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The Harlem Globetrotters by Sky Nicholls

Everybody knows the name and has heard of them but not many people know their whole story.

Who are they?

They are an American performance basketball team that combine sport, theatre and comedy into the style of play. They have played over 26,000 exhibition games in 124 countries and have played for over 148 million people. They play over 450 Live shows across the world, each year. The games they play are real but the Globetrotters play with their style.

Founded: 1926, 94 years ago

Ownership: Herschend Family Entertainment

Won/loss: won 27000, lost 345

Their longest winning streak was 8,829 games which lasted 24 years. This was their first loss since 1971.


They originated in Chicago, Illinois, in 1926 and began with the name ‘Savoy Big Five’. They would play home games as pre-dance entertainment. In 1928, several players left to create the new team known as the Globe Trotters. Abe Saperstein then became their manager and promoter. In 1929, they were touring Illinois and Iowa named, ‘New York Harlem Globe Trotters. Harlem was used because it was considered the centre of black culture at that time and globetrotter to show their international venues.

They were long-lasting participants in the World Professional Basketball Tournament which they won in 1940. In the 1948 Globetrotters-Lakers game, they made headlines by beating one of the best white, basketball teams.

In 1950, Globetrotter Chuck Cooper, was the first black player to get drafted into the NBA alongside Nathaniel Clifton who became the first black player to sign a contract with the NBA.

They originally played like a normal team until they gradually started introducing their new found style which they have since give Reece Tatum the credit for.

In 1952, they invited Louis Klotz to create a team that soon became known as the Washington Generals, though they did go by multiple names. This team became the Harlem Globetrotters main opponent and they have defeated them thousands of times.

In 1959, they were invited by Vasily Grigoryevich, to play in Moscow. They played 9 games and initially confused the spectators with their style of play but were eventually cheered on when they came to the realisation about what they were doing. These games were said to be used to show that the USA and Soviet relationships were improving, that Moscow were backing down with their comments on race relations in America, and that the USSR was becoming more capitalist. However some suggested that it was simply because the Lenin Stadium needed more money.

In 1985, they signed their first female player – Lynette Woodward, Olympic gold medalist. From then on they have featured 13 female players.

There was a lot of racial criticism during the civil rights era. They were said to be playing demeaning roles and accused of ‘Tomming for Abe’ which is in reference to the derogatory term Uncle Tom and the teams white owner, Abe Saperstein. However, Jesse Jackson, a civil rights activist and soon to be honorary Globetrotter, stated that he thought they’d been a positive influence and and didn’t show black people as stupid but instead, superior.

In 1995, they introduced their first Hispanic player, Orlando Antigua. He was the first non-black player since Bob Karstens in 1942-43.

Parts of the recent exhibition games are pre-planned but the games are not fixed. Although their opponents don’t interfere with their show plays whilst in defence, they are still serious games.


Since 2007, a couple days before the NBA draft the Globetrotters have done an annual ‘draft’. In this they select players they feel match the set feel of being a Globetrotter. Being drafted doesn’t secure you a spot on the team although many drafted players have gained the name of a Globetrotter. Examples are: Anthony Atkinson, Darnell Wilks, and Aj Merriweather.

Examples of well known drafted players are: Lionel Messi (captain of Barcelona and Argentine football teams), Usain Bolt (greatest sprinter, 8 time Olympic gold medalist), Dude Perfect (known for trick shots, 51.6mil subscribers on youtube), and Sun Mingming (tallest basketball player).



The Harlem Globetrotters film was released by Columbia Pictures in 1951. It included many Globetrotters and was broadcasted on tv in 2012.


The Harlem Globetrotters have appeared on television many times. These appearances include game shows, interviews, and live games. They’ve also appeared in many movies and talk/variety shows including the one they ran in 1974 called ‘The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine’ which featured many segments such as comedy and education. They had their own cartoon show called, ‘The Go-Go Globetrotters’ which aired from 1970-1973 and was produced by, the well known, Hannah-Barbera. Due to this they also appeared in the Scooby-Doo series.

Video games:

They had a coin operated, pinball game named ‘Harlem Globetrotters on Tour’.

They also had a game named ‘Harlem Globetrotters World Tour’ which was made for the Game Boy Advanced and Nintendo DS.

Serena Williams bio – by Amy Kelly

Having written a bio on Michael Jordan last week I thought I would write one this week on a female sporting hero – The one and only Serena Williams

Born: 26th of September 1981

Place of birth: Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.

Serena Williams is an American tennis player who revolutionized women’s tennis with her powerful style of play. She has won more Grand Slam singles titles (23) which is more than anyone. She also won several Olympic gold medals.

Early life:

Serena’s dad Richard introduced her and her sister to tennis at a very young age and she practiced every day from the age of 3. She has 5 sisters but not biological. Serena’s father was a former sharecropper from Louisiana who was very determined to see his 2 youngest daughters succeed. He went from tennis books to videos to instruct them on how to play the game. When she was young, she moved to Compton which had a high rate of gang activity. Their dad wanted to expose them to the ugly possibilities of life to get them to realise that if they didn’t work hard and get an education this would be the setting they’d live in for the rest of their lives. Her father then realised that his girls needed better coaching to become successful professionals and he moved them to Florida. There Richard let go of some of his coaching responsibilities but not the management of the Williams sisters’ careers.

Serena’s sporting career:

Serena and Venus changed their look on sport with signature style and play. Their amazing ability overwhelmed opponents and their sense of style and presence made them stand out celebrities on the court. They lived together for over a dozen years in Florida but eventually went their separate ways when Serena bought her own mansion.

In 1995 she turned a pro!

2 years later she was ranked no.99 in the world rankings, 12 months before she was no. 304. A year later when she graduated high school and immediately inked a $12 million shoe deal with Puma.

In 1999 Serena beat her sister in their race to the families first grand slam win when she got the U.S. open title. This set a high profile for the William sisters.

In 2002 she managed to win the French Open, the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. In 2003 she won her first Australian Open era to complete her Grand Slam career. The win also fulfilled her desire to hold all 4 major titles to comprise what she’d dubbed ‘The Serena Slam’

In 2008 they teamed up to capture a 2nd women’s doubles Olympic gold medal at the Beijing Games. The following year the sisters purchased shares of the Miami Dolphins to become the first African American women to own part of an NFL team.

In 2012 Summer, Olympics, Serena claimed her 4th Olympics gold medal by teaming up with her sister to defeat Czech Republic stars Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the women’s doubles.

In 2015 in the U.S. Open, Williams again bet her sister with a tough quarterfinal matchup. The outcome left her 2 wins shy of the calendar year Grand slam, a feat accomplished by just 3 women in the sport’s history. In a shocking upset, Roberta Vinci ranked no.43 in the world, dashed Williams quest by pulling out a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win in the semi-finals.

On the same day after her singles win at Wimbledon in 2016, the Williams won the doubles championships, their 6th win together.

In 2016 Summer, Olympics in Rio, the sisters experienced a shocking disappointment when they were bounced out of the first round of women’s doubles at the Rio Olympics by Czech duo. The sisters had originally been seeded at no.1, had an Olympic record of 15-0, and had won gold 3 times before.

In the Australian Open in 2017, Serena won her 23rd Grand Slam title after defeating her sister. After this game she passed Steffi Graf’s total and was announced world number one ranking.

Family lives and injures:

In 2003 Serena had to get knee surgery. But sadly, in September her half-sister Yetunde Price was murdered in Los Angeles. After these hard times Serena lost motivation to play tennis. Her ranking went down to no. 139.

In 2011, Serena suffered a series of health scares after doctors found a blood clot in her lungs, which kept her away from tennis for several months. Following several procedures, including one to remove a hematoma, she then questions whether to retire from the sport. By 2011 her health was improving and motivated herself to play again.

Staff Lockdown Stories – Mr Binnie

Throughout lockdown I have been trying to find lots of different ways of looking after both my physical and mental health. It is important that we try to find some structure and routines during this time but also take advantage of the extra time we have to do things and spend time with family.

Most mornings, I will start the day by doing a work-out, something I do a lot more regularly compared to before school closures as I now have extra time and no excuses not to. I have mainly been going for runs on my treadmill or using the multi-gym that I have in the garage; however, I have also been doing the Joe Wicks daily workout on occasion.

I am making sure to look after my mental health by both engaging my brain and taking time to relax as well as enjoying spending time doing other activities. I am using the time to read more books than I usually would. I really recommend ‘First Man In’ by Ant Middleton (from SAS: Who Dares Wins). The book gives a real insight into how to be an effective leader and how to work well with other people.

In my free time, I have been going on daily walks with my family – overall, we have been very lucky with the weather during lockdown which has allowed me to explore more of my local area and make sure I am getting plenty of fresh air and exercise. I have also enjoyed watching the return of live football through the Bundesliga and have decided on Hertha Berlin as the team I am going to follow for the remainder of the season.

I hope everyone is staying safe and staying active.

Mr Binnie

Pupil Lockdown Fitness Stories – Nicole Dick

Throughout lockdown to try stay fit I have been doing workouts, runs and walks. Before I do any exercises I always do a 10 minute stretch/ warm up. For a workout I will do some Chole Ting videos, I will do at least 2 videos a day they last about 15 mins each working on abs, legs and arms. I have been doing 5 k runs around Bo’ness and through the woods, it will take me about 30 mins and I will do this at least once a week. I have also been going for walks around the golf course, I go for a about hour every second day. Sometimes if I am not tired or if I am hyper I will do a 1 mile run on the tremill. When the weather is nice I have been going outside and doing about 20 jumping jacks, 20 star jumps and running on the spot for 20 seconds I will do this 3 times. After any exercise I will do a cool down by doing some more stretches, I will also eat a piece of fruit and drink a lot of water.

Michael Jordan – Bio – by Amy Kelly

Having decided to write a bio this week about one of my sporting heroes there was really one player I could write about – the one and only Michael Jordan.

Born: 17th of February 1963

Full name: Michael Jeffery Jordan

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York, United States.

Family: Wife – Yvette Prieto & Children Jasmine, Marcus, Jeffrey, and twins Victoria and Ysabel.

Michael Jordan is a former American basketball player, Olympic athlete, businessperson, and actor.

He’s considered the best basketball player ever and has played from mid 1980’s to the late 1990’s.

Michael Jordan is the most famous and richest former NBA player. He played for 15 seasons with Chicago Bulls and won 6 championships. He also won the most valuable player award 5 times.

Early life:

He has been competitive from a young age and always wanted to win everything.

He had a stable family growing up, his mum, Dolores was a bank teller who had written loads of books, his dad, James, who was a maintenance worker turned manager at General Electric. He has 4 siblings – Larry, Deloris, Roslyn, and James Jr.

Michael’s dad introduced him to baseball as well as basketball; even building him a basketball court in their garden. Sadly, his dad was murdered in the summer of 1993 when 2 teenagers shot him in his car in an apparent robbery as he was driving from Charlotte to Wilmington. He was missing for 11 days until his body was found in a swamp. The teens were convicted of first-degree murder and a life sentence in prison.

College career:

In 1981 he enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became an important member of the school’s basketball team. He scored the winning basket at the NCAA division championships in 1982. He got player of the year in 1983 and 1984. He left college and joined the NBA in 1984 and continued to play basketball professionally.

Basketball career:

He began his career when he was drafted at Chicago Bulls and he was 3rd to be picked overall which is quite impressive for a rookie. At the start of his NBA career he proved himself on court and scored an average of 28 points per game in the season. He got rookie of the year award and was selected for the all-stars game.

He became the first Wilt Chamberlain to score more than 3,000 points in a season. Jordan was the main part of the team’s success.

During 1984 he made his first appearance at the Olympics games as a member of the U.S. Olympics basketball team. It was held in LA and they won the gold.

He joined Washington Wizards in 2000 as a part owner and as president of basketball operations. In 2001 he announced he would join Washington Wizards for his 14th season in the NBA. He said that he was planned on donating his basketball salary to help those impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He then started playing for the Wizards for 2 seasons before officially retiring in 2003.

What’s he done since?

Since retiring in 2003 he has built an impressive lifestyle having secured lots of deals with major companies such as Nike, Coco-Cola, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Ball Park Franks, Gatorade and many more. A personalised signature shoe referred to as the Nike ‘Air Jordan’ has now been turned into a whole brand known as ‘Jordan Brand’. He also appeared in a Basketball Bugs Bunny commercial. From 2015 he has been making $100 million dollars a year just from Nike itself. His net worth is now believed to be $2.1 billion thanks to the skyrocketing value of his NBA team. He bought Charlotte Hornet in 2010 for $175 million. He has also devoted some of his time and resources towards charitable groups.

If you want to find out even more about Michael Jordan there’s a documentary on Netflix all about Chicago Bulls, I really enjoyed it as it shows how the team all came together. It was a bit hard to get into at first but then couldn’t stop watching it. I would definitely recommend it.


What Sport Within School Has Done for Me – Hope Murphy

I have always been a sporty person, from before primary school till my last year of high school. In primary school I was part of many sports teams such as netball, tennis, country dancing, and football. As I transitioned into high school, I decided to join the girls football team where we played in tournaments and friendlies often.

After 2 years of playing high school football I wanted to find another sport to be part of. That is when I came across basketball within the school. I had never played basketball before, but I thought it looked fun and little did I know it would come to be my favourite sport! I have played for the girls team since S2 and have watched my teammates progress throughout this time. Being part of this team has allowed me to make new friends that I would not even know if it wasn’t for playing alongside them.

Not only has sport found me new friends but it has also opened many opportunities for myself and others. I have been nominated and won different awards, I have gained qualifications (refereeing, first aid, coaching etc), boosted my confidence to do presentations at primary schools about my sports journey, and has ultimately helped me get a job as a basketball coach.

Overall, people may think that joining a sport team within school is just a pass time but for me and many others it has aided us to become better people and offer us opportunities that could be of great benefit in the future. I would urge anyone who isn’t part of a team to find a sport you enjoy or think looks fun, whether you have experience or not, to go for it and join a team/ club because it was certainly one of the best things that could have happened to me!

Pupil Lockdown Fitness Stories – Emily (S6)

During lockdown I aimed to increase my fitness with various activities with all the free time I now have. I set a goal to be able to develop my stamina and strength for running. Each weekday morning I go on a 30 minutes run and I have done so for 6 weeks. This has not only kept me healthy physically but also mentally as I do this before any school work, giving me energy for the rest of the day. This allowed me to complete the ‘Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5’ for the NHS.

I have also been completing Les Mills classes such as Body Pump and Body Combat to gain strength and Body Balance and Barre to develop my flexibility. With my family, I go on daily walks to get fresh air and take a break and I have started the Chloe Ting workouts for May.

Exercise has helped motivate me during lockdown so far as it gives me a routine and keeps me active. It has given me a sense of achievement when I progress and this encourages me to keep trying.

Pupil Lockdown Fitness Stories – Hollie (S4)

During the coronavirus lockdown I feel it Is important to keep fit and keep up with exercise, I do this by going on runs, walks and doing workouts daily. I have taken part in Chloe Ting’s 2 week shred and her 2 week ab program since the start of lockdown every day. I also go on walks every second day with my mum and brother. We try to go out early in the morning and start the day off correctly. Every other day I go for runs. And at the start of lockdown I was nominated for the run 5, donate 5, nominate 5, to help raise Money for the NHS I timed myself and decided I wanted to see how much faster I would be able to do it by the end of lockdown. These are the ways I have tried to stay fit and healthy throughout lockdown and hopefully I will continue to do so for the remainder

10 Reasons to play Sport – Amy (S4)

10 reasons why you should join a sports team:

  • Gives you confidence.
  • Motivate you to exercise
  • Pushes you out of your comfort zone.
  • You discover skills you never knew you had.
  • Make new friends.
  • Become a great team player.
  • Improve your mental health.
  • You gain self-esteem.
  • Improves your social skills.
  • Gets you fit and healthier without noticing.

Being part of a sports team can give you a real sense of belonging and purpose. I started really getting into basketball in primary 7 when Mr MacWhirter asked me to come along to basketball training in the morning. I love being part of the school team and it has hugely helped my confidence and improved my basketball skills. We have a really great team who all work together and we have all developed so much.

Two years ago, I joined Falkirk Fury, I was super scared and nervous as it was something I had never done before. I didn’t know anyone and didn’t have as much experience as many of the other players.

I worked really hard to prove to myself and others that I should be part of the team. This was challenging but I put the work in. Training was 3 or 4 times a week with games most weekends.  I was exercising more than ever but ended up so much fitter whilst enjoying myself.

I had to push myself to have the confidence to get to know the other players.  Week by week I started to build friendships with many of the players both on court and in life.  Some of my basketball team are now among my closest friends.

I had the experience of participating in the U14 Scottish Cup, National Challenge and Monster Ball.  I couldn’t believe my coaches believed in me so much that they let me play in these so early on.  I loved every minute of these competitions and they boosted my confidence and self-esteem massively.

I would encourage anyone who is thinking about joining a new team sport to go for it as its one of the best choices I’ve made.

Pupil Lockdown Fitness Stories – Jaime (S6)

To keep myself active during lockdown I  have been walking my dog daily. Our favourite place to go is down at Kinneil Woods where he likes to explore amongst the trees and bark at the swans! This has ensured I’ve stuck to a routine of sorts as I have been getting up at the same time each morning. Alongside this I have been participating in group workouts through zoom led by one of my friends. Before Easter I found in particular the workouts created by the Pe department staff particularly worthwhile and enjoyable. I also stepped entirely out of my comfort zone to complete the 5K run challenge. This was a huge achievement for me as running has never been something that appealed to me. I have found it beneficial to use this time to challenge myself and try new things I normally would have avoided. Out with sport I have been learning Spanish on duolingo and advancing my baking skills. All of this has not only maintained my physical health but has helped keep my mental health good which is just as important during these unpredictable and scary times.