ATLANTA, Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters look toward the 91st season of entertaining fans, six new players will be making their debuts for the team when the 2017 World Tour tips-off on Dec. 26.
The rookie class of Jumpin' Joe Ballard, Clutch Ball, Beast Douglas, Hoops Green, Jet Rivers, and Swish Young, will become the latest stars to join the legacy of Globetrotters who have endeared themselves to millions worldwide.
"Having these six outstanding players is only going to make the Harlem Globetrotters better," said Globetrotters legend, Sweet Lou Dunbar, the team's director of player personnel and head coach. "The Globetrotters have entertained and thrilled crowds worldwide for over nine decades. As we begin our 91st consecutive season, the presence of each one of these talented rookies will continue to help us put smiles on the faces of every fan who comes to watch one of our games in 2017 and beyond."
Rookie Antjuan "Clutch" Ball is going to be a dunking superstar for the Globetrotters this season. The native of Collirene, Ala., has already earned a name for himself via his high-flying act on the basketball courts. He won ESPN's "City Slam" over the summer, continuing a career-long trend of wowing crowds with slam dunks. He won the National High School Slam Dunk Contest in 2011, as well as being named the 2015 State Farm Dark Horse Dunker during Final Four weekend. After spending two seasons at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala. – where he helped lead his team to the ACCC Championship and NJCAA Tournament – Ball finished his career at West Texas A&M.
Joining Ball in the Globetrotters rookie air show will be Devan "Beast" Douglas, another prolific dunker throughout his scholastic and collegiate career. An explosive 6-foot-3 player, who was a sensation at the University of Mary, Douglas was crowned the 2016 College Slam Dunk Champion in Houston last Final Four weekend and was drafted by the Globetrotters in June. He says that winning the nationally-televised competition was one of the highlights of his playing career. The Davenport, Iowa, native played high school ball with current NFL star David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals.
Bria "Swish" Young joins the Globetrotters after a stellar four-year career at Philadelphia University where she totaled 1,067 career points and was named the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference player of the year in 2016. This lifelong Philly girl modeled her game like Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson – even adopting his famous crossover as a signature move. Her inclusion on the Globetrotters' roster for the 2017 season also put her in the history books: Young is just the 14th woman to wear a Globetrotters' uniform, placing her in select company.
A rookie Globetrotter hailing from Elizabeth, N.J., Latif "Jet" Rivers will bring speed and quickness to the team. A standout for four seasons at Wagner College on Staten Island, Rivers lead the Seahawks to a 76-47 record during his tenure. He was one of the most talented scorers in Wagner, history, becoming just the 12th player to tally 1,500 points, finishing with 1,513. He spent the first two years in college, being coached by the sons of Hall of Fame high school coach, Bob Hurley – Dan Hurley and brother, Bobby.
Another member of a rookie class filled with prolific dunkers, "Jumpin' Joe" Ballard took a much different path to notoriety and eventually, the Globetrotters roster. After finishing his career at Sinclair Community College in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, Ballard then went and played for two seasons at Glenville State College in West Virginia. It was there where his proficiency for high-flying dunks began to take shape. "Jumpin' Joe" grew his dunking persona even more, becoming one of the stars of the YouTube dunking circuit.
As the Globetrotters continue to break boundaries in the game, Briana "Hoops" Green will join "Swish" Young, bringing the total number of female team members to four – the highest ever in its history. At 5-9, she models her game after Michael Jordan and Chris Paul, which helped propel her to a standout four-year career at Texas-El Paso, before pursuing her advanced degree at Southern New Hampshire University. The Lexington, Kentucky native has previously played professional basketball in Spain, Mexico and the Czech Republic.
The first-year players will join a star-studded roster featuring Ant Atkinson, Big Easy Lofton, Cheese Chisholm, Thunder Law, Hi-Lite Bruton, Firefly Fisher, Ace Jackson and TNT Lister as the Globetrotters tip-off their 2017 World Tour on Dec. 26 and will play in over 250 North American markets, as well as 30 countries worldwide. Tickets are now available at harlemglobetrotters.com.
The Harlem Globetrotters® are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 90 years. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans – among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents – over nine thrilling decades. Sponsored by Baden Sports, Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the Globetrotters' official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com and follow them on Twitter @Globies.
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SOURCE Harlem Globetrotters