Globetrotter fans call the shots

Harlem Globetrotter Handles Franklin minded his own business on the court when Big Easy Lofton tried to spice up the game.

Big Easy went to the bench, picked up a filled bucket of water and rushed the court to look for Handles. As the crowd laughed, Big Easy drenched Handles with the water before he noticed he was on his tail. Minutes later, Big Easy picked up another bucket and chased Handles into the crowd. The crowd braced itself in anticipation of a big splash, but instead dozens of tiny confetti pieces poured from the bucket.

This was one of the many antics the Harlem Globetrotters displayed Friday night in Carbondale for their 2013 World Tour. However, this wasn’t the typical show fans experience from the Globetrotters.

For the first time, fans can help determine the outcome of a game.

In the Globetrotters’ 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour, enthusiasts voted for one rule change each quarter for both the Globetrotters and their opponents, the Global Select, to adopt. The rules were decided via Twitter or HarlemGlobetrotters.com.

Fans voted to make a 4-point shot possible in the first quarter. Two circles behind the 3-point line were added on each side of the court so players could attempt such a shot.

The Globetrotters took advantage of this rule as Bones Millien hit four consecutive shots from the circles to gain an early lead.

All shots made were worth double the points in the second quarter. This made for a high scoring time block.

In the third quarter, fans voted that for the first two minutes of the quarter, two basketballs could be used simultaneously on the court. Handles and Ant Atkinson took advantage of this rule as both players impressed the crowd with their ball handling skills.

With the game close at the end of the third quarter, the fan-voted final rule change decided the game’s outcome. They loved the long range three-pointers from earlier so much they voted to include the four point shot again.

The Globetrotters drained multiple four-point shots in the fourth quarter to gain the narrow victory against the The Global Selects.

Ariel “Mighty” Mitchell is a new Globetrotter, and her specialty is her ability to shoot and dribble around defenders. Mitchell played college basketball at Dillard University in New Orleans. She said she always wanted to play professional basketball, so she couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play with the Globetrotters.

There is a great family atmosphere with the Globetrotters, she said, so she loves to be a part of the team.

“Coming out to every game is amazing because the families are looking for family entertainment, and the Globetrotters bring great family entertainment,” she said. “We look forward to putting smiles on kid’s faces and also the parents.”

Mitchell said fans also enjoy seeing a woman on the court with the Globetrotters.

“After I make a shot, the crowds always go crazy because they love to see a woman out there playing a man’s sport,” she said.

Alison Troehler, of Herrin, and her son Drake were one of many families in the crowd to enjoy the Globetrotters’ antics. Troehler said her son laughed the entire time.

Drake said he enjoyed the contest, but one player’s performance stood out.

“Ant hung from the basket upside down while everyone was telling him to come down and get (his) head in the game,” Drake said.

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About Terrance Peacock

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