Hearty laughs on the hardwood

They’ve put on their show all over the world and early next year they are stopping in Marshalltown.

The much-beloved Harlem Globetrotters will play on Jan. 5 at the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse during a swing through the Midwest.

The world-renowned basketball team which has been in existence for 88 years will play a 2 p.m. game. They are known for their basketball tricks and high-flying dunks along with a unique array of comedy.

“It’s family entertainment,” said Nathaniel “Big Easy” Lofton, a Globetrotters player. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80 years old. You can sit down and enjoy the show. We want you to come and have one of the best experiences of your life.”

Lofton, all 6-foot-9 of him, will be one of the players to arrive in Marshalltown. He takes his nickname from his hometown of New Orleans. Fans of “The Amazing Race” show on CBS will recognize him as a two-time competitor on that reality series.

He said fans can expect some of the traditional Globetrotter tricks on the court mixed in with new tricks.

“We have some new and exciting things going on,” Lofton said.

Lofton’s signature shot is a half-court hook shot he has perfected. He said he can sink approximately 85 percent of the half-courters he attempts.

Fans can also look forward to basketball players playing at a high level, displaying dazzling dunks and amazing athleticism, which all are trademarks of the Globetrotters.

“We have some of the best athletes in the world,” Lofton said.

One of the mottos of the Globetrotters is they will play everywhere, which is why smaller towns like Marshalltown have landed on their schedule.

“Everyone deserves a good show,” Lofton said.

Advanced tickets to the game will be on sale beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Tickets start at $25 and will be available at harlemglobetrotters.com, www.ticketweb.com or by phone at 866-468-3401.