Ant Atkinson’s boundless energy, deft shooting touch, ball handling mastery, and quick wit has made him a fan favorite. “The camaraderie we have as a team is unbelievable,” Ant says. “We have great chemistry.”
Globetrotters Showman Big Easy Lofton gets his nickname from growing up in New Orleans and his easy-going nature, which is a trait that helped him thoroughly enjoy his three runs on “The Amazing Race,” with teammate Flight Time Lang. The duo finished as high as second place on the show.
Handles Franklin had many positive role models growing up – first and foremost being his parents. His father was a police officer, and his mother worked at a hospital. “They both served the community and passed that mentality on to me,” says Handles. He also credits his high school coach, Bill Gaffey, for setting him on the right path. “He taught me that education was very important.
Hi-Lite Bruton (BROO-tun) is a crowd favorite because of his hilarious personality and high-flying slam dunks, but you might be surprised to know that he didn't dunk for the first time until he was a senior in high school.
Ace Jackson was never afraid to do the unthinkable. When she was just six, Ace asked her father if she could learn how to play basketball, because her father would teach her brother basketball all of the time.
A 2008 Globetrotters draftee, Bull Bullard (BULL-urd) is proof positive that a person can overcome adversity to achieve their goals. Bull grew up in the foster care system, so he was on his own a lot, and he had to avoid all of the traps that come with the drugs, crime and gang activity that were prevalent in his neighborhood.
Dribbling and shooting dynamo Dizzy English credits his mother’s strength for giving him the courage to follow his dreams and never stop believing in himself. “She made sure I didn’t want for anything and always kept food on my plate and a roof over my head, even when money was really tight,” says Dizzy.
Flip White comes from a family where basketball was always a part of life. He was introduced to the game at the age of four, and one of his fondest basketball memories was his father holding him up to the hoop to dunk the basketball when he was a kid. Flip’s grandparents also used to take him to Globetrotters games. “I love entertaining people and putting smiles on their faces,” says Flip.
There was a basketball court right across the street from the house where Slick Willie Shaw grew up, so he saw it as a sign, and he started playing the game at the age of six. “I would wake up early on Saturday mornings to be the first kid on the basketball court,” says Slick. “I would play full court by myself and fantasize about hitting game-winning shots and the crowd chanting my name.
At 5-2, Too Tall Hall has the distinction of being the shortest player in Harlem Globetrotters history. It’s no surprise that the sports figure that has influenced him the most is Earl Boykins, the 5-5 dynamo that fought the odds and made his way through the minor leagues to become a basketball star.
Harlem Globetrotter Thunder Law is living a dream as a member of the world’s most famous team. “Growing up, I always wanted to see the Globetrotters in person but never got the chance,” says Thunder. “Now, I’m a part of the organization … words can’t explain how great it feels.”
Buckets Blakes was born and raised in Phoenix and still lives in the Valley of the Sun, and his first exposure to basketball was watching the Phoenix Suns at the age of five. To make his own hoop, he would cut a hole in the top of his dad’s hat, flip it over and shoot a tennis ball through it.
Harlem Globetrotters ball handling wizard Flight Time Lang is an admitted reality TV junkie, and he and teammate Big Easy Lofton were fortunate enough to compete three times on the Emmy Award-winning series, “The Amazing Race,” finishing as high as second place.
Harlem Globetrotter Cheese Chisholm (CHI-zum) says that basketball superstar Kevin Durant is the sports figure that has influenced him the most, but maybe not for the reasons people might think. “He’s living proof that skinny people can hoop with anyone,” says Cheese, with his signature smile.
Harlem Globetrotter Dragon Taylor finds it very easy to describe the feeling he has being a part of the world’s most famous team. “It feels phenomenal doing something I love and making other people smile while doing it,” he says.
El Gato Melendez is the first and only Puerto Rican-born player to ever play for the Harlem Globetrotters.
A native of Kingston, N.Y., Firefly Fisher grew up watching the New York Knicks, which inspired him to play basketball in his father’s driveway every chance he could. The driveway court was made of rocks, so Firefly had to become an expert ball handler just to keep possession of the ball.
If you are looking for an inspiring story of overcoming adversity and a late start to achieve a lofty goal, look no further than Globetrotters dunking sensation Hammer Harrison.
Hawk Thomas is a testament to what a person can accomplish through hard work and dedication. A serious knee injury wiped out his freshman season at North Carolina State University, but rather than let it get him down, he focused on not only getting back on the court, but on academics as well. “I was not going to let that injury define me,” says Hawk.
Moose Weekes is living a dream with the Harlem Globetrotters. “I can’t think of another job where you can have such a great time doing what you love to do, while putting smiles on people’s faces every day,” says Moose.
Rocket Pennington got his start in basketball when his stepfather introduced him to the sport at the age of five. His father, mother, stepfather and stepmother have all been major role models in his life. “They taught me how to be a man of understanding and respect,” says Rocket.
There’s family, and then there’s extended family. That’s how Globetrotters dribbling wizard Scooter Christensen describes his teammates. “I consider my teammates my brothers and sisters,” he says. Of course, like siblings do, the players fun-lovingly joke around with each other a lot. “My first year, we had a player that looked like Squidward Tentacles from SpongeBob SquarePants.
Harlem Globetrotter TNT Lister joined a very elite group in the fall of 2011, becoming the first woman to don the red, white, and blue since 1993 – and her success opened the door for other female players to join the team in recent years, including current star Ace Jackson.
Zeus McClurkin is a testament to not giving up or letting obstacles get in the way of achieving one’s dreams.