Harlem Globetrotters’ Scooter Christensen, left, and Handles Franklin help steady a twirling ball on the finger of Emilee Bogda, 10, of Kalamazoo, Mich., on the ice at Millennium Park on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Portage, Mich.(Photo: Mark Bugnaski, Associated Press)
by Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY Sports
It’s not the Toronto Maple Leafs facing the Detroit Red Wings in Michigan Stadium, but it’ll have to do.
The Winter Classic was one of many games lost to the NHL’s lockout. But the Harlem Globetrotters stepped in to make sure fans in Portage, Mich., saw an impressive performance on ice.
Of course, the game was played in a decidedly smaller venue than the Big House. And the only hint of hockey was former Red Wings player Kevin Miller.
But as far as January basketball exhibitions go, it’s hard to beat one on ice.
“We played this game to celebrate all sporting events on ice,” Globetrotters player Handles Franklin said in a news release. “We’re thrilled the NHL is coming back. Unfortunately, they couldn’t return in time to play the Winter Classic – so the Globetrotters helped fill that void today by playing this outdoor game on ice. And we thought it was fitting to play it right here in Michigan in the midst of our North American tour with former Red Wing Kevin Miller.”
Who knows. Maybe this will inspire a “Baseketball” spinoff destined to dominate Comedy Central’s 3 a.m. slot.