Harlem Globetrotters join World Vision to Promote World Water Day

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Eukaria, a 5-year-old girl, drinks clean, cool water from a World Vision tap, part of a mechanized borehole in Zambia
Eukaria, a 5-year-old girl, drinks clean, cool water from a World Vision tap, part of a mechanized borehole in Zambia. PHOTO: World Vision

PHOENIX, AZ (March 11, 2015) — For decades, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of fans with their famous water bucket skit. But now, for the first time ever, the Globetrotters will not use water in the routine during games on their current world tour, to bring awareness to the world’s issues of unclean water and shortages. In conjunction with their partner, World Vision, the Ambassadors of Goodwill™ will stop using water in the skit during World Water Week, March 16-22, to encourage everyone to become involved in the initiative.

“Our water bucket routine is one of the most treasured bits in entertainment history,” said Harlem Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. “It is a tradition that will be halted for the first time in 60-plus years to bring awareness to a critical life-threatening issue. We are proud to do our part to assist World Vision in this effort.”

The global water crisis is so severe that nearly 1,600 children under the age of five die every day from the effects of dirty water, poor sanitation and improper hygiene — that’s more than AIDS and malaria combined. The Christian humanitarian organization, World Vision, is the largest nongovernmental provider of clean water in the world, providing a new person with clean water every 30 seconds.

“By removing water from their iconic show the Globetrotters are highlighting an issue most Americans take for granted but affects 748 million people worldwide daily,” says Sarah Beth Hallada, World Vision’s executive director of entertainment and sports. “When you add water, you can change a life by restoring health and opening the door to education, a promising future, and a full life.”

The Globetrotters’ water bucket skit (see highlights) has been a staple for generations and one of many ways the Globetrotters have playfully interacted with fans, referees, opposing teams, TV announcers and team members for years.

Click to watch a social video of the Globetrotters bringing awareness to the initiative with their signature flair. To find out more about World Vision’s work and how to take part in the Water Effect, visit worldvision.org/water.

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About the Harlem Globetrotters:
Sponsored by World Vision, Greyhound Lines and Baden Sports, The Harlem Globetrotters® are celebrating their 89th consecutive year, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages. Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans-among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents-over more than eight thrilling decades. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, and to purchase tickets and team merchandise, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: www.HarlemGlobetrotters.com.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.


  • The Harlem Globetrotters are encouraging fans to support World Vision during World Water Week.
  • The Ambassadors of Goodwill™ will be taking water out of their famous “water bucket” skit to raise awareness.