Four years ago I was given an opportunity I thought I would never again receive: I interviewed a Harlem Globetrotter. I have many fond memories from my childhood watching this magical team do their tricks on television with my dad, so when the opportunity arose again, I jumped at it and emailed the press agent.
This time I am taking my grandsons to watch this famous team play in person. Troy and I are taking the boys to the YUM! Center for an evening of fun.
The Globetrotters will be doing two shows close to Grayson County. The first show is on Saturday, January 18, at 2 p.m., and the second show is at 7 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center.
When I was young, I remember sitting in front of the television and watching games with my father. I have very fond memories of those games and never dreamed I would get to watch them play, never mind interview one of them and ask any questions I wanted to ask.
Thursday, I received a phone call from one of the Harlem Globetrotters. His name was Anthony “Buckets” Blakes.
Blakes, born in Phoenix, said his first exposure to professional basketball was watching the Phoenix Suns at the age of five.
It was then he decided he would someday be a professional ball player. He lettered in three sports in high school but chose basketball because the gym was always air conditioned.
He went on to play basketball overseas and upon returning home to Phoenix, he received a call from the Harlem Globetrotters, giving him the opportunity to try-out for the team. That call has led to a 12-year career, which gives Blakes a chance to fulfill his dream of playing professional ball.
His parents are his heroes because they always involved Blakes and his nine siblings in positive things. He made them proud by earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology in January of 2012.
Blakes enjoys working with and mentoring kids, so he relishes the opportunities he’s had to present the Globetrotters’ various community outreach programs all over the world as an Ambassador of Goodwill™.
He sees himself running his own gym someday and helping kids build character and self-esteem through sports mentoring. He encourages youngsters to “Be the best ‘you’ that you can be because it’s very difficult to try and be someone else.”
Blakes’ travels take him to many different places, but when he’s at home, one thing is always the same: “I can’t fall asleep at night unless I have a bowl of cereal before bed,” he said.
Tickets for either game can be bought at the box office or at harlemglobetrotters.com.
The Harlem Globetrotters’ “FansRule 2014 World Tour” is the team’s 88th consecutive season of touring the world. They have played in 120 countries, on six continents, for more than 130 million fans.