Oct. 21, 2003
(PHOENIX, Oct. 20, 2003) - The Harlem Globetrotters broke their annual training camp held at Embry Riddle University in Prescott, Ariz., with an elite few selected to join the historic team, including Darrick Martin, a three-year UCLA starter who lettered from 1989-92. Among the newcomers to join the organization in 2004 is point guard Seth "Hot 'n Fresh" Franco. A native of Long Island, N.Y., Franco is the first Caucasian to wear the red, white, and blue uniform since Bob Kartsens played for the Globetrotters in 1942-43.
"We are pleased with the team we have put together this year, there were some difficult player cuts due to the increased number of players that tried out during training camp," said Globetrotter Owner and Chairman Mannie Jackson. "It's a nice blend of some very good rookies and veterans together to ensure this is the best year ever."
The newcomers include forwards Eugene Edgerson (Arizona '01), Alvin Jefferson (Auburn '97), Dalron Johnson (Nevada-Las Vegas '03), William Pippen (Middle Tenn. State '03), Shannon Swillis (Fresno State '01), Jermaine Tate (Cincinnati '00), and Kareem Wright (Rutgers '03), center Ron Rollerson (Temple '02), and guards, John Lane (Savannah A&E '01), Lazarus Sims (Syracuse '96), Franco (Nyack '00) and Martin (UCLA '92).
A full-time starter as a freshman through his junior Bruin seasons, Martin as a senior in 1992 helped lead UCLA to the NCAA "Elite Eight" and a Pac-10 title. On the Bruin all-time charts, he is No. 3 in assists (636) and No. 5 in steals (179). Following his UCLA career, Martin spent seven years in the NBA, last playing for the Sacramento Kings in 2000-01.
Under Jackson's leadership the Globetrotters signed their first-ever player of Latin American descent in 1995 (Orlando Antigua) and first-ever Asian player, signing seven-foot center Sharavjamts "Shark" Tserenjanhor (pronounced Sar-in-jong-car) from Mongolia in 2001.
The Harlem Globetrotters will tip-of their Fall College Tour on Oct. 27th, when they take on the University of North Dakota. The eight game tour will continue throughout the month of November as the Harlem Globetrotters play some of the country's top college teams, including Division I Champion Syracuse University on ESPN2 on Nov. 11.
The 2003-2004 North American Tour, sponsored by Burger King, will tip-off in late December and continue through mid-April.