The holidays are approaching and New Orleans is jam-packed with activities, parades, and revelry. The Harlem Globetrotters are kicking off the season at the Smoothie King Center on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. We were lucky enough to spend some time with the basketball troop ahead of their visit to New Orleans. We’ve got the inside scoop on their brand new tour.
What to expect
The Harlem Globetrotters have been delivering slam-dunks on the court for over 80 years. This show is so much more than ordinary basketball – it is a comedy show and wholesome family fun. The Globetrotters high-flying blend of basketball action and comedy has survived the test of time. Fans will still get to see all their classic moves, such as the beloved water bucket confetti skit, as well as some brand new trick shots and lots of audience interaction. Perhaps best of all, three talented women will bring some awesome girl power to the New Orleans stage.
We chatted with star Orlando ‘El Gato’ Melendez ahead of the show, who has been shooting trick shots with the team for seven years.
“This is our best show yet as we’re planning on involving the audience more than ever before. We want to go into the stands and bring the crowd into the show with us. We’ll still be keeping in all the old school elements and tricks that our fans love, like acrobat dunks, but we’re going to take it to the next level,” Melendez says.
Fans will get a chance to see the Flying Globies, an amazing acrobatic trampoline dunk team that will defy gravity during breaks in the game action.
An additional, exciting new element that fans can look forward to this year is a new interactive mobile app with exclusive features, including an augmented reality (AR) basketball toss game and one-of-a-kind image filters that can be shared on social media.
Meet the Squad
Prior to every performance, fans can secure a ticket to Magic Pass, the Globetrotters’ exclusive pregame event. Magic Pass gives fans access to the stars of the team, an opportunity to learn tricks, shoot hoops and take pictures on the court. After each game, fans can participate in a free autograph session.
El Gato says a highlight for the team is seeing the families participate.
“The best thing for us is when an 80-year-old man and his 6-year-old grandchild are laughing and enjoying the show together. It’s the perfect outing for families to enjoy together during the holidays.”
Their performance in New Orleans will be the first since breaking their latest five new records, including ‘most behind the back three pointers in one minute’.The Harlem Globetrotters will also be visiting schools in between shows to promote their new anti-bullying and school safety presentation “T.E.A.M. UP AT SCHOOL” designed by the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV). The T.E.A.M Up at School program is presented by the Harlem Globetrotters to provide students with bullying solutions through the acronym T.E.A.M. that stands for Talk, Empathize, Ask, and Mobilize. Find out more about their work here.