Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater, and
comedy, are celebrating their 90th anniversary of being an organization. Over the years the
Globetrotters have played more than 26,000 exhibition games in 122 countries and territories.

Hundreds of kids, parents and fans sporting red, white and blue packed Samford’s Pete Hanna Center on Sunday, March 6.

Fans gathered to watch Hacksaw, Big Easy, Scooter, Too Tall, Hawk, Titan, Torch, Moose, Flip, and Hawk perform alley-oop dunks, attempt half-court shots and entertain the crowd.

At Globetrotters’ games, it’s not about the end result or the stats sheet. Number of fouls and individual player’s points are not tracked. Instead, the focus is on family fun and entertainment.

For example, some families who sit courtside will often be brought onto the floor to dance with Big Easy and interact with other players. Scooter taught a young boy how to spin the ball on his finger.

The crowd has fun because they get to watch the players enjoy themselves.

“Right now I’m living out my dream of playing basketball and traveling the world,” said Hacksaw Hall during a speech to the fans.

Following the game, players were available to sign autographs on the court.

The Globetrotters will play one more game at Samford tonight (March 7) at 7 p.m.

More on the Harlem Globetrotters:

The team’s signature song is Brother Bones’s whistled version of “Sweet Georgia Brown”, and their mascot is named Globie. The team plays over 450 live events worldwide each year. Today, there are at least three different Harlem Globetrotters teams touring the U.S.

Fun fact: At 5-2, Too Tall is the shortest player in Globetrotter history.

For more on the team, tickets, camps and news, visit harlemglobetrotters.com.


Harlem Globetrotters Come to Samford

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Pete Hanna Center Sunday, March 6th at 4 p.m. and Monday, March 7th at 7 p.m. The team is celebrating its 90th anniversary world tour, and this one being called their most epic tour in history.

Handles_Franklin_14_2016 Tour
Photos courtesy of Harlem Globetrotters media team.

The Local had the opportunity to interview Handles Franklin, one of the players.

The Local: I hear you’ve traveled to several different countries to play games. Which has been your favorite to visit and/or play in?
Franklin: When we go to other countries, we try to speak those languages. We’ve been to Iraq where the war is, and there are military bases and troops. That was pretty cool. In China and Romania, the games were absolutely packed – sold out.

L: Who are you closest to on the team?
F: I’m close with Marquez Haines. I also had a good friend Marcus who passed away. But we’re all like brothers, like one big family. When at practice or on the road, we’ll be together on a tour bus on Christmas morning.

L: What is your biggest challenge and how do you manage this challenge?
F: No one, no matter your path, is immune to life’s challenges. We all have challenges that we need to overcome. It’s about getting up and moving forward.

L: How do you set your goals?
F: I’ll have a tape sent I’ve me playing, which I will review. I always try to be persistent and keep pushing towards being the best I can be.


L: What’s your diet like?
F: We play over 300 games a year, so we play everyday. When I’m on tour, which is most often, I eat very healthy.

L: What was the best advice you were ever given?
F: My parents were my role models growing up. They taught me the value of getting an education and to help as many people as I can. Just try to make the world better. One act of service our team performs is a hospital visit called the Great Assist. We’re celebrating our 90th anniversary and encourage our fans to give back as well. People can learn more about it at http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/greatassist.


L: Anything else you’d like to share?
F: I tell people to believe in themselves and believe in your dreams. They are attainable! There was a time when, at first, basketball didn’t work out. But I stuck with it.


Tickets start at $22 and are available at harlemglobetrotters.com, samfordsports.edu, the Pete Hanna Center box office, or by phone at 205-726-3647.  Information on group and scout tickets can also be found at harlemglobetrotters.com.


Women’s Tennis defeated by nationally ranked Wildcats

The women’s tennis team was defeated 4-0 by No. 15 University of Kentucky.

Kentucky began the match with a 6-1 win at the No. 1 doubles positon against senior marketing major Jessica Northcutt and senior accounting major Carita Moolman. Kentucky followed with a 6-3 win at the No. 2 doubles position against senior interior design major Iva Parapunova and sophomore health sciences major Ellie Gerlach to secure the doubles point.

Kentucky was able to secure the victory with singles wins at the No. 1 position against Northcutt, No.3 position against Parapunova and No.4 position against sophomore nursing major Savannah Wood.

Northcutt was disappointed by the loss but was happy with the way the team played.

“Unfortunately we stopped at 4 against UK, so some people didn’t get to play. But, overall I think everyone played very well. UK is a very good team and I think that we competed well with them,” Northcutt said.

“It was good experience to play a highly ranked team, because that’ll be the best team we play all year. If everyone plays the way we did last weekend, we could be in good shape,” she said.

The Bulldogs are getting ready for their next match against UT Martin which takes place on March 6 at 3 p.m. at the Samford Tennis Complex.

Northcutt said it will be business-as-usual for the Bulldogs at practice this week.

“We play UT Martin on Sunday, so we had a couple easy days the beginning of this week but now we will continue to practice normally to get ready for this weekend,” Northcutt said.

“I think if we have a good week of practice to have confidence going into this weekend, it will make a big difference in our upcoming matches,” Northcutt said.

Photos courtesy of Joey Mullins.

Samford Baseball Hosts UAB

The Samford University baseball team will host the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Tuesday, March 1, at Joe Lee Griffin Field.

The Bulldogs (5-3) enter the game coming off a challenging four-game series that saw the team go 1-3 against Brigham Young University.

UAB carries a 3-4 record into the mid-afternoon game, having won two of its past three contests. Over the weekend, the Blazers picked up a pair of victories over Ohio University.

At the plate, Samford is led by junior right fielder Heath Quinn and senior catcher Richard Greene. Quinn tops the Bulldog lineup with seven home runs, 18 RBI and a .545 batting average. Notably, he’s been named Southern Conference Player of the Week each of the past two weeks. Greene currently boasts a .440 batting average, having laced 11 hits in 25 at-bats.

First pitch for Tuesday’s matchup is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Samford Hosts SOCON Indoor Championships

Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26th and 27th the SOCON indoor track conference championships will be hosted by Samford University at the Birmingham CrossPlex at 10 a.m. Sophomore Sarah Sanford stated that, “Samford gets to host the meet again so we are excited to be at the crossplex where most of our indoor meets are at.”

This will will be the 81st annual Indoor Track & Field Championship for the men and the 29th for the women. Western Carolina is the reigning champion on both sides and Samford finished runner-up last year.

Sanford commented, “The girls are sitting with a chance to win. We had a good team last year, but I think we filled the gaps that we needed with some really good freshmen. We also added some more distance runners so that will really help this year.”

Sanford was awarded Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week for the week of February 3rd. Alongside her, Samford has had four other athletes nominated for athletes of the week. These also include Brandon Hazouri (nominated twice), Tray Oates, Jordan Highsmith, and Tatiana Taylor.

According to Sanford, “the seniors are all doing really well with personal records set and should score so it will be a good way for them to end their last indoor season.”

Admission is free and parking is $5. The meet will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.  The official schedule can be found below. The CrossPlex Address is 2337 Bessemer Road Birmingham AL 35208.


Republican candidates are headed to Birmingham

Republican presidential candidates have been invited to participate in a forum at Samford University on Saturday Feb. 27 hosted by Yellowhammer News

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are the only two candidates that have been confirmed so far. Other candidates are expected to announce if they will be participating in the next few days.

Each candidate will take the stage individually.  Cliff Sims, Chief Executive Officer of Yellowhammer will interview each participant during the forum.

The event will be held in Samford’s Wright Center. Tickets for the event sold out soon after it was announced. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and people must be at their seats by 2:30 p.m. The forum will begin at 3 p.m.

Superstation WYDE will broadcast the Forum live on radio station 101.1 FM.

Samford goes 2-2 in Mardi Gras Invitational

This past weekend, Samford’s Softball team participated in the Mardi Gras Invitational hosted by the University of South Alabama.

The tournament hit on only the second weekend of the season, but the team went well prepared. They played SIU Edwardsville on Friday and won 3-2. After the third inning, the Bulldogs were down 2-0, until they got back in the game scoring a point in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, and shutting out the Cougars for the rest of the game.

They then faced a loss to Southern Miss on Saturday morning, but then defeated the tournament hosts, South Alabama, later that day.

To round out the tournament, the Bulldogs played the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Sunday. The team lost, but not without putting up a fight. The Samford women got the first point of the game in the second inning. Going into the eighth inning, it was a tied game at 2-2, but Mississippi State pulled out a win, getting 3 points in the very end.

Photos courtesy of Samford Athletics.

Christenberry Planetarium to Host Star of Bethlehem Shows

The Samford University Christenberry Planetarium will host its annual Star of Bethlehem show at select dates and times throughout December, beginning on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.

The show, which examines the iconic star from an astronomical, historical and biblical perspective, is meant to direct the viewer’s attention to the real reason for the season.

“The show is very much a prayerful meditation in preparation for Christmas,” Planetarium Director David Weigel said, “and it’ll be a good opportunity to sort of reorient your perspective so that you’re focused on the true meaning of Christmas.”

Scheduled to run through Dec. 20, each show is about an hour long.

For more information on dates and times, visit the planetarium’s Facebook page, Christenberry Planetarium at Samford University.