A miracle comeback highlighted a dramatic 53-49 Harlem Globetrotters win over the Washington Generals on March 5 in Alpine. Thousands were in attendance to see the artistry, and the comedy as well.
After some early four-point shots, the game screeched to a halt when Hi-Lite Bruton demanded justice at the scorers table for a foul against him. He got the whole crowd chanting, “Tell the Truth! Tell the Truth!” before the referee relented.
Later, Bruton watched eagerly as he sat in the first row on someone’s lap while his teammate went to the free throw line. When a shot went through the hoop, the crowd was soaked by two water bottles in his hands. The front row included Sul Ross hoopsters who wished they were off playing in the NCAA Divison III Tournament, but still had a lot of fun.
The first half was interrupted several times, most notably when Big G, a 10-foot tall mascot, came on to the floor, but quickly got too physical with the Generals. G was asked to vacate the court, and wasn’t seen again following a dance routine he performed for the crowd.
Hot Shot Swanson is only 4’5” inches tall, but with the help of his teammates, he completed a dunk in the closing seconds of the first half. The shortest player in team history is actually one of their best ball-handlers, and was able to slip between defenders' legs periodically.
Concern engulfed the arena as Bruton went down with a serious injury in the second half, and was carried off the floor by his teammates. His replacement, Moose Weeks, got some buckets of his own using a combination of ball skills and kung fu.
Due to a possible error by the scoreboard operator, the game was suddenly tied 49-49 with a minute left in the game. But that’s when Hi-Lite burst out of the locker room, ripped off his hospital gown and neck brace and scored the winning bucket. Once again the Generals failed to end their 49-year losing streak against Harlem.
Afterwards, a big autograph session ensued. One of the most sought after signatures was from the Harlem head coach, Jimmy Blacklock. Before he played 15 seasons with the Globetrotters, he was a hall of famer for the University of Texas and one of the first black players to ever suit up for the Longhorns. Like all 39 players on the four different Globetrotters touring teams, he accomplished a great deal on the basketball court before he ever took on the lighter side of the game.