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Uni Watch: Globetrotters going retro for 90th anniversary

The recent death of Meadowlark Lemon put the Harlem Globetrotters back in the public spotlight. But the Globetrotters were already planning big things for 2016, their 90th anniversary season, including a special uniform.

The Harlem Globetrotters will celebrate their anniversary tonight on ESPN 2 at 7 PM ET.

The Globetrotters have always had flashy, distinctive uniforms -- that's part of their appeal as entertainers. Back in September, the team actually took part in New York Fashion Week with its own show, featuring a new line of apparel created by designer Angela Simmons. In conjunction with that, fans were invited to vote on three retro designs, the most popular of which would be featured during the team's 90th-anniversary world tour.

The winning design was the white rendition -- an interesting choice, because most contemporary fans instinctively think of the Globetrotters wearing blue. The final version of the design is a close match to what the team wore back in the early 1940s:

It was a good look back in the day, and it still holds up well today. The Globetrotters will wear this uni for the first half of all their games during their 2016 world tour. Then they'll switch to their regular blue jerseys with red-and-white striped shorts for the second half. They're also going to be adding a black band to honor the memories of Lemon and fellow Globetrotters great Marques Haynes, who also passed away in 2015.

As you can see, the throwback and the original uniform on which it's modeled show the team's name as "Globe Trotters" -- two words. A team spokesperson said the team changed to the single-word "Globetrotters" moniker at some point toward the end of 1946.

By any name, they're always a fun show. And their new anniversary throwback gives them a sharp heritage-inspired look for the new year.

Paul Lukas saw the Harlem Globetrotters, including Meadowlark Lemon, twice while growing up in the 1970s. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.