PHOENIX, Ariz. -
In anticipation of their upcoming 90th anniversary tour, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters held their ninth annual player draft today.
The Globetrotters are unrivaled in the world of sports and family entertainment, showcasing spellbinding basketball by some of the best players on the planet, and the team searches the world for superb athletes with a flair for entertainment who also epitomize the Globetrotters' ambassadorial spirit.
"When we conduct our draft, we look for outstanding athletes from different sports all over the world that exemplify the Globetrotters' efforts to provide service, smiles and sportsmanship globally," said Sweet Lou Dunbar, the Globetrotters' director of player personnel. "This group of individuals embodies the skill, athleticism and showmanship it takes to be a Harlem Globetrotter."
Following is a full recap of the Globetrotters' draftees:
Larry Nance Jr. led the University of Wyoming to its first NCAA Tournament berth in 13 years this past season and possesses the high-flying genes of one of the game's great dunkers. His father, Larry Sr., won the NBA's first-ever slam dunk contest in 1984 and was a three-time All-Star. Larry Jr., a 6-8 native of Akron, Ohio, was named to the All-Mountain West Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team while leading the Cowboys in points per game (16.1), rebounds per game (7.2) and blocks per game (1.2). Former Cowboy Anthony "Buckets" Blakes is a current member of the Harlem Globetrotters and holds the Guinness World Record for most underhanded half-court shots in one minute with six.
LaQuavius Cotton of Delta State University (Miss.) won the 2015 college slam dunk championship in April. The 6-6 native of Cleveland, Miss., was the Statesmen's third-leading scorer and second-best three-point shooter his senior season. The Globetrotters have selected the college slam dunk champ in each of their player drafts and boast four players on their current roster who competed in the slam dunk contest: Kris "Hi-Lite" Bruton, Corey "Thunder" Law, Herb "Flight Time" Lang and William "Bull" Bullard.
Alex Morgan scored the first goal for the U.S. Women's National Team in their 2-0 win Monday over Columbia, advancing them to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women's World Cup, where they will face China on Friday. The University of California, Berkeley product has scored at a Globetrotter-type pace since debuting with the national team in 2010, netting an incredible 52 goals in 88 appearances. Morgan led the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics and helped the U.S. to a runner-up finish at the 2011 World Cup. Basketball was one of many sports Morgan played while growing up in Diamond Bar, Calif., and her drive, leadership and experience on some of the world's biggest athletic stages are some of the attributes the Globetrotters look for in a player.
Mo'ne Davis captured the country's hearts by becoming the first female to ever earn a pitching win at the Little League World Series, which helped earn her Sports Illustrated Kids' SportsKid of the Year honors for 2014. A multi-sport athlete, as an eight-grader, Davis made the high school varsity team in her favorite sport, basketball. She had a cameo appearance with the Globetrotters in a game in her hometown of Philadelphia in March. The Globetrotters are exercising a "Future Discovery Clause" to obtain the rights to Davis when she graduates from college.
Trick shot artists Dude Perfect burst onto the scene six years ago and have since inspired hundreds of millions with their contagious "Go Big" philosophy. They've filmed their trick shot and comedy videos all over the world, even collaborating with the original trick shot masters, the Globetrotters, on a fishing pole trick shot. Dude Perfect personifies the Globetrotters' ambassadorial spirit with their charitable involvement, and they have been featured on "Good Morning America," "CBS Evening News" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" With nearly six million subscribers and 480 million views across their online content, Dude Perfect is now the second largest sports channel on YouTube.
Kylie Huerta packs a lot of game into her 5-foot-1 frame. The Hawai'i Pacific University point guard was named First Team All-PacWest Conference and the league tournament MVP in leading the Sharks to a 25-5 record and just the second NCAA Division II tournament berth in the history of the program. The Covington, Wash., native averaged 15 points, seven assists and 1.4 steals per game as a senior, while shooting a blistering 42 percent on three-pointers and 86 percent from the line - but most impressively, she pulled down nearly five rebounds per game, good for third on the team.
The Globetrotters will add another player to the draft class later this summer via their first-ever "Draft Me" campaign: #GlobiesDraftContest. In collaboration with Whistle Sports, the team's exclusive network partner on YouTube, one lucky fan exhibiting Globetrotter-esque skills from video submissions will have the opportunity to suit up as a Globetrotter and play in a game during the team's 90th anniversary tour. Full details and contest rules can be found at harlemglobetrotters.com/globiesdraft.
Players selected in past Globetrotter drafts include current Globetrotters Corey "Thunder" Law, holder of the Guinness World Records® records for the longest basketball shot (109 feet 9 inches) and farthest basketball shot made backwards (82 feet 2 inches); Anthony "Ant" Atkinson, the first-ever Globetrotters' draft selection and a college All-American and national champion; former Siena sharp-shooter Tay "Firefly" Fisher; and dunking and ball-handling sensation William "Bull" Bullard.
Sponsored by World Vision, Greyhound Lines and Baden Sports, The Harlem Globetrotters® are celebrating their 90th anniversary, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages. Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans-among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents-over more than eight thrilling decades. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, and to purchase tickets and team merchandise, visit the Globetrotters' official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com.