American Joe Ballard and Puerto Rican Orlando Meléndez, members of the Harlem Globetrotters, said in an interview with Efe that “there is no discrimination” on the team and that Argentine Emanuel Ginobili has the qualities to be one of them.
‘Jumpin’ Joe and ‘el Gato’ Meléndez visited Argentina to promote a series of games that the Harlem Globetrotters will hold in various provinces of the southern country.
Meléndez said that Ginobili, who won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the silver medal at the 2002 World Cup in the United States and four championships at the NBA With the San Antonio Spurs (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014), he could be part of the team.
“I have followed the Argentine players a lot and my favorite has always been Ginobili. He has always stood out for making very spectacular plays and very difficult shots. He falls into that like a Globetrotter ”, he assured.
“I don’t know him personally, but you can see that he is a nice person, who talks to people and is not the typical player who doesn’t want to talk to anyone. He looks like a very good person, “he added about the 39-year-old basketball player.
In tune, Ballard argued that the Globetrotters “recruit” all players who meet the necessary characteristics to be part of the team, “regardless of nationality.”
“If we can find Latin American players who can do what we do, of course they will be, there is no discrimination for anyone. We go out to recruit everyone who can do what we do. Of course, an Argentine could be a Globetrotter “, explained ‘Jumping Joe’.
Meléndez is currently the only Spanish-speaking player on the team and assumes a leading role in tours of Latin American countries.
«For me it goes beyond Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is my flag and I will always represent it, wherever it may be, but now I represent all Latinos, ”he said with pride.
“I also try to be an example for them (Latinos) and for them to say: ‘He could do it, he worked hard to be there and there he is, then I can do it.’ For me it would be an honor if some boy or girl, because now we have four in the team, want to reach that level, “he added.
The language barrier is not a problem for Globetrotters because they are very well received even outside the United States.
“It is my first time in Argentina but when I was in Spain the audience was wonderful, probably the best audience I played in my entire life,” said Ballard.
The American revealed that what makes him happiest about being a Globetrotter is being able to “make people happy.”
«I love seeing the boys laugh, seeing them leave our game happy is what I enjoy the most. I also like that when they go out they try to do what I do, excellent dunks, “he added.
According to ‘Jumpin Joe’ the Globetrotters are a mix of basketball and entertainment.
“Not only do you see great basketball, we have shows in the middle, a lot of shows in the middle, and we also interact with the public.
Meléndez explained that “everything is very mixed” and that “a spectacular play can become a part of a comedy show,” just as “a juggling show can become a spectacular play.”
The Harlem Globetrotters will carry out an intense tour of Argentina. This Friday they will be presented in the province of Córdoba. On Saturday and Sunday they will be in Santa Fe and next week they will tour the province of Buenos Aires.
On July 25 they will be in La Plata, on the 26th in Bahía Blanca, on the 27th in Mar del Plata and they will close the tour on the 28th and 29th at the Obras de Buenos Aires stadium.
«People have to be aware because anything can happen, it may be that at the moment you are looking over there because there is a spectacular play and suddenly one of us is sitting next to you eating popcorn and looking at you. Things like that, that people don’t expect and they always happen, “explained Meléndez. EFE