EXCLUSIVE: The Harlem Globetrotters and Todd Lieberman‘s are set to produce a documentary chronicling the history and impact of the legendary basketball team as they approach their 100th anniversary in 2026.
Emmy-winning ESPN Films and NFL Films producer and filmmaker Kenan Kamwana Holley will direct.
Founded in Chicago in 1926, the Harlem Globetrotters were the first all-Black American basketball team that showcased and captured the spirit and talent of Black athletes at a time when they were not eligible to play professional team basketball. The doc will shine a light, via talking heads and archive material, on the players’ inspirational story of overcoming adversity, leading equity for people of color, and breaking barriers for women players. Among players to have played for the team over the decades are Wilt Chamberlain, Lynette Woodard, “Wee” Willie Gardner, Marques Haynes, Fred “Curly” Neal and “Sweet Lou” Dunbar.
The project will be produced by Oscar and Emmy-winning producer Lieberman (The Fighter, The Proposal), Former NBA coach and basketball Hall of Fame member George Karl of Truth+ Media, Kenan Kamwana Holley (Snoop and Son) of Holley Films as well as President of the Harlem Globetrotters & Herschend Entertainment Studios, Keith Dawkins, and Bronwen O’Keefe.
Lieberman, Karl and Holley recently worked together on the upcoming Amazon documentary series on the rise and fall of the American Basketball Association (ABA).
“No other American sports team has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world like the Harlem Globetrotters,” said Dawkins. “The Globetrotters are world-class entertainers, consummate professionals, global ambassadors of goodwill, and the hallmark of basketball innovation! All of this has kept them relevant for almost 100 years. We are excited to tell this enduring and powerful story through our partnership with Hidden Pictures.”
“The Globetrotters stand as an iconic American brand recognized the world over. For me, they are a joyous childhood memory of a thrilling Saturday afternoon spent with my dad. As a boy I was intrigued by their mastery and magic, as millions around the world continue to be today,” added Holley. “When I look behind the curtain of the Globetrotter’s story, I find a century of world-class athletes turned into world-class entertainers, sometimes organically and sometimes begrudgingly. But always with an intent to keep us smiling, even as the world outside of the arena rings with both joy and pain.”
“The team is honored to bring the iconic history of the Harlem Globetrotters to fans everywhere,” commented Lieberman. “For almost 100 years their unique basketball style has mesmerized audiences around the world and we now get to celebrate and recognize the journey it took to get here.”
“I love the Globetrotters and my kids have gone to over 20 games of theirs! They bring joy and laughter to the game of basketball. Their history is a big part of the soul of the game,” said Karl. “The celebration of 100 years playing hoops, before millions of fans around the world, is a moment that needs to be recognized. In many ways, they have opened up the game I love to greater visibility and integration. Here’s to another 100 years — keep serving and loving the game, Globetrotters!”
The Harlem Globetrotters will begin their 2024 World Tour next month and will embark on their international tour in spring 2024. Their Emmy-nominated NBC series, The Harlem Globetrotters: Play it Forward, premiered season two in October, and their Telemundo series, The Harlem Globetrotters: Ganando Con La Comunidad, recently premiered season one.