Houston Native Signs with Harlem Globetrotters

Style Magazine Newswire | 11/6/2018, 12:16 p.m.
The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, who are preparing to enter their 93rd season of entertaining fans around the world, today unveiled …
Harlem Globetrotters new rookies

(ATLANTA, Nov. 6, 2018) ­–The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, who are preparing to enter their 93rd season of entertaining fans around the world, today unveiled their 10-player rookie class for the 2019 Fan Powered World Tour, which is now underway and will travel to more than 250 markets throughout North America.

Included in the class are 10 exciting new players, including “Sweet Lou II” Dunbar, the sharp-shooting son of Globetrotters legend Sweet Lou Dunbar, and Lili “Champ” Thompson, a member of Notre Dame’s women’s national championship team last season who previously led Stanford to the women’s Final Four as well.

Dunbar and Thompson, who were both selected in the Globetrotters annual draft this past June, are joined by eight other exciting young players who are joining the exclusive legacy of Globetrotters, who have played before millions of fans in 123 countries around the world since their inception in 1926. Those players are:

Player Ht. Hometown College

Sweet Lou II Dunbar 6’3 Houston, Texas Oklahoma City University

Champ Thompson 5’7 Honolulu, Hawaii Stanford University, University of Notre Dame

Hops Pearce 6’0 Tuckahoe, N.Y. Purchase College

Bionic Brooks 6’3 Grand Rapids, Mich. Davenport University

Hi-Rise Hinton 6’7 Winston-Salem, N.C. Appalachian State

Crush January 6’6 Atlanta, Ga. Saint Augustine’s (N.C.) University

Springs Patterson 5’9 Minneapolis, Minn. Tabor (Kan.) College

X-Over Tompkins 4’6 New York, N.Y. Manhattan Community College

Bounce Crutchfield 5’8 Greenville, N.C. Iowa Western Community College

Ice Hrynko 5’8 Philadelphia, Pa. DePaul University

“These 10 players are going to be outstanding Harlem Globetrotters,” said Sweet Lou Dunbar, who is now the team’s director of player personnel and head coach. “I’m personally thrilled that my son, Sweet Lou II, is among this group, but he and all of these players earned their way onto the roster. We’re confident that they will be great Globetrotters—great players who also know how to entertain and put smiles on the faces of every one of our fans throughout the world.”

Sweet Lou II Dunbar joins the Globetrotters following a career at Oklahoma City University, where he earned All-Sooner Athletic Conference honors his senior season. As a junior, he native racked up nine games with 22-or-more points, including a 50-point outing against the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) where Dunbar shot 11-of-14 from three-point range. The Houston native, who played at Clear Falls High School in Seabrook, shot better than 40-percent from three-point range in each of his four college seasons.

Lili “Champ” Thompson had a standout college career at both Notre Dame, where she won a national championship, and Stanford, whom she helped lead to the Final Four in 2014. As a Cardinal, she earned All-Pac-12, Pac-12 All Defensive Honorable Mention, Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention, and became a two-time ESPN National Player of the Week. The daughter of two parents who served in the U.S. Army, Thompson was raised in Honolulu and is fluent in sign language. She earned her undergraduate degree at Stanford and her Master’s at Notre Dame.

Thompson is one of two top female players joining the roster this year, along with 5-8 guard standout Brittany “Ice” Hrynko. Hrynko, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, played professionally in Israel, Italy, Germany and Slovakia where she led the Slovakian Golden Angels to a league championship in 2016. Before going overseas she was selected in the second round (19th overall) of the 2015 WNBA Draft, going on to play for the San Antonio Stars and the Tulsa Shock, after earning Big East Player of the Year and Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior at DePaul.

At just 4-6, Justin “X-Over” Thompkins will become the second-shortest player in Globetrotter history; the shortest is his 4-5 older brother and current Globetrotter Hot Shot Swanson. Hailing out of New York, X-over is renowned for his ability to handle the basketball, and was showcased with several streetball exhibition teams before joining the Globetrotters.

Quincy “Crush” January was named the CIAA Rookie of the Year and the CIAA Defensive Player of the Year for three straight seasons at St. Augustine’s University, averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds per game throughout his college career. The Atlanta native was named the school’s Sport Management Student of the Year (2017), as well as its Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award (2018) – an award granted to student athletes that exemplify academic and athletic excellence, as well as give back to the community.

Max “Hops” Pearce joins the Globetrotters’ roster after winning the 2018 Dark Horse Dunk Competition, adding to the Globetrotters growing list of the best dunkers on the planet. In 2018, Pearce also participated in the NCAA College Slam Dunk Competition representing Purchase College, throwing down some of the most prolific dunks – one of which included a one-handed self-alley-oop slam dunk while filming himself with a cell phone camera. Pearce came shy of winning the competition by mere decimal points, but his unique showmanship and style made him one of the most notable athletes of the entire competition. Pearce was a standout student-athlete at Purchase College where he captained the men’s basketball team his senior year, studied Economics and was named to the dean’s list on numerous occasions. The Globetrotters rookie hails out of Tuckahoe, N.Y.

Craig “Hi-Rise” Hinton, 6-7, is known for his jaw-dropping dunking skills, which earned him the nickname Hi-Rise. Born in Winston Salem, N.C., he joins the famed roster after graduating from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where he appeared in all 33 games during his senior year while also earning his degree in Economics.

DeShun “Springs” Patterson earned national recognition for his leaping ability after representing his school, Tabor (Kan.) College, in the 2018 College Slam Dunk Competition, where he went head-to-head with some of the best dunkers in the country. The Minneapolis native made it all the way to the semifinals of the competition where he was bested out by his new fellow teammate and rookie, Max “Hops” Pearce. Patterson joins the Globetrotters after a standout career at Tabor College where he averaged 12.2 points per game his senior campaign, earned all-conference honors and led the Bluejays to the Elite Eight of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Tor’i “Bionic” Brooks, 6-3, joins the Globetrotters roster as one of the team’s most powerful dunker, though he took an unconventional route to the team. Brooks attended Davenport University (Mich.) where he did not play basketball, but was a star track and field athlete, earning numerous honors that include eight conference championships; three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American (NAIA) Championships in the high jump; six NAIA All-American selections in the high jump, long jump, and as a member of the 4x100m relay. He also set the school record for the highest high jump, measuring 2.14 meters (7.02 ft). Brooks attended East Kentwoord High School in Grand Rapids, Mich. where he played varsity basketball and was a two-time all-conference selection in the sport.

Brooks is not the only rookie Globetrotter to have taken such an unconventional route to the roster. Five-foot-eight Dexton “Bounce” Crutchfield joins the Globetrotters after building his reputation across the internet and national news outlets for his insane ability to leap over almost anything. Like his teammate Torch George, Crutchfield joins the Globetrotters after a collegiate career at Iowa Western Community College where he was part of the men’s track and field team. The native of Greenville, N.C., became a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All American in the long jump, earned fourth place at the NJCAA Championship (7.34m), and jumped his personal best at 7.55 meters prior to heading into the NJCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in 2018. Crutchfield began building his reputation on Instagram for his hops in November of 2016, where he can be seen making spectacular dunks, clean jumps over 23-feet wide roads, midsized sedans, and leaping to the top of vending machines that stand 6 feet tall. In the course of a little over one year he amassed a following of more than 200,000 followers – including Drake.

The first-year players join a star-studded roster featuring Ant Atkinson, Big Easy Lofton, Hammer Harrison, Cheese Chisholm, Thunder Law, Hi-Lite Bruton, Firefly Fisher, TNT Lister, Torch George, Hoops Green and Mighty Mortimer as the Globetrotters embark on their 2019 Fan Powered World Tour the team will play in more than 250 North American markets, as well as 30 countries worldwide. Tickets are now available at harlemglobetrotters.com.