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The Harlem Globetrotters Euro Step Over to NSA Naples

17 March 2023

From Aaliyah Essex

NAPLES, Italy--Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples’ families and community members enjoyed a night of fun onboard Support Site Thursday, March 16, 2023. Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) set the alley-oop with NSA Naples’ Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) for a slam dunk event as The Harlem Globetrotters took to the court at Naples Middle High School (NMHS).
MWR capitalized on assists to make this event a success.

“MWR was supported by NSA Naples’ Red Cross, USO, the Fire Department, Security and community volunteers,” said Chris Kasparek, NSA Naples MWR Community Recreation Director.

The team, who has performed at NSA Naples in previous years, made its first appearance since the pandemic.

“I think this event specifically signifies that we have significantly made the turn out of COVID here at NSA Naples,” said Kasparek. “It is a step forward for our entire community.”

Globetrotters’ Guard, Darnell Speedy expressed how excited he was to be back on a military tour.

“I came to Naples in November 2019 […] It actually was the last military tour before the pandemic,” said Speedy. “Now I am on the first military tour since COVID, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I get another opportunity to share these moments with these people.”

The night of slam-dunks, fast breaks and laughter was one of the most popular events of the season. Tickets for the event sold out within days. The anticipation of the event was evident as fans packed the NMHS gym.

“We had the coolest experience last night with the Harlem Globetrotters,” said community member Dana Elmini.” “They are true entertainers and made everyone feel special and leave with a story! Thank you AFE and NSA Naples’ MWR for making this happen!”

The Globetrotters visited NSA Naples as part of a military tour with AFE that began March 14 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella.

“This tour is made up of 11 shows, across 10 bases in three countries,” said AFE Regional Manager Michele Krieg.

“This is the 19th year of the Harlem Globetrotters’ military tour with AFE,” Krieg added.

Kasparek says these events are special to the military community.

“It is important for the families here to know they are being reached by those stateside and by those that appreciate what they do for our country,” said Kasparek.

“ It’s so nice to have a slice of home when living overseas as a spouse,” said community member Briana Bryant Moreno. “Experiencing living in a new country and enjoying a different culture is wonderful, but sometimes you get a little homesick. Having these performers visit is almost like spending a few hours back in the States. It’s fun and I’m grateful we are able to have these opportunities.”

With shows such as this, AFE makes it their mission to provide “the best performances for U.S. troops and family members stationed overseas” and serve “as the biggest morale booster for U.S. Troops.”

The nearly two-decade old partnership between AFE and the team is only a small part of the Globetrotters’ history in entertainment.

The Globetrotters began as a team of reunited high school players in Chicago, Illinois in 1926.

Since 1926, they have entertained more that 148 million fans in 123 countries and territories around the world.

NSA Naples is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed to ensure security and stability in the European, African, and Central Command areas of responsibility.

For more news on NSA Naples, please follow us on Instagram @NSANaples and Facebook at

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