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It's Harlem Globetrotters Day, So Enjoy These Awesome Highlights

You're probably whistling their theme song to yourself right now!

Everyone who knows about this world famous team of performers can tell you the three most important things about them: they're amazing at basketball, they'll make you laugh until it hurts, and you should always bet on them to beat their opponents the Washington Generals.

Well, even if you've seen one of their incredible performances, there are some things you probably don't know about the Globetrotters. For one thing, while the Globetrotters are famous for beating the Generals, they don't have a perfect record.

It's a mystery how many times the scrappy underdog Generals have beaten the showstopping Globetrotters, but there's been at least one infamous loss and there could be as many as six!  Check out some more of these surprising facts about the world's favorite basketball team.

Harlem Globetrotters day is celebrated on January 7th because the team's first game ever was on that same day way back in 1927, which makes the team 90 years old today!

Since then, they've played more than 26,000 games in over 120 countries. Despite their name, the Globetrotters actually started out in Chicago. Harlem was a cultural hot spot at the time, so the team used the location to add some "mystique" to their name.

They didn't actually visit the city for four decades! By then, the Globetrotters were famous for touring around the world. They even managed to visit the Soviet Union before they ever stopped by their "hometown."

While the Globetrotters could fire up any crowd, Russian fans were a little confused by their antics. Apparently, it took most people until the game's second half to realize the players were performers and not serious players.

The local newspapers took even longer to catch onto the joke. "This is not basketball," one article wrote, "it is too full of tricks."

Throughout the team's history, they've had some very famous players on the team, including genuine NBA star Wilt Chamberlain, who went on to play for the LA Lakers.

Did you know there were female Globetrotters? As far back as 1985, when future WNBA player Lynette Woodward put on the famous jersey, women have been allowed on the team. Since then, there have been 13 female globetrotters.

If you've never seen a Globetrotters show in person, you might still know them from their many TV appearances. By the 1950s, the Globetrotters had their own series of comedy movies.

They've also had multiple Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, including crossovers with Scooby Doo.

But their most famous appearance was probably when they dropped by Gilligan's Island for a game of hoops, a crossover so important it became a TV movie instead of just a special episode. The episode featured a game between the castaways and the Globetrotters, then a special match against a team of basketball-playing robots - which is totally unfair, even for a team like the Globetrotters.

For younger generations of fans, the Globetrotters are probably better known for their multiple appearances on the animated show Futurama, where they show off their trick shots and also help save the universe from destabilizing.

Wherever you first met these basketball wizards, let's hope they keep entertaining audiences around the world for another 90 years!

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