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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Harlem Globetrotters Bounce Into Russia

The most famous basketball team in the world, the Harlem Globetrotters, come to Moscow on Sunday to perform their show of spectacular and comical basketball tricks.

The troop of happy hoopsters will hit town in a slam-dunking performance at CSKA Sports Palace in the first visit to Russia since 1989.

In their 70-year history, the Globetrotters have appeared before 100 million people in 114 countries.

"We will make everyone happy, everyone laugh, and for a few hours they will forget the problems they have. They will see athletes do with a basketball the most incredible things," Charles Tex Harrison, the Harlem team's coach for more than a decade, said at a news conference Thursday in St. Petersburg.

Unfortunately, neither of the Globetrotters' world record holders -- Fred Smith and Michael "Wild Thing" Wilson -- could make the Russia tour. Both hold the slam dunk world record, having skied three meters above the rim.

But Harrison is promising that some of his team will nevertheless try to break the record. He characterized his charges as "one of the best Globetrotter teams in recent memory, even better than the one which was here in 1989."

Besides performing, the Globetrotters believe they are pushing a social message for the city's youth and met with groups of teenagers Friday afternoon in St. Petersburg.

"We want to give the kids a message of hope," said Harrison. "The Globetrotters are a role model of talent and athletic excellence for young people to emulate. Basketball has done a lot for each of us, and we think it can help young people everywhere by giving them something constructive to do."

The Harlem Globetrotters only Moscow show is Friday at 4 p.m., at CSKA Sports Palace at 39 Leningradsky Prospekt, Metro: Dinamo. Ticket prices start at 30,000 rubles ($5).