Harlem Globetrotters Bring “Fans Rule World Tour” to Kona
The Harlem Globetrotters has taken its unique brand of basketball across the globe since 1926. Later this month, the traveling basketball show heads to Kailua-Kona’s Kealakehe High School for an afternoon mix of hoops and entertainment.
The Globetrotters’ stop in Kona is one of five stops along a four-day tour that covers three islands. The “Fans Rule World Tour” stops first in Maui at Wailuku’s War Memorial Stadium on Friday, April 25. The next day, the team travels to Oahu to play a pair of games at the Neal Blaisdell Center.
After stopping in Kona on April 27, the Globetrotters make one more stop in Oahu, playing in Laie’s Cannon Activities Center.
Nine different players are slated to appear on the trip, including Bull Bullard, a former college basketball player at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He described his early stages of playing the game as an “escape.”
“Basketball started for me when I was 12 years old and in foster care,” said Bullard. “I really didn’t want to play basketball because I wanted to get out of foster care and get back with my biological mother. While I was in there, I picked up the habit of playing basketball. That was my release. That was my way to escape and I just got pretty good at it.”
The call to join the Globetrotters came after appearing in the College Basketball Slam Dunk Competition while with the Islanders at TAMU-CC. Bullard finished second in the competition, and later got a call that he didn’t expect.
“I had no idea I was on their radar,” Bullard said in a radio interview. “When I was in the College Slam Dunk contest, I was just being myself. When you’re out there on the road, you have to be personable. You have to get people to like you.”
Being a part of the Harlem Globetrotters has opened opportunities in both sports and entertainment for Bullard. The New York Jets invited him to attend a try out in 2008, without having played football before. He’s appeared on television in various shows, including “American Ninja Warrior,” “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” and “Man v. Food Nation.”
It’s likely that every Globetrotter you meet will have a different story about how they got to be on the world’s most famous traveling basketball team. Nine different players are scheduled to make the trip, including Herbert “Flight Time” Lang, Derick “Dizzy” Grant, and Chris “Handles” Franklin.
One of the Globetrotters’ three female players will also make the trip. Tammy “T-Time” Brawner, a former collegiate player at Cal State University-Northridge and Dominican University, will be a part of the Hawai`i traveling squad.
As part of the “Fans Rule World Tour,” the team invites people to visit its website to choose a rule that will be used during a portion of the game. Votes will be tallied before the game to determine whether a trick-shot challenge flag, hot hand jersey, or 6-on-5 stipulation will be added to the game.
The festivities are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. VIP general admission tickets are $30, with Magic Pass interactive access tickets for an additional $20. Courtside seats are $80. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the team’s website.