ABC7 on your sideline: Catching up with the Globetrotters

January 27, 2012 8:11:17 AM PST
They've been entertaining fans worldwide for nearly 100 years. And when you hear "Sweet Georgia Brown" you know that the Harlem Globetrotters are not only in the building, they're entertaining everyone no matter where they are in the world.

Although they are called the Harlem globetrotters, they were originally started right here in Chicago. And since their inception, they have broken racial and cultural barriers all over the world. And believe it or not, they can do more than just dribble a basketball.

"When I got to the trotters, (it was a) life changing experience," said Buckets Blakes. "Not only do you develop as a basketball player, you develop as a person. You get a chance to build more character, you learn to respect different cultures.

"For me, it was a blessing in disguise when I got that phone call. Now I get the opportunity to not only still play -- this is my 10th season -- But, I get to mentor and take young players under my wing, like Hops and TNT."

Hops and TNT are the two newest members of the Globetrotters. TNT is the ninth woman to ever wear the red, white and blue uniform and she's the first in 19 years.

"It's definitely an honor," she said. "For them to choose me after 19 years of not having a woman, that adds a little bit more responsibility, which I'm definitely used to and I definitely welcome. Just to be able to show other women and young girls that we can accomplish anything if we put our mind to it."

Jacob "Hops" Tucker is another example of how you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. The Illinois college graduate was an unknown a little more than a year ago until he put video on the internet of some amazing dunks.

Those videos got him into the 2011 NCAA dunking contest, which he won, and from there, the rest has been high-flying history. H readily admits that he doesn't look like your typical Globetrotter.

"Everybody heard that I was drafted by the Globetrotters. they're always cracking jokes (like) 'Generals or Globetrotters,' " Tucker said. "It's all in fun and I don't really get caught up in that too much just because we're all on the same team. We all do the same thing. We have our special talents that we bring to the Globetrotters."