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story.lead_photo.caption The Harlem Globetrotters bring their basketball artistry to the Four States Fairgrounds court at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. (Photo by Brett D. Meister)

TEXARKANA, Ark. — The Harlem Globetrotters bring their basketball genius, artistry and illustrious history to the Four States Fairgrounds court at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20.

The return visit by these famous hoopsters is part of the exhibition team's "Pushing the Limits" World Tour, which includes everything from world record attempts to "Magic Circle" glow-in-the-dark warm ups and more.

For anyone who loves basketball, the game is sure to be a treat full of on-court wizardry from this pioneering team which now includes players like Big Easy Lofton, Cheese Chisholm, Hammer Harrison, TNT Lister and Torch George.

Another player coming to town is Hops Pearce, a guard in his second year as a Globetrotter. He impressed the Globetrotters with his performance in the college basketball slam dunk contest.

"We're bringing a lot of new things to the game this year we've got the glow-in-the-dark 'Magic Circle,' which is part of our ball handling. It's where we show off some of our tricks to the fans at half court, but this year it's going to be in a glow-in-the-dark setting. So the lights are dimmed, the ball will light up, certain parts of the uniform will light up, and all the tricks will be done in the dark," Pearce said.

There's also the "Fifth Quarter," which provides fans a chance to meet the players, take a photo and interact after the game. "That should be an exciting thing," Pearce said. "We also have a world record trick shot at every game."

For this game, they'll attempt the longest underhanded shot, as well as the longest blindfolded hook shot, Pearce said. As for the game itself, he has a fun guarantee to keep.

"The game itself, I can assure you that you will smile and laugh at least 30 times," Pearce said about the joy the game will bring to Globetrotters fans.

"We also will have Lucky, who is our first player to sign from China. He is a world class ball handler," Pearce said. Five women currently play for the Globetrotters, too.

"It just shows and proves yet again that women are capable doing just as much as the men are. The women on my team, some of have WNBA experience. I guarantee you that they can score on just about anybody in this world. They are great shooters and dribblers, and TNT Lister is probably the longest-tenured vet on our team right now. This is, I think, her ninth season, I believe," Pearce said.

In addition to the Harlem Globetrotters on-court magic now, they bring a great history to the game as groundbreaking ambassadors for all things basketball.

"We are actually responsible for breaking the color barrier and the gender barrier within sports culture," Pearce said, noting that in 1985 Lynette Woodard was the first woman to sign to an all-male pro team, which was the Globetrotters. Decades earlier, Globetrotter Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton was the first African American player in the NBA.

"That's when the barrier was broken," Pearce said. As for the Globetrotters, they have a 94-year history, founded in Chicago by Abe Saperstein. To see them continue these great traditions, see them perform at the Four States Fairgrounds.

(Tickets: $23, $28, $38, $48, $80. Get tickets at FourStatesFair.com. More info: 870-773-2941.)

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