Harlem Globetrotters visit Topeka’s Granny Basketball League

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 6:36 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Granny Basketball League returned for its 6th installment in its young history this weekend, but Saturday featured some very special guests: The Harlem Globetrotters.

Coach Sweet Lou Dunbar and players Latif ‘Jet’ Rivers and Cherelle ‘Torch’ George visited Sportszone in South Topeka during the final day of the event. They spoke with the players, showed off their skills and participated in six-on-six scrimmages.

“This has been an awesome experience for me and the players,” Dunbar said. “You have to realize that they are active. They are not sitting home and watching movies. They’re out here ‘hoopin’' and I love it.”

“Granny basketball is incredible,” Rivers said. “I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m glad they let us come down to experience the league that they play in. I can see how they have so much fun, so it’s great to be here.

The Globetrotter players were forced to wear oven mitts during scrimmages to ‘level the playing field.’ Rivers and George faced off in opposing teams during the scrimmages and had to abide by the Granny Basketball League’s rules, like only taking two dribbles, no running and no stealing the ball unless it is in the air.

“I had fun playing with the oven mitt,” Rivers said. “It challenged me a little bit and we had a good time playing with it.”

Rivers and Dunbar said they were amazed with the atmosphere in the building. “This is a Globetrotter atmosphere we’ve got in here,” Dunbar said. “Everybody was getting involved in the game and had a great time. When someone had a foul, you could hear them chant, ‘You can’t do that.’ I mean everybody was getting up. This is awesome.”

The day ended with a ‘Granny Shot’ shoot-off between Rivers and George. George was unable to make a shot from half-court, but Rivers sank it on his final attempt, which happened to be his lone attempt with a Globetrotter-styled red, white and blue ball.