Harlem Globetrotters ready for Rose Garden

Harlem Globetrotters ready for Rose Garden

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by Michael Berk, KGW Sports Director

kgw.com

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 8:13 PM

PORTLAND -- You would think the Harlem Globetrotters act would be old and tired by now. Even legendary bands break up, or their music doesn't strike the same chord after so many years.

But it seems, everything that is good, and fun about the Harlem Globetrotters team, which formed in 1926, has only improved with age.

"I think it's a generational thing that's been passed down from fathers to sons," said Wun "The Shot" Versher after a light workout at the Rose Garden. "We're 87 years old, so fathers have their fond memories of the Globetrotters, and they're passing that on to their sons."

Seems as if those memories are being passed down to their daughters as well. The team, which will make its annual Portland appearance this Saturday, includes guard "Mighty Mitchell," the 11th female player to wear the Harlem red, white and blue.

"The thing I love about being a Globetrotter is that I'm not just a basketball player. I think I'm a role model to kids all around the world," she said. "And I think that's truly an honor."

Neither Mitchell nor Versher came to the Globetrotters armed with trick shots and ball-spinning ability. Mitchell was a terrific small college player in Louisiana. Versher played his college ball in the Pac-12 at Arizona State.

"It's always nice to come back to Oregon and have fans cheer me, rather than boo!" Versher was referring to his games at the old Mac Court in Eugene, and Gill Coliseum in Corvallis when he was a member of the visiting team with the Sun Devils.

Now he's in his 18th season playing for a team that's always "visiting." The Globetrotters never play in Harlem. All they ever do is play road games. In fact, they're on a 200-game road trip this season. But for some reason, over the course of nine decades, they are always made to feel at home.

"It's good, wholesome family fun," said Versher.  "And it's truly something that father and son can enjoy."

Mighty Mitchell is proving mothers and daughters can as well. Only a rookie, she knows the answer when asked about the Washington Generals' chances of winning this weekend.

"Absolutely not! We have too much talent for them."

That's a fact, which has been played out over the course of 87 years.

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