amazes me. I sense that we are seeing the birth of something huge every time I watch him.

For those who don't know or didn't read my report on the draft, Jordan McCabe is a 12 year old basketball prodigy. He caught national attention when a video featuring him performing dribbling tricks went viral. The video is below for anyone who hasn't seen it.


 It also caught the attention of at least one pro-basketball team. The Harlem Globetrotters.

Exercising what they call a "Future Discovery Clause" the Globetrotters have basically told McCabe that he has a job with the Globetrotters once he is out of college, if he wants it.

Some call this a publicity stunt due to Jordan currently enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. Truth is, I don't think they are completely wrong. But I also think they saw what I am seeing, a future superstar in the making. I honestly think their "drafting" of him could be a moot point, as they may lose him to the NBA in 10 years.

Now I know what most of you are thinking, "Sure he can dribble, but so what? Can he actually play?" Well hypothetical cynics, for that proof I give you the video below.


Still think he can't play ball? And what is even more amazing is how many of those were assist. He is definitley  not a ball hog, which someone so young and so good could have easily turned into.

Now of course a lot could change in the future, most notably it is too soon to tell how tall he will eventually grow up to be. If he never gets to six feet that would of course affect his chances in the NBA.

But honestly, I don't think it matters. Even if he never gets to the top in the long career he has ahead of him, I have no doubt that if he takes the Trotters offer seriously he will do very well with them. And I can't imagine them not wanting him. At his age he will only get better by the time he is finished with college,  a lot better.

With his skills and his dribbling ability I think if we aren't looking at the next Michael Jordan we are definitley looking at a future Globetrotter dribbler. And while the Harlem Globetrotters may not become millionaires, their dribblers do make very good money.

If he joins the Globetrotters he could definitley be their next great dribbler. Dare I say it, even better than "Curly" Neal or Curly "Boo" Johnson.

I can just see a 22 year old McCabe giving that dribbling display, or an even more impressive one, to a befuddled referee. And that isn't even counting his skills on the court, the Washington Generals of 10 years from now better be ready to bring it. Of course they might once more be going by a different name in 10 years (Maybe the New Jersey Reds are poised for a comeback).

I truly believe that one day this kid will be donning the Red, White and Blue to befuddle future referee's and frustrate the next generation of Generals. Never mind he might be running from a lot of buckets of confetti in his future. Perhaps from an aging Big Easy, who knows.

Although if he truly wants to be the next great Trotter dribbler, history shows he also might have to change his name to "Curly". But I think Jordan "Curly" McCabe has a nice ring to it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Randomness Week 9

Photo by Dinur Blum. Used under Creative Commons.
There is not much to report in the world of the Washington Generals this week as they continue their tours in China and Argentina.

Nancy Lieberman has put up a new commercial for her basketball camp. You can see it by CLICKING HERE!

It's the Guest General that could have been. Back in 2008 Jackie Moon of the movie "Smi-Pro" was offered a one day stint to play with the Washington Generals. Or so the story goes. From what I read the offer was out on the table, but not he apparently didn't bite (or at least I haven't found any proof he did). Maybe he will attend the tryout camp for the Globetrotters with Lionel Messi.

Anyway here are some fun stories of that day back in 2008 HERE and HERE.

I found a blog post that features a clip showing the pre-1960's Harlem Globetrotters on "What's my line" with some nice info on the era. CLICK HERE!

Closing off, here is a video clip of the Washington Generals entrance at the game in Bahi Blanca in Argentina. As you no doubt notice, Reggie Harrison is there. So it looks like my earlier assumption that he would be leading the Generals team in China was premature.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Ode To Globetrotter Football

Original photo by Lee Harkness.
Used under Creative Commons.
Once again I am paying a quick tribute to one of the reams the Washington Generals do with the Harlem Globetrotters. This time it will be one of their most popular routines. Yes Generals fans... It's time for Globetrotter football!

For those who aren't familiar with the routine, at some point during the game when the Trotters have the ball, they will break from the game and call "Off Sides" on one of the Generals. The announcer will then tell the fans that "It's time for Globetrotter football".

After this point the Trotters will huddle up, and take formation for a football play. Or as close as you can get with 5 players.

The Washington Generals will stand on the other side of the line and assume the position of the defensive team. Which is not a stretch I guess, seeing as how at the time the Trotters had the ball so they "were" playing defense.

The Globetrotters Showman will then begin to call to the players "Blue 22... Blue 34... etc." (And don't bother looking up to see who those players are, I made the numbers up.) Each player will then do a comedy routine when their number is called usually some kind of goofy dance, and in the case of the trotter snapping the ball he will passing gass.

That almost always gets a laugh from the kids if no one else. My nephew in particular would laugh for at least a good couple minutes when that happenes.

The Trotters eventually snap the ball and make a football play, scoring a "touchdown" on the foul line.

Then the trick gets more impressive as they will go backwards, along with the Generals who will also retrace their movements in reverse, until they re-enact the moment the routine started. It will then go into a regular basketball play with the trotters scoring.

Well usually scoring, no one makes 100% of their baskets so of course sometimes the shot is missed. But since everyone is too busy laughing by that point it doesn't really matter.

I will admit that this ream is usually more the work of the Globetrotters. But like almost all of their reams the Globetrotters don't work alone, and it takes all 10 players on the court to pull it off successfully.

It is worth noting that often times if the game is taking place in a city with a professional football team, that a local football star and/or coach will sometime be worked into the bit.

Which will have them coming out to play in the ream and usually resulting in the guest player either "scoring" or body checking and/or tackling one of the Generals. How many pro-basketball players have to deal with THAT during a game.

To a lot of people this ream is the epitome of how these games have become more entertainment than sport. Which is somewhat true. Obviously this kind of silliness, which goes on for a good five minutes or so, would not be allowed in a traditional basketball game. If nothing else they clearly ran out the shot clock.

Also, if you look at it objectively it makes the Generals look silly for just going along with it. In a true "real" game it goes without saying even if an NBA team were to try something like that (likely pre-game booze would have to be involved... and a lot of it) the other team would take the opportunity to get the ball from them.

But I say those guys are the same people that think point out pro-wrestling is "fake" is somehow impressive. They simply don't get it.

This ream is somewhat unique compared to most of their classic reams. While a variation of this has been done forever, it has evolved over time to the point that it has almost taken on a life of it's own. Unlike the bucket of confetti trick where the only variation on it is that instead of Meadowlark chasing Curly; Special K now chases Scooter, or Big Easy chases Prime Time.

But there is no denying it's popularity. If you need proof go on YouTube, where next to Big G's dance moves nothing in a Globetrotter game is filmed more often.

It may not mark the height of basketball skill, but for a Globetrotter game it marks something else. It is a chance to laugh and have fun. And as anyone who watches the Washington Generals play the Globetrotters will tell you, that is the part that will always stay with you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Take A Look At The Documentary Short "In My Lifetime"

I don't know how I missed this until now, but I just came across an awesome documentary short on YouTube called "In My Lifetime".

It's done by Red Klotz grandson, skateboarder Jason Klotz, and focuses on the two people who inspired him most. His Grandfather Red, who I am sure needs no introduction on this blog, and pro skateboarder Kerry Getz.

The message to the documentary is to follow your dreams and do what makes you the most happy. Definitley a message worth giving, and with two very appropriate people to show what happens when you do so.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Best of the Guest Generals: Big Dog

For the this weeks "Best of the Guest Generals" we go to the city of Fargo, ND. Where Big Dog, the FM 105.1 DJ takes on the Harlem Globetrotters.

Big dog is the morning show host for that station, along with Cori Jensen and Kyle Mathews. But on that night in 2011 Big Dog took on a task even more daunting than doing morning show duties. He donned the Green and Gold and took on the Harlem Globetrotters. 

As far as Big Dog's playing abilities, I can't say I am surprised he didn't help the Generals win that night. It seemed like the poor guy was never gong to get the ball through the hoop. Although I concede I don't know if I would have done better. 

Still, the mock basketball card featured in his video was worth an entry alone. I don't know what was up with that wig, I am sure if I lived in Fargo and listened to 105.1 it would have made perfect sense. Maybe it was to baffle the Globetrotters, I am sure it baffled the Generals locker room. Although I wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't seen stranger things.

Still, unlike a lot of these videos it was well edited and the variant on the Globetrotters old bit of praying for someone to make the shot was funny. Would have been better if they had gotten the Washington Generals and/or referees to join in like they used to with kids they pulled from the audience. 

I wonder what they would do if they got someone so bad they truly couldn't make the two pointer. How long would Special K or Big Easy wait before having to give up on them?

Indecently, as Big Dog's game was only three months ago I notice that this season they don't seem to be fouling the Guest Generals and giving them the two free throws any more. Michaela Johnson, another "Best Of The Guest Generals" from this season,  also didn't get to make any two pointers. 

Not sure why this is, maybe it was keeping them out on the court to long. Or maybe they were worried that they might hurt someone by accident.  

Either way I am sorry that the foul shots seem to be gone, and hope they bring back that part of the Guest Generals bit at some point. It was one of the funnier parts of the whole ream.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Washington Generals Top Players: Al "Big Al" Szolack

Photo by Jonathan Wells. Copyright © by NJ.COM.
All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Former Washington General Al Szolack is a man who at one time seemed poised to become just another statistic to the hazards of drug abuse. But he proved that if you want to bad enough, you can face down your demons.

Born in 1950 and raised in Woodbury, NJ he was always described as rail thin but was a master on the basketball court. He started playing basketball for Woodbury High School in Woodbury, New Jersey. His skills were evident as he earned all-conference and all-country honors while playing for Woodbury.

Upon his graduation in 1968 Al continued playing ball for Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing, New Jersey. On his sophomore year Szlack transferred to Glassboro State College, which is now known as Rowan University where he continued his basketball career.

During his two years at Glassboro his team qualified for the national tournament both years. Al graduated from Glassboro in 1973.

Upon completing college Al tried out for the Scranton Apollos of the Continental Basketball Association. Unfortunately for Al, he was the last cut and did not make the team.

Scranton's loss turned out to be the Washington Generals gain. Al came upon the Generals while attending a Globetrotters game at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.

Obtaining Red Klotz phone number he reached out to Klotz and was offered a spot on the team for the 1974-1975 season. Szolack played as both a point guard, and small forward.

During his season with the Generals Szolack played in a reported 235 of the 245 games played. Which included stops all over the US, Canada, and Europe. "Big Al" averaged 15 points-per-game with a season high of 30 points in Phoenix.

What's more Al became a favorite of Globetrotters Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal. Frequently the target of Meadowlark's jokes and chasing Curly around the court in the keep away dribbling, Al did more then his part to help make the children laugh and entertain the fans.

After his season with the Generals Al moved to Florida where he became a bartender. It was then that his life took a tragic turn that almost destroyed him.

His mother, only 54 years old, had a heart attack and passed away. Al and his mother were very close and the loss devastated him. One day a friend offered him cocaine to help ease the pain and he quickly became hooked on the drug. Self medicating with Cocaine as well as Alcohol.

For seven years the drug controlled his life as Al admitted in later interviews he wasn't living, just maearly existing. He says at its worse he had a $1,000 a day habit, and eventually even started dealing Cocaine himself.

Eventually he hit rock bottom and not knowing where else to turn he made one last attempt to reach out for help by visiting his fiance's mother. She gave him a hug and Szolack has repeatedly said it was a hug that turned his life around.

Szolack finally got the help he so desperately needed; and aside from one brief relapse 30 days after quitting, he has been sober since 1986.

Szolack has channeled the 7 years of hell he put himself through towards helping young people not make the same mistake.

Al became a motivational speaker, donning the nickname Al "Hugs Not Drugs" Szolack and traveled to high schools, colleges and universities preaching the dangers of Alcohol. He is currently on the NCAA-Approves speaker roster.

Szolack doesn't do many speaking engagements these days, but serves as an abuse awareness counselor at Hammonton High School in Hammonton, New Jersey.

Al also runs an annual basketball camp called, appropriately enough,  "Big Al's Basketball Camp" and in 2010 was inducted into the "Woodbury High School Hall of Fame".

Al Szolack suffered more hardships and possibly made more mistakes then most. But he learned that through kindness people can find the strength to change. He has since dedicated his life to showing showing others the kindness that was once shown to him.

That's a victory that even 1,000 losses on the basketball court could never take away.

RELATED LINKS

Under Controll - From NJ.COM
'Big Al' awards presented in Harrison Township - From NJ.COM
Woodbury High School Hall of Fame Inductees - From Woddbury's Home Page

Friday, July 8, 2011

Weekly Playing Schedule For The Week Of 7/10/11 - 07/16/11

It's time once again for the playing schedule for the following week of 7/10/11 - 7/16/11.

The Washington Generals continue their tour of China and Argentina, before the Argentena touring group moves to Chile at the end of the week.

So without further ado here is the schedule for the following week.

7/10/11 - At the Dezhou Huangming Arena in Dezhou, China at 7:30PM
7/12/11 - At the Estadio Orfeo in Cordoba, Argentina at 9:30PM
7/13/11 - At the Pingguo Arena in Pingguo, China at 7:30PM
7/13/11 - At the Club Union de Santa Fe in Santa Fe, Argentina at 8:00PM
7/14/11 - At the Estadio Newells Old Boys in Rosario, Argentina at 5:30PM
7/15/11 - At the Luohe City Sports Center in Luohe, China at 7:30PM
7/16/11 - At the Nanyang Sports Center in Nunyang, China at 7:30PM
7/16/11 - At the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile at 6:00PM

As usual if anyone is in any of those areas I encourage you to go down and support the Washington Generals in their games against the Globetrotters.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Washington Generals Tour of China Commences

Photo by Jectre. Used under Creative Commons.
The Washington Generals and the Globetrotters have now officially started their tour of China with Yesterdays game in Liaoyuan. For the next 15 days, the Washington Generals will be playing the Trotters in 10 cities in China.

This tour is actually a precursor to a later China tour in December that will hit some of the biggest cities and venues that country has to offer.

This is an exciting tour for Washington Generals fans, Harlem Globetrotters fans, and the Trotters themselves.

First of all, it is exciting for the Washington Generals because as has been reported on this blog earlier, two new Generals will be participating in this tour.They will be Ryan Gunderson from St. Francis and Adam Powell from Greensboro.

I wish both of these young men good luck in what has to be an exciting tour for the both of them. I can't imagine being a young guy right out of college, and getting to play the spot you love in such an exotic land. Heck, I am 35 and have yet to even get a passport.

While both Powell and Gunderson are only signed up for the China tour, it is common practice for the Generals to test out their new players with a short overseas tour before using them for the upcoming season.

Of course, an offer they like better might come along for either of them, or they might simply choose not to play with the Generals. That life is most definitley not for everyone as the usually short careers of most Washington Generals players will attest to. However, we could be looking at one of the next team captains as well.

These guys are the first two players to join the Washington Generals since I started this blog, and I won't lie, I am excited to see what the future holds for both of them. One thing I do know, the Washington Generals have a long history of recruiting not only good players, but good people. So I am sure both of these players have a great future in store. Even if that long team future doesn't have Green and Gold in it.

Just one last Washington Generals note before I move on to my next point. Scooter was among the Harlem Globetrotters to make public appearances in China to promote the tour. I assume that means it will be Special K's Globetrotter team touring China.

That also means most likely it will be Coach Reggie's squad of Washington Generals that Gunderson and Powell will be playing for during the tour, as that is usually Generals squad paired with Special K.

I haven't been able to confirm either of these yet as the Trotters don't really make those details public. As more reports of the China and Argentina tours come out and I can piece it together I will be sure to update everyone.

This is also a big tour for the Globetrotters as they definitley have big plans to expand their following in China.

Already the Globetrotters have opened a satellite office in Beijing and even have a website up, although it's still a work in progress. You can CLICK HERE to view it, but don't ask me what it says because I have no idea.

Building interest in basketball around the world is nothing new for the Washington Generals or the Harlem Globetrotters. In fact, both teams have played in China before and the Globetrotters even met with Chinese Vice premiere Teng Hsiao-Ping back in 1979.

While the Harlem Globetrotters may have been around longer than the Generals, they are what they are today with the help of their less glamorous, but no less important counterparts. For their plan to work in China they will need the Generals to help show them the unique experience a game between these two teams offers.

I have no doubt that Adam, Ryan, and the rest of the Generals are up to the task.

Related links:

Deng Xiaoping Meets the Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters Flying Through China

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rondomness Week 8

Copyright © by CB Images. All Rights Reserved.
Used with permission.
I mentioned earlier about the Washington Generals signing of Ryan Gunderson. You can find more info on his signing by CLICKING HERE!

I just discovered that former Washington General Chris Poore has recently been named head coach as Scott High School in Huntsville, TN. CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY!

Check out this photo of Reese "Goose" Tatum taking on the Washington Generals all the way back in 1953. CLICK HERE!

YouTube user guevoso posted some videos of the game in Montevideo although it was all the half time and pre-game going ons. Indecently, Big G must have had someone else inside the suit for that game. His halftime dance was toned down. He didn't spin around on one hand or bounce on his head. Although he still got knocked down but got up again, because Montevideo ant never gonna keep him down. You can view the clips HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE!

The Piano Guys, whatever that is, outscored the Harlem Globetrotters in the recent "most up and coming YouTube channel". I don't know much about them but I will be blindly loyal and say the Trotters were robbed. But at least it didn't go to another Shane Dawson wannabe. Maybe YouTube is slowly gaining some class.

"Red" Klotz got a mention in an article spotlighting the shortest players in the NBA. Another former General,  Charlie Criss, seems to have just missed the mark. CLICK HERE!

The U.S. Army's home page posted a copy from an article back in December chronicling the Washington Generals and Harlem Globetrotters game out in Germany in support of our troops. CLICK HERE!

Ever want to be an intern with the Harlem Globetrotters corporate office? If so they are accepting applications. CLICK HERE!

A website called "Renew America" wrote an article last year stating Bill O'Riley was President O'Bama's Red Klots, not his formidable foe. Normally any article that potentially controversial I would not touch, beacause I didn't make this page to be controversial. But agree with it or not I thought that was a nice variation on the tired "So-and-so is the Washington Generals of such-and-such". CLICK HERE TO READ IT!

And in closing I found the video below featuring Globetrotter "Buckets" Blake that I am including beacause it is actually really funny. I am guessing they hired this guy to promote the Globetrotters basketball, not an unusual thing for companies to do with YouTube stars these days. Although when I first found the video it only had 21 hits in the first couple weeks. Can't help but think if that's the case they paid for more hits than that.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Washington Generals Most Unusual Venus: On The Roof Of The Wachovia Spectrum

Photo by Joenad. Used under the GNU Free Documentation Lisence

Although I unofficially started this series with my post about the Washington Generals first ever game on ice, I am now officially starting a new series of post with this blog.

Over the years that the Washington Generals have played against the Harlem Globetrotters, they have payed in some of the most unusual venues. While they are probably most commonly known to play the Trotters in some of the most famous NBA and College arenas in the US, they have shown that wherever you can bounce a basketball and set up two nets, they are there.

So in the interest of that, I thought I would begin spotlighting some of their most unusual places that the Generals have ever played the Globetrotters in.

For this installment we remember a game at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Originally opened in the fall of 1967, the Spectrum was the home to the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL and the 76ers of the NBA. It was also a frequent venue for the Washington Generals.  

The Generals first played in the Spectrum on December 2, 1967 in a game against the Globetrotters. The Washington Generals continued to play the Trotters at the spectrum every year after that, playing 72 games at the historic complex. Their last game was in 1997, after which they moved their games to the nearby Wachovia Center. 

In 2009 it was announced that the Wachovia Spectrum would be demolished. Wanting to pay tribute to the arena that had welcomed both teams for so long, the Washignton Generals and Harlem Globetrotters scheduled one final game at the Spectrum.

But this game would not be played inside the arena. For this farewell event at the spectrum, Americas eternal visiting team took on the Harlem Globetrotters on the roof of the historic arena. Cranes lifted the basketball hoops onto the roof of the building, as a basketball court was drawn out and players scaled the catwalks to climb up on the roof.

Both teams played in their dress uniforms, to provide some protection from the winter weather. Which was made even colder by being so high up off the ground. 

The game lasted for only 19 minutes and 67 seconds, in dedication to the Spectrum first opening in 1967. All of the familiar tricks were there, or at least as many as they could squeeze into such a short period of time, but there was no audience except for some select media. 

Children were allowed to watch the game at the Wachovia Center across the street, however . Binoculars were made available and I am sure the magic of seeing the Generals take on the Trotters was not lost on them, even from so far away. 

The Generals payed a game the following day in the Wachovia Center, where it was warm and seats were plentiful. Both teams have called the Center their regular stop since then as they had since 1997. But once more they showed that on the roof or in the arena, there is nowhere that the Washington Generals and Harlem Globetrotters won't bring their magic. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

4 Devices The Washington Generals Coaches Should Add To Their Arsenal. (Humor)

Photo by Dinur Blum. Used under Creative Commons.
As I reported in a past post, the Washington Generals have adopted some recent tactics that might have more in common with Wile E. Coyote than traditional basketball play.

Still, it has proven somewhat effective as their new tricks do manage to gain points, just clearly not enough. So in the interest of helping coaches Reggie Harrison and Sam Worthen, I took the time to flip through the ACME catalog and see if I could find some gadgets that might prove more effective than the plastic hoop, hypnotic umbrella, and remote controlled ball.

Here are 4 devices I think would be prefect for "General" use. See what I did there?

Moving on...

THE NET BALL - This ball comes equipped with a plain black remote with a single button. Press this button when the Globetrotters go for one of their fancy trick shots and a net will pop out. Grounding that show off and giving the Generals time to grab the ball for a layup and 2 points.

THE DYNAMITE BALL - The idea behind this ball is simple. It has a hallow spot for inserting a stick of Dynamite into this basketball. You then light it, pass it to the Globetrotters, and boom goes the dynamite. Don't worry about their safety, I consulted with a Mr. Fudd, author of the book "Hunting Wabbits" and he assured me that once ignited it will only cover you in soot and stick your hair straight up.

Just be careful that in the game of hot potato that will follow, should the trotters see the Dynamite, that a General doesn't hold the ball when the fuse runs out. Or else the laundry bill will be a killer.

A SAFE WITH A LEVER AND PULLY - This Steel safe is fully equipped to load on top of any arena ceiling  Simply place it over the basketball net and drop it on a Trotter as they go for a slam dunk. Just be sure not to open it once it hits the ground, targets have an ability to walk out of the safe unscathed when this act is performed.
 
THE SPRING LOADED 4-POINT CIRCLE - This circle can be replaced with one of the regulation 4-point circles. That shouldn't be hard to do considering Worthen and Harrison's current relationships with the officials.

Then  once "Ant" Atkinson or 4-point master "Dizzy" Grant goes for a 4-point shot it will launch them into the stratosphere, possibly leaving a Globetrotter shaped hole in the ceiling of the building. Then they can use this oppetunity to retrieve the helium filled beach ball they tricked the Generals into using for a free throw. 

Just one word of advice... if it doesn't work when you want it to, DO NOT jump up and down on it yourself to try and get it to work. That will only make it launch YOU into the stratosphere. Although a handy sign with the word "Mother!" is provided to keep in your pocket for the trip back down in just such an emergency.

I am confident with these tools added to their arsenal it would only be a matter of time before the Washington Generals finally scored their elusive 7th win. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Best of the Guest Generals: Rob Powers

Photo Courtesy of Rob Powers.
During 2010 Rob Powers, a DJ on the morning show with 107.1 KISS FM in Sioux City, IA was tapped as the latest Guest General.

Rob's stint started like any other Guest General as he missed his first show but managed to make his second basket attempt. All of this was while enduring the usual ribbing from Big Easy.

But then Big Easy did his usual bit of the time of challenging Rob to take the ball and shoot a basket. Rob took the ball and went for a show as Big Easy easy bumped into him and fouled him, which is the usual routine.

But then Rob did something beyond awesome, he made the basket scoring what may be the first and one. It was clear that earned him the respect of his team mates on that night. It also clearly mucked up Big Easy's usual routine, which just like with Michaela Johnson, I always love it when the Guest Generals outwit the Trotters' attempts to set them up for a gag.

Despite the fact that by basketball rules he should have only been allowed one free throw, which he missed, he was given a second attempt. As usual the Washington Generals and Trotter games are loose with the rules, plus the Guest Generals routine relies on them getting two shots. Or it did at the time, although they seem to have done away with having the Guest Generals end their game time with free throws this season.

Rob only scored 4 points for the Generals, although that is 4 more then some have scored, but for being possibly the first Guest General to score an and one, and for messing up Big Easy, he has my respect.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ryan Gunderson, Newest Washington General, Will Be Joining The China Tour.

I reported recently about the Washington Generals singing of Adam Powell for the tour in China, which begins next week on the 6th of July. It turns out Adam won't be the only new Washington General taking on the Harlem Globetrotters for that tour in the far east.

The Washington Generals have also signed Ryan Gunderson. Ryan is a graduate of the University of St. Francis. He started out his first two years at St. Francis playing football before switching over to basketball for his final two years. In the year since his graduation Ryan has been playing basketball for the Kankakee County Soldiers of the International Basketball League.

At St. Francis, Ryan averaged 6.9 points per game and a 38 percent 3-point shooting, with 48 percent his junior year. Hopefully that ability to score from far away will benefit the Generals in making some vital 4-point shots.

Ryan told MyWebTimes that he is hoping that the tour in China will open  up doors for him to play professionally overseas. He also sees it as an opportunity to build contacts for other non-basketball related job. Clearly Gunderson sees the advantages being a general go beyond simply "losing to the Globetrotters".

I wish Ryan the best on the China tour and hope his time out there provides him with the best of oppertunities, be them with the Washington Generals or elsewhere.

Related links

RYAN'S INTERVIEW WITH MYWEBTIMES!

RYAN'S IBL STATISTICS!

Washington Generals Top Players: Charlie Criss

Charlie Criss' basketball card. 
Several Washington Generals have been involved with the NBA, both before and after their stints with the Generals. But the most recent, and arguably the most successful was Charles "Charlie" Criss. But the fact he played for the NBA at all, much less had a long 8 year career is one of the most inspiring stories in pro-basketball.

Much like the Washington Generals themselves, Criss' basketball career was an exercise in perseverance, although he proved fortunate enough to have the happy ending the Generals will likely never have.

A graduate of New Mexico State in 1970 where he played basketball, Charlie always felt he belonged in the NBA. Unfortunately, only standing at 5'8" at a time when no players in the NBA were under six feet tall, Charlie was overlooked for the draft.

Not one to give up on his dream of a career in basketball, Charlie took his considerable talents to the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). But it seemed just like with the NBA, the CBA was reluctant to give him a chance.

Charlie started with the Hartford Capitols but was relegated to the taxi squad and only played four games in his first season. But he once more proved to be someone who never gave up and was sixth man for Hartford the following season, averaging 20 points a game. He continued to improve and quickly became the star of league.

He went on to play for the Cherry Hill Rookies the following season then played his final two seasons in the with the Scranton Apollos. While with the Apollos he earned MVP honors in his final season.

Despite being the star of the league, Criss still didn't make enough to make ends meat, having to work a succession of odd jobs to get by. But it seemed his hard work had paid off in 1976 when he was invited to the New York Knicks' trainging camp. Unfortunately, he was quickly cut before the first exhibition game.

Charlie decided no to return to the CBA and instead made a play to try and get a spot with the Harlem Globetrotters, which unlike the CBA would pay him enough to make a good living.

He didn't make the Globetrotters but was picked up by the Washington Generals. Charlie played for the New Jersey Reds (the team name the Washington Generals were using overseas at the time) for a two month tour of Europe.

Charlie would have no doubt played beyond the European tour, and seemed a likely candidate to become one of the players to make a jump to the Globetrotters. But for Charlie, another option came along.

Near the end of their tour Criss was approached by Hubie Brown, coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Brown had seen Criss play in a charity game shortly before joining the Generals and asked Charlie to come to the Atlanta Hawks training camp.

At the time, the Hawks were at the bottom of the NBA totem pole. They had a low budget, were suffering from the loss of their best offensive player and had finished last in their division the previous season. But the Hawks offered Charlie Criss something the NBA had denied him thus far, a fair shot.

Charlie made good on it and in 1977, seven years after finishing his college career, Charlie Criss joined the Hawks. It was a move that made him both the shortest player in the NBA at the oldest rookie ever up to that point.

Finally seeing his dream come true Criss went on to enjoy an 8 year career in the NBA, eventually moving to the San Diego Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks before once more joining the Hawks until he retired in 1985.

Since leaving the NBA Charlie has worn many hats, working as a television commentator for the Hawks, a minor league basketball coach and cordinating basketball Summer camps where he helped train the next generation of players.

Charlie Criss career was a testament to never giving up and always chasing your dreams. His time with the Generals was short because Charlie was always destined for bigger and better things. Faced with adversity that would have made most of give up, Criss never stopped chasing his dreams.

A shining example to underdogs everywhere.

Charlie Criss at the Hawks Shooting Clinic

RELATED LINKS



Friday, July 1, 2011

Weekly Playing Schedule For The Week Of 7/03/11 - 7/09/11

The Washington Generals international tour with the Globetrotters kicks into high geat for this week, with teams touring in both China and Argentina.

In addition to the China leg of the tour marking the debut of newest General Adam Powell, the Globetrotters have also announced opening a remote office in Bejing, China in conjunction with the tour. You can read more about that in the Globetrotters press release by CLICKING HERE.

The tour dates for the week are as follows.

7/05/11 - At the Estadio Delmi in Salta, Argentina at 9:00PM
7/06/11 - At the Liaoyuan City Stadium in Liaoyuan, China at 7:30PM
7/07/11 - At the Changchun Wu Huan Arena in Changchun, China at 7:30PM
7/08/11 - At the Olimpo in Bahia Blanca, Argentina at 9:30PM
7/09/11 - At the Ruca-Che in Neuquen, Argentina at 70:00PM
7/09/11 - At the Taiyuan Binhe Sports Center in Taiyuan, China at 7:30PM

If anyone reading this will be in the area in Argentina or China that week, go down and be sure to cheer the Washington Generals as they play far from home. Once more showing our overseas neighbors the greatest sport in the world.