Story and photos by Dustin Senger
Harlem Globetrotter Scooter Christensen brought basketball wizardry to Fort Carson Jan. 6, while promoting the team’s latest tour.
Soldiers, spouses and children applauded the Harlem Globetrotter’s mid-afternoon arrival at the Mountain Post, a day before the team played at the Colorado Springs’ World Arena. Balfour Beatty Communities, a company committed to community welfare, coordinated his visit to Fort Carson.
The Harlem Globetrotter stepped onto the basketball court inside the Special Events Center and approached a dozen military families seated in facing bleachers. The basketball star explained the legendary team’s history, traditions and global outreach events, covering their 85 consecutive seasons.
Christensen, 32, has gained global recognition with several Guinness World Records. He broke two of his own records Feb. 13 at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Dallas.
The Harlem Globetrotter spun a basketball on his head for 7.9 seconds and on his nose for 5.1 seconds, according to the team website.
Army spouse PascualaAbalos says her sons, Nicholas, 6, and John, 4, were “amazed” by Christensen’s display of agility at Fort Carson. She was mostly excited about a celebrity appearance on post.
“We’ve missed a lot of stuff because of deployments,” said Abalos, whose husband had recently returned from Afghanistan. She says military families adjusting to hectic schedules during a spouse’s deployment often miss out on events outside Fort Carson.
Christensen conveyed “the morals the Harlem Globetrotters live by” using the acronym “CHEER,” which stands for cooperation, health, effort, enthusiasm and
responsibility. He called up several children to embody the ethos, as well as attempt a couple basketball-handling exercises.
“He’s well-spoken and had a good message for the kids,” said Spc. John Plese, who listened to the basketball star with his son, Elijah, 7. “He talked about teamwork, education and that dreams do come true. We’re headed to the World Arena to get tickets now.”
“We want to encourage everyone to come out and see our show,” said Christiansen, while signing autographs and promoting the Harlem Globetrotters’ “4 Times the Fun” World Tour. The team is playing more than 270 basketball games in 45 states and six Canadian provinces between December and April.
“We have a four-point shot this year,” he said, referring to a long-distance score 35 feet away from the rim and 12 feet beyond the NBA’s 3-point line. “The Harlem Globetrotters are known as the innovators in basketball, so it’s only fitting for us to revolutionize the game again.”
“I appreciate everything our troops have done for our country,” said Christensen, after his visit. “I had the opportunity to go to Iraq in 2007, and that was one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done.”