Harlem Globetrotters basketball is synonymous with entertainment and unbelievable talent.
Combining athleticism, theatre and out-of-this-world skill in their game-plan, the exhibition specialists have amazed fans for over nine decades.
With the Globetrotters coming to Melbourne Arena on April 7th (tickets here), we take a look at what an AFL Globetrotters starting-five might look like.
Eddie Betts: The Showman
Adored not only by Carlton and Adelaide fans, Betts has been a universally loved character in football throughout his entire career.
The three-time Goal of the Year winner has taken the art of unreal goal kicking to another level and made it his norm.
In recent years, Crows faithful have grown accustomed to picking their jaws off the ground after freakish displays like this from their favourite son:
— AFL (@AFL) May 28, 2016
Not only does Eddie routinely transform the impossible into reality but he does it with unbelievable consistency.
Adelaide’s leading goal kicker for four years running from 2014-2017 as well as twice in his time at Carlton, a case can be made that the three-time All-Australian is the best small-forward ever to play the game.
Jeremy Howe: High-flyer
“Howe did he do that?”
Jeremy Howe regularly converts opposition players into step ladders.
The Demon-turned-Magpie regularly finds himself perched atop defenders’ heads, as Melbourne’s Tom McDonald won’t soon forget:
— AFL (@AFL) June 12, 2017
Taking screamers like clockwork, Howe won AFL Mark of the Year in 2012, and has been nominated for the award countless times throughout his career, including making the finalist list on two other occasions.
It’s not just his high-rise capabilities either, Howe knows how to find the footy – he averages 20 disposals per game over the last three years.
Gary Ablett Jr: The Little Master
Perhaps the greatest ever to play our game, Gaz has dominated the AFL for 17 years.
One of a select few dual-Brownlow Medallists, the Little Master boasts two AFL Premierships, 5x AFL Players Association MVP, 3x AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year, 8x All-Australian selection, 2x Geelong Cats Best and Fairest, 4x Gold Coast Suns Club Champion.
Ablett has made a habit of single-handedly carving apart opposition with surgical precision on his foot skills.
Despite spending most of his career in the midfield where he racks up disposals for fun, in 2018 Ablett found his way into the history books yet again, kicking his 400th goal:
Gary Ablett's 400th AFL goal!
— AFL (@AFL) August 18, 2018
Scott Pendlebury: Smooth Mover
Scott Pendlebury oozes class.
The Collingwood captain has never once looked flustered in his 277-game career.
The silky midfielder operates as if the game around him is in slow motion and makes mistakes as often as a calculator.
Averaging 27 disposals or more for the last decade, Pendles’ list of awards is as long as your arm: Premiership player, Norm Smith Medallist, 5x All-Australian, 2x ANZAC Day Medallist, 5x Collingwood Best and Fairest, AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year and AFL Rising Star, just to name a few.
The guy is clearly not afraid of the big stage.
An elite basketball player at an early age, Pendlebury accepted a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport before leaving to return to Victoria to pursue football.
His vacated spot – filled by San Antonio Spurs guard and NBA Champion Patty Mills.
Lance Franklin: Buddy
He needs no other nickname.
Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin is surely the most entertaining and physically impressive player to ever play the sport.
At 196cm tall and 100kg, he is a freak of nature.
Covering ground like a thoroughbred, and with a raking left boot that can make 70-metre goals look like chip shots, when Buddy gets rolling he is near unstoppable.
— AFL (@AFL) April 20, 2018
With 917 goals from his 290 games played to date, Buddy sits in eighth on the all-time VFL/AFL goalkicking leaders.
In 2008, when Franklin kicked 100 goals in the home and away season, he became the first to do so since Tony Lockett in 1998.
He may very well be the last to do it.