As the always entertaining Harlem Globetrotters swoop down into the DMV and showcase their prowess on the basketball court this weekend at the District’s Verizon Center and at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, we can’t help but salute the self-proclaimed “Ambassadors of Goodwill” for refusing to allow the “gender ceiling” to deny talented women from joining their ranks.
District residents may have recently spotted the team dribbling and spinning their colorful basketballs across the Key Bridge from Rosslyn to Georgetown, making community appearances and hosting school assemblies much to the delight of lucky boys and girls eager to show off their own skills.
The current team roster includes four women: Ace, Hoops, Swish and TNT. Each of these women have already made their mark as high school, college and professional standouts. Even more, they have continued to be part of the sport they love while encouraging boys and girls to go after their dreams.
America may not be ready for a female president yet, but it’s to our good fortune that the Globetrotters have long seen the light. Some may recall the former University of Kansas All-American, Olympic gold medalist and WNBA star Lynette Woodard, who made history by becoming the first female member of the Harlem Globetrotters – later accepting an offer to play in the then-newly formed American women’s professional basketball league. Other women have since followed in her footsteps with pride and grace.
Hats off to the Globetrotters family and to those women players past and present who have torn down the ceiling with reckless abandon and continue to bounce their way into our hearts.