Fans with Harlem Globetrotters apparel dressed in red, blue and black and kids with the red, white and blue basketball filled up the arena to see the legendary team in action at State Farm Arena.

History is something that unites the fans and people of Atlanta as the Globetrotters were able to win their first World Basketball Championship and stun the World Champions, the Minneapolis Lakers (now Los Angeles Lakers). This in turn led to the integration of the NBA as Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton became the first African-American to sign an NBA contract.

As the Globetrotters’ history is known for black excellence, they stopped in a city known for Black excellence as well. Globetrotters player Chandler “Bulldog” Mack loved being in Atlanta for the tour.

“This has become a new home for us,” Mack said. “Just having the people come in and give us great energy we had today was well worth it.”

Fans are what makes seeing the Harlem Globetrotters a worthwhile experience and for Jahmani “Hot Shot” Swanson, it’s no place like coming to Atlanta.

“The fans,” Swanson said. “We felt the energy they bring back. It makes us feel like we’re back. It could be nowhere but Atlanta to start it off.”

It was HBCU night and the Globetrotters paid homage to those who attended and are attending HBCUs. Along with HBCU homage, two of Atlanta’s community leaders were presented with awards. Former Atlanta mayor and current mayoral candidate Kasim Reed was in attendance with his daughter, Maria Kristen Reed, as he accepted the 2021 Ambassador of Goodwill Award from the Globetrotters.

Pastor Dr. William E. Flippen of Greater Piney Road Baptist Church accepted the Leadership Achievement Award from the Globetrotters as well.

While the Globetrotters have been in their quest to join an NBA franchise, they in the meantime will continue their Spread Game tour throughout the Southeast.