When the Harlem Globetrotters take the basketball court at 2 p.m. Feb. 16 at Comcast Arena, Everett, the audience is sure to include those who remember the Globetrotter George "Meadowlark" Lemon, others who watched "Flight Time" Lang and "Big Easy" Lofton on two seasons of the TV show "The Amazing Race" and some of the children who met Tay "Firefly" Fisher this past week at the Imagine Children's Museum in Everett.
Fisher was in the area to promote the Harlem Globetrotters's current "Fans Rule" World Tour, which also includes a stop on Feb. 17 in Seattle. Fisher talked to local school groups about the prevention of bullying, but he came by the museum to sign autographs and pose for photos with preschool children.
From Kingston, N.Y., Fisher, now 27, once scored 61 points in a single high school basketball game. At Siena College in New York, the guard led his team to an NCAA tournament victory, going six-for-six at the three-point line to beat Vanderbilt University. The Globetrotters organization calls Fisher, who's in his fifth year, one of its finest shooters and ball handlers.
And, man, can he make a basketball spin.
Each child who greeted Fisher at Imagine Childrens Museum had a shot at spinning the ball.
Fisher got it started. Then he placed the orbiting ball on the fingers of any who wanted to try. He enjoyed their reactions as much as the kids enjoyed watching that ball spin on their own fingers.
When Fisher called forward Lilian Harris, 5, to try some ball handling moves, her sister Annabelle, 2, tagged along.
"You sisters?" Fisher asked. "So I gotta take you both? Uh, oh."
Lillian did a good job handling the around-the-back, under-the-leg, pass-it-over moves and Annabelle gave it a good try.
"Let's give it up for these two," said Fisher, who kept the adults laughing and the kids smiling throughout the hourlong event.
Twins Braylon and Bryson Yarwood, 5, of Everett, said they liked talking with Fisher.
"It was fun because I had never tried basketball before," Braylon said.
Friends Max "Danger" Carson, 5, of Lake Stevens and Maxwell Hamlot, 5, of Bothell talked excitedly over each other about the skill that it takes to spin a basketball.
"It takes perfect balance," Maxwell said.
It takes balance to dance, too, and that's something that's in store for the Globetrotters audience on Feb. 16. This season, the Globetrotters will incorporate the "Trotter Bounce" into their show. The new dance was created by choreographer Mark Ballas of TV's "Dancing With the Stars."
Known as the "Ambassadors of Goodwill," the Globetrotters also are on a tourlong campaign to promote their partnership with World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization working to fight poverty.
Tickets are $20 to $125, available online at www.comcastarenaeverett.com or by calling the box office at 866-332-8499.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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