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On January 7, 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team played their first game, in Hinkley, Illinois. They wouldn’t play a “home game” (in Harlem, New York City) until 1968.
 
The Globetrotters were organized as an exhibition team in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois. The original team, the so-called “Savoy Big Five,” were named after the legendary ballroom (the Savoy) where the team played games before dances. The team soon changed its name to reflect the sophisticated New York neighborhood of Harlem, more than 1,000 kilometers away! 
 
The Globetrotters were superb athletes who traveled around the Midwest, often giving spectators their first glimpse of a live basketball game. The team didn’t introduce its signature comedy routines until decades later.
 
The Globetrotters were created long before African Americans were allowed to join the National Basketball Association (NBA). When the NBA lifted the “color barrier” in 1950, one of the first African American players to be drafted was a Globetrotter, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton. Another former Globetrotter, Wilt Chamberlain, was drafted in 1959 and still holds key NBA records, including most points scored in a game (100) and most points scored in a season (4,029).
athlete
Noun

person who participates or competes in sporting events.

draft
Verb

to choose a player for a sports team.

exhibition team
Noun

sports team that plays games where the outcome does not impact the team's ranking.

glimpse
Noun

short look.

legendary
Adjective

famous, heroic, or celebrated.

Midwest
Noun

area of the United States consisting of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Noun

an area within a larger city or town where people live and interact with one another.

reflect
Verb

to rebound or return light from a surface.

signature
Adjective

unique identifying feature or characteristic.

sophisticated
Adjective

knowledgeable or complex.

spectator
Noun

person who observes an event or situation.

superb
Adjective

outstanding.