The Harlem Globetrotters will continue their tradition of bringing goodwill to people all over the world as part of the U.S. State Department’s Sports Envoy program this week (Sept. 20-30), when they visit Lithuania and Estonia to promote the value of teamwork in every aspect of life.
These programs help bolster the United States’ cultural and social ties with the government and people of two long-standing partners and strong NATO allies.
Globetrotter stars Buckets Blakes and Ace Jackson will showcase their basketball artistry and entertaining humor, while also sharing an important message about bullying prevention and character building with youth in Lithuania and Estonia through the Globetrotters’ signature programs.
“It’s an honor to once again be working with the State Department to spread a message of goodwill around the world,” said Howard Smith, president of the Harlem Globetrotters. “This is something that the Globetrotters have been involved with throughout our history, spreading the message of sportsmanship, service and smiles. We’re excited to be able to bring the entertainment that the Harlem Globetrotters are known for, to new audiences in Lithuania and Estonia.”
The Harlem Globetrotters have a rich history or working alongside the U.S. State Department, serving as Ambassadors of Goodwill around the globe, dating back to 1950. One of the most unforgettable moments took place on August 22, 1951 in Germany, when the Globetrotters played before 75,000 people in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on behalf of the State Department. Olympic hero Jesse Owens accompanied the Globetrotters on that historic day, returning to the site where he had won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Shortly after the game, the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, acknowledged the Harlem Globetrotters as “ambassadors of extraordinary goodwill.”
Heading into their 92nd season in 2018, the Globetrotters are a uniquely American phenomenon who have introduced millions to the sport of basketball while building friendships and understanding in over 120 countries and territories on six continents. Since 2003, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has sent over 250 U.S. athletes to more than 85 countries on Sports Envoy programs.