When SI Kids offered me the opportunity to spend a day with the Harlem Globetrotters, I was very excited. I had seen videos of the Globetrotters, but had never been to see them in person.
To start the day off, I arrived at the team’s hotel. I joined TNT and Big Easy for breakfast. During the meal, we discussed football and basketball, their lives outside of basketball, and how being a Globetrotter has changed their lives.
After breakfast, I boarded the team bus and headed to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. We went to the locker rooms to get ready for practice. TNT is the only woman on the team, so she gets her own personal locker room.
I watched the team do some drills, and then got ready to participate in the practice session. The team surprised me with my own personalized “Ybarra – #1” jersey! They also gave me a nickname, ”Amazing Grace,” just like all of them have.
During practice, they taught me some of their tricks. We practiced the famous “Magic Circle.” This is a routine that the team does at mid court, making a lot of trick passes quickly around the circle. I also got to try out a trick shot, which was shooting a backwards, no-look, from the free-throw line. It took me many attempts, but I finally swished one. The team went insane!
When practice was over, some early arriving fans who had a “magic ticket” were able to watch some pre-game entertainment with some of players and their mascot Globie. The fans also were able to come down to the court and take a shot with a Globetrotter, do the “ball spinning on the finger” trick, and get photos with players.
After a short break to get ready for the game, the team came out onto the court to run the “Magic Circle” for all of the fans. From this point forward, it was 100% entertainment, and I had the best seat in the house: right on the bench with the team!
Since I had the privilege to sit on the bench, they also included me in huddles during timeouts and some spontaneous dancing, like when the team led the crowd for the song “YMCA.” My seat also had the best view in the house, except when the 7’4” Stretch’s knees partially obstructed my view!
Overall, the day was an amazing experience. I got to meet a great group of people, learn some fun tricks, and have tons of fun doing two things I love: playing basketball and reporting.