LAKE PLACID - The Harlem Globetrotters had the crowd laughing and smiling at their antics on the court Tuesday in the Olympic Center's Herb Brooks Arena.
"It was hysterical," said Ed Ouplon of Saranac Lake. "We didn't stop laughing, and we're a bunch of 23-year-olds. It was interesting for anybody, and it was just funny."
Players garnered laughs from the large crowd by mimicking the referee, tearing off opposing players' uniforms and switching out the basketball for a beach ball, all the while playing what was supposedly a game.
Jonte “Too Tall” Hall of the Harlem Globetrotters displays his dribbling prowess while playing keep away from an Elite team opponent Tuesday at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
"I was thinking that it was going to be more of a show, as in a performance, but I was actually impressed that they actually had basketball skills," said Lauren Dardzinski of Saranac Lake. "We were talking about that they could be in the NBA because they were really good."
The Harlem Globetrotters showed off their skills with slam dunks, shots from half-court and passing the ball off to each other in rapid succession.
"It was highly impressive because they were really good, like they were making half-court shots and the slam dunks were amazing," Ouplon said. "They just kept slamming them down."
Not surprisingly, the Globetrotters' skills on the court ultimately allowed them to win the game against the Elite team. At stake was the World Championship trophy and a spot on the 2013 World Tour.
"The family just loves the basketball, loves the whole humor, everything about the Globetrotters, the whole presentation that they do," said Ron Brenner of Lake Placid.
Part of the presentation included both the team's mascot, Globie, and the players busting moves to the beat of the music pulsing out of the arena's speakers.
"I like their dancing," said Nicole Lewis of Lake Placid. "I think they're just as good dancers as they are basketball players, and Handles (one of the Globetrotters) has that signature move. That's my favorite part, Handles' move."
Evan Griffith, 8, of Plattsburgh, got a chance to dance with Chris "Handles" Franklin on the court during a sideline act. He said it was fun and then broke into a grin.
"It just blew my mind way out," Griffith's mom, Alana Hood, said about seeing her son dancing with the Harlem Globetrotters. "I just thought it was an extremely neat opportunity."
Others in the crowd - children and adults - got to join in the antics of the team by shooting some hoops, spinning a basketball on their index fingers and dancing. One boy even had a laughing contest with the players.
"I did like that," said A.J. Otero of Saranac Lake. "I thought they interacted a lot with the crowd, a lot more than I thought they would."
Otero thought the show was more geared toward children and families, but that didn't stop him from having a good time.
"It was fun," he said.
"It's great family fun," said Lewis, who was at the game with her children, "a show for the whole family."
Brenner also brought his family to the game and this wasn't their first time seeing the Harlem Globetrotters in action.
"We come every year, whenever they're in Lake Placid," Brenner said. "This is the third time we've seen them, and we'll keep on coming as long as they keep coming."