BISMARCK, ND — It didn’t take long for 2016 State Farm College Slam Dunk Champion Devan Douglas to make a first impression. Not only did Douglas wow the fans and judges with his high-flying acrobatic slam-dunks, but he also impressed the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. The Globetrotters held their 10th annual player draft June 20, selecting Douglas and a host of world-class athletes.

“We like to think outside the box with our draft, so we look at all different kinds of athletes that could have the qualities of a Harlem Globetrotter,” said Sweet Lou Dunbar, the Globetrotters’ director of player personnel and coach. “Traditionally we have looked for talent at the annual college slam dunk contest, where this year Devan Douglas certainly stood out for us.”

Douglas, a 2016 University of Mary graduate, showed the world his talents by winning the State Farm 2016 College Slam Dunk Championship broadcast live on ESPN. Douglas is now invited to a mini camp for a tryout with the team. If all goes well, he will attend a Globetrotter training camp in December where he will have an opportunity to make the 30-member team.

“But we also look beyond the court, for those athletes and entertainers that have the qualities of not only being great on the court or the field, but also being a good person off of it,” added Dunbar. “Those are the most important traits that make a true Globetrotter.”

Those words certainly held true this year, as Douglas is part of a star-studded Who’s Who selection of Globetrotter draftees, to include: golf champion Jordan Spieth; gold medal Olympic champion Missy Franklin; comedian and actor Kevin Hart; Brazilian soccer star Neymar Junior; and NBA sideline reporter for TNT, Craig Sager, who is the first-ever honorary Globetrotter draft pick.

The acrobatic Douglas starred for the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, where he helped the Marauders improve by 10 wins over the previous season as a senior and advance to the Northern Sun Conference Tournament semifinals.  The Clinton, Iowa, native played his first two seasons at Kirkwood College where he finished in the top 20 in both scoring and rebounding in the Iowa Community College Athletic Association.

Past draftees have included future Globetrotters, as well as high-profile celebrity sports figures who embody what the Harlem Globetrotters are all about – fun, entertaining family-friendly basketball.

Four current team members came to the roster as draft picks: Anthony “Ant” Atkinson (2007),  the first-ever Globetrotters’ draft selection and a college All-American and national champion, former Siena sharp-shooter Tay “Firefly” Fisher (2008), dunking and ball handling sensation William “Bull” Bullard (2008) and Corey “Thunder” Law (2013), holder of the Guinness World Records® record for the longest basketball shot (109 feet 9 inches).  Celebrity draft picks have included: Mo’ne Davis (2015), Mariano Rivera (2013), Usain Bolt (2012), Lionel Messi (2011), Tim Howard (2009), and Patrick Ewing, Jr. (2008).

About the Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters® are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 90 years. 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 nine thrilling decades. Sponsored by World Vision, Greyhound Lines and Baden Sports, Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com and follow them on Twitter @Globies.