People who adore sports arrive at that obsession via many doors. It typically happens when you're a kid, or at least a youth, picking up your first tennis racket or bouncing a soccer ball atop your head as many times as you can.
Or when you go to your first Harlem Globetrotters game. The world-famous basketball outfit, which will celebrate its centennial in just over a decade, has elevated all exhibition sports while threading competitive spectacle with strong themes of comedy, pathos, and community-big philanthropy.
It's a winning combination, whoever ends up making the most baskets. If this was your first entry into basketball -- perhaps you caught the Globetrotters on TV as a tot, back in the '70s, or visited an arena to see the always-touring team live -- then you remember a joyful experience that's very much about connecting body and heart.
And they're back, as they always are around Valentine's Day, with a mind to bring that Globetrotter-style glad-a-tude to a number of Southern California stops. The team'll play nine games at six different arenas from Friday, Feb. 6 through Monday, Feb. 16.
Tour name? The 2015 Washington Generals Revenge Tour. The style of play? Major -- the group brims with talented athletes, and unlikely rim shots, gasp-inducing dunks, and other go-for-air amazements await. The high jinks? Ever-present and ever-charming; a "human surfboard" was spied at a January game.
Let us pause to applaud the Globetrotters' good works when they visit a region. A Hometown Hero will be honored at each game. Know one? "The team is searching for active, wounded, or retired members of the military who have made their community proud with their brave service and exemplary character."
Did your love of sport begin with a Harlem Globetrotters game? It is known as a family tradition for a reason: A lot of kids have been down on the court to participate in a lot of fun stuff over the years. It's a memory as major for many as bouncing a soccer ball on your head, or swinging that first racket.