The Harlem Globetrotters traded in their Jordans for ice cleats yesterday for their first performance on an outdoor ice rink in Portage, Michigan.
Strapping on their bright blue hockey helmets, the basketball phenoms decided to perform on the slippery court, hoping to appeal to hockey fans yearning for some NHL action that was empty this season due to the NHL lockout.
The Globetrotters also recruited former Red Wings hockey player, Kevin Miller, to participate in the game, who actually dribbled the ball with a hockey stick. The Globetrotters beat the opposing team, the Global Select, 24-10.
Aside from playing for the first time on a rink, yesterday was also a historic day for the Globetrotters, marking the 85th anniversary of the team’s first road game in 1927.
The game also paid tribute to the annual “Winter Classic” an event held by the National Hockey League (NHL) near New Year’s day when a regular season game is played outdoors. This year, the Winter Classic was cancelled due to labor disputes between the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) and the NHL.
The Globetrotters chose Miller to participate, because this year’s Winter Classic game was supposed to host the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. This past Sunday, a tentative settlement between the players association and the league has been made, ending the lockout.
According to the Globetrotters official site, this is not the first time the world-renowned basketball entertainers have played in an unconventional setting.
The team has performed on aircraft carriers, beaches, bullrings and even at the bottom of swimming pool just to name a few.
This coming April, Globetrotters will be on the “You Write the Rules” World Tour, playing in 45 states and nine Canadian provinces.
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