Beloved mascot Globie skydives in to present the Hall with team ball from Space Shuttle Atlantis mission—the first basketball in space
August 6, 2009 (Springfield, MA) – The Harlem Globetrotters Mascot, Globie, parachuted down from an airplane 3,000 feet above the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and landed on the grounds of the shrine of basketball to present the Hall with the team’s signature red, white and blue ball that accompanied NASA’s Atlantis shuttle crew on its 11-day mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. This marked the first time in history a team had ever sent a basketball into space.
The Harlem Globetrotters, one of only six teams ever to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, are also the first basketball team to have sent a basketball into space; previously, NASA has taken pieces of historical and pop culture significance into space in their 50-plus-year history, but had never before taken with it the memorabilia of a basketball team. A Spalding Harlem Globetrotters ball was put on board the space shuttle Atlantis on May 11th, which marked the day of liftoff for the fifth and final mission to the Hubble Space Telescope during its 11-day mission. The basketball has been presented to the Hall of Fame for permanent display in the Harlem Globetrotters team exhibit.