Still in the holiday spirit? The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters can be a part of your holiday festivities this Saturday, December 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.
One of the star players, Dizzy Grant, was in Cleveland promoting the show. I talked with him about the game, his parents and his role now as a parent.
Dizzy is known for sinking the first 4-point shot in basketball history, when the Globetrotters unveiled their new game-changing rule during a nationally televised ESPN special in December 2010. He made the shot 35 feet from the basket.
Dizzy and his Globetrotting teammates hit the road Christmas Day and will entertain fans non-stop in more than 150 cities in the U.S. and overseas until the end of April.
“This is my eighth season with the team and the atmosphere will still be festive,” Dizzy said.
Much of the excitement last year was due in part to the Globetrotters allowing fans to vote on new rules in the game. The response was so great that the Globetrotters are bringing it back again this year.
Fans can choose some of the craziest rules from the 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour at www.harlemglobetrotters.com/rule. One of them:
- Make or Miss – The quarter starts with two players on each team. When a team scores, a teammate may enter the court. Whey they miss, a teammate must leave the court.
The Harlem Globetrotters have been thrilling families and millions of fans for more than 88 years.
Dizzy was one of those fans in the crowd when he was only seven years old. “My parents took me and my brother to see the team in Rochester, New York. I remember being in awe of the players,” Dizzy said.
It was at that game where his parents bought him a basketball from one of the merchandise stands. He had never played basketball. He and his brother didn’t grow up with a basketball hoop in the yard. But he told me that the Globetrotter ball quickly became a popular addition in the Grant home.
“I would be at home doing all kinds of tricks. I probably knocked over a couple of lamps in the process,” he said laughing.
Dizzy went on to play basketball in high school and college. While at a basketball camp in Florida, a scout with the Globetrotters saw him play. The team gave him the nod and the rest is history.
“It’s one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. How do you say, NO,” Dizzy added. “It’s been everything I thought it would be.”
His parent’s guidance and support
Dizzy said his parents had a strong work ethic. “My parents were very hard working. They didn’t just preach it. They lived it. They always told us [brother and Dizzy] to chase our dream and to do our best.”
I asked Dizzy his opinion about the balance parents should strike with their children’s involvement in sports at a young age.
“You don’t want to put too much pressure on them [to be the star athlete]. Let them enjoy. They’ll be an adult a lot longer than they’ll be a child,” he said.
He does recall a time in fourth grade while playing football and he wanted to pull the plug. His mom wasn’t having it. "I wanted to quit and my mom wouldn’t let me. She always said, your word is your bond.”
His role as a husband and parent
Dizzy and his wife Carly are the proud parents of 16-month-old son Hudson. With Dizzy’s talent, I wondered if Hudson is an up and coming Globetrotter. Dizzy says this: “His first word was ‘ball’. “He’s at the age now where he likes to play basketball and wrestle.”
Dizzy says he enjoys seeing his family at the game. “I’ll look in the crowd and she’s [wife] is cracking up as if it was her first game,” he said. “It’s an honor to have my loved ones see me live my dream.”
Pointing out his role as a father, Dizzy says he will always remember what his parents taught him. “I’ve been very fortunate and blessed with things that my parents instilled in me. I will try to do the same for my kids.”
On the road with the Globetrotters, Dizzy and his teammates have one goal - putting on a great show for everyone. Get tickets here.