Harlem Globetrotters In Miles City
Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 13 years ago
This is going back quite a few years but does anyone remember hearing of the Harlem Globetrotters playing in Miles City? It was March 28th of 1934 I believe. I've got a ticket from that game that my Grandmother gave me and I'd like to know how they did and who won the game.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9193) 13 years ago
Er... The Globetrotters did, of course. Probably in a blowout.

Actually, in 34 they were probably still a "straight" team, so it might have been a real game.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (edited 5/22/2008).]
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 13 years ago
My father played in that game. They had a good run on the Trotters, but of course, they won in the end. I will find the original Star story tonight and transcribe it tomorrow. Unless, of course, someone would have a copy to scan....
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Posted by Shu (+1794) 13 years ago
Actually, the Globetrotters also played there once at the CCDHS gym when I was a kid...it was '77 or '78, I believe, and I attended the game. The Globetrotters still had Geese Osby (got his autograph) and the guy with the huge afro. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have the bald guy named "Curly" anymore, but still enjoyed the show.
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Posted by Gene Keller (+45) 13 years ago
Saw them play in the gym at CCHS around 1958/'59. Don't recall the exact year tho fun to watch.
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Posted by Amber (+222) 13 years ago
Back in 2001 I remember working out at the Guesthouse Inn and they had come thru town and stayed at the hotel. Not really sure if they played here or were just getting some rest but I got some good pictures, I may have to did out and post.
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Posted by Fred South (+154) 13 years ago
They were in MC at least once between 1952 and 1956, for I saw them play in the CCHS gym.
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Posted by MollieP (+136) 13 years ago
They did play sometime around 2001 they were tremendous! I still have the BBALl with all of thier signatures on it.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 13 years ago
The Globe Trotters played here in the '50's. I believe their "B" team, the Harlem Stars, also played in Miles City in the later years.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 13 years ago
OK, .... I transcribed it exactly as it was. Please forgive the un-PC references. Remember it was 1934.

It's funny to be putting a story about my father in "history"! He is still alive, the only one of the group. 94 next month. He was in his 50's when they had me, so it is like a whole other life that I really don't know anything about until I read stuff like this. I think that sometimes one might think that the world only started when they started.

So here it is:

TROTTERS BEAT MOTORS, 33-32
Negroes Trail Until Closing Minutes
of Contest

In a game that slowly gathered momentum to give approximately 500 fans a thrilling climax, the Harlem Globe Trotters, crack Negro basketball quintet, nosed out the smart Miles City Motors in a last quarter rally in the local high school gymnasium Saturday night. 33-32.

The Negro tossers who average seven games a week, were listless for the first three quarters as the Custer county five outplayed and outscored them until midway through the final period when the Trotters came to life long enough to assure themselves of a one-point victory.

While unable to make their shots count or stop the Motors' offensive fireworks during the first three cantos, the Harlemites kept the crowd amused with their sleight-of-hand passing and unexpected shooting. The traveling quintet gave the impression that it was weary from an overcrowded schedule and could do much better if a good night's sleep had been forthcoming before the game commenced.

The Miles City club, on the other hand, tried a few freak passing maneuvers also and matched the Trotters in speed and deception for the greater part of the contest. The Custer five undoubtedly missed the presence of their captain, Eddie Chinske, former Montana university star, who was unable to come here because the Miles City high quintet, which he coaches, had a game with Livingston.

Inman Jackson, elongated center for the Negro tossers, was the real cause of the Motors' downfall in the last half. Jackson managed to get the jump continuously and always directed his tap into the hands of a fellow player. The advantage of having the ball most of the time enabled the Negros to sink enough points to pass their stubborn opponents. Cutting, flashy Motors forward, was the fastest and most accurate-eyed man on the floor, having 12 points to show for his night's work. A spirited defense on the part of the Motors plus the inability of the Harlemites to find their eye, gave the Miles City club a chance to pile up eight points before Jackson knocked in a rebound for a Trotters initial score.

In the early part of the game, Cutting showed the way and was largely responsible for the Motors' lead which they held at the end of the first quarter, 11-4, and at half-time, 17-12. The Miles City star hooped in nine of the 17 points made during the first two quarters.

As the second half started both teams stepped up their attacks with the Negroes beginning to make their many hoop-directed shots count. The third quarter ended with the Miles City combine still holding the upper margin, 25-22.

The last period was a whirlwind affair that had the fans yelling for the first time during the evening. Tobin made a foul try for the Motors and Frazier matched it for the Trotters. Tobin tossed in a basket from under the hoop and the Custer five led. 28-23. After Courtney made a pretty shot for the Harlemites, Cutting dribbled the length of the floor to make his initial second half score. Jackson made two baskets in quick succession and Ford, Harlem guard, tossed in another to send the Negroes ahead for the first time. Ford put the game on ice with another quick shot and Cutting lifted the ball through the net just as the gun sounded.

The line-up:
Globe Trot's G F P Miles City G F P
Russan f 1 0 0 Mariana f 3 0 1
Courtney f 3 0 3 Cutting f 6 1 0
Jackson c 4 0 1 Spear c 3 0 0
Frazier g 4 3 3 Tobin g 3 1 3
Ford g 3 0 0 Anderson g 0 0 3
Totals: 15 3 7 15 2 7
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2743) 13 years ago
Cory -- Sounds like your Dad had a great game! It was a thrill just reading about it -- especially that last quarter. I hope you and he can discuss it. I'm sure there are a lot of things he could add to this story.

Re: the non-PC language -- You can tell that the sports writer had a great deal of respect for the HG team and a lot of empathy regarding their hard-pressing schedule. It's clear to me that he was just using the terminology of the day -- which makes the story even that much more interesting to read. Thanks for sharing!
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Posted by Maryann McDaniel (+249) 13 years ago
Okay, I am gonna have to throw this out there. I am pretty confident that the Harlem Globetrotters also made an appearance in Miles City sometime Jan. 1964-June 1966.

I distinctly remember their appearance...
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Posted by Stone (+1596) 13 years ago
I remember the late 70's game. I also recall that Meadow Lark Lemon left the trotters and started his own group and played in MC in the early 80's. I think they were called the Buckeneers or something.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 13 years ago
Well, this isn't the ONLY time they played in MC. Just the first time. I saw them when I was a kid too... probably the same time Brady remembers.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+763) 11 years ago
When they played at the high school in '77 at one point they grabbed a little kid out of the audience and played a little dribbling game with him. He had been sitting right next to me. It was Brian Walker of Kinsey.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1333) 11 years ago
I've still got one of the autographed basketballs from their 1977 visit to CCDHS.
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Posted by Bill Zook (+497) 11 years ago
Here goes history again. Back in the '50s Meadowlark and the rest of the 'Trotters came to MC when our gym was what is now the music rooms and the classroom next to the entrance to metal shop. If you can get a glimps(?) into the storage room on the 3rd floor, you'll see the old exposed beams of the gym. At one point one of the 'Trotters shot the ball over two of the beams and made a basket. I have no idea if he had practiced that or not, but he sure made the crowd go wild.
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Posted by Chris Choate Raible (+45) 11 years ago
I remember seeing the Globetrotters with my dad in 70's also. It was something so special I never forgot how much fun I had watching them and laughing! I was in awe of their talent.
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Posted by urijah (+135) 11 years ago
they must have been here in the 90's werent they i remember seeing them in the gym.
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Posted by ty head (+109) 11 years ago
haha, i remember when they were here. I was probably younger than 10. i got to shoot a free throw with them during half time
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Posted by urijah (+135) 11 years ago
yeah see i remember that cause i got their autographs lol.
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