Rock Springs in the 1960s was one of many stops along the way for the Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team that combined comedy, athleticism, and theater all into a single game of hoops.
The Globetrotters would usually play against a local team of players from what was then the city basketball league. Dazzling spectators with their tricks and stunts on the court, the whole town usually turned out to be a part of the entertainment back then. Decked out in red, white, and blue silky uniforms, the Globetrotters were the stars of the town when visiting.
On one such performance, after providing hours of theatrical basketball for the town, the Globetrotters sought out a place to catch dinner. The team attempted to eat at one local restaurant in town, however, the owner turned the team away fearing that he would lose customers if he let African Americans eat in his restaurant.
When Nick Skorup, the owner of Grub’s Drive-In, caught news of the ill hospitality, he immediately rounded up the players, and welcomed them with open arms for a meal at Grub’s.
Skorup reached out to his good friend Don Lightner who rushed over to help cook the food for the team. While Lightner peeled all the potatoes to make hash browns, Skorup prepared chicken fried steaks for the entire team. The players ate until they could eat no more.
What could’ve been a harsh experience for the Globetrotters in Rock Springs that year was avoided due to the efforts of Skorup and Lightner.