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Lucky Jiang is the first Harlem Globetrotters player from China in the team’s 94-year history. How did Lucky get his name?
“Some people said that because I am Chinese, the chance to become a Harlem Globetrotter was always remote, maybe only a 1% chance,” said Lucky. “But I was happy with that, because that meant there was always a 1% chance. I always worked hard, and I believe in miracles.”
His “miracle” came true during a recent Globetrotter scouting trip to China, where the team discovered him and quickly signed him to their roster.
Lucky says he first learned about the Globetrotters in 2001 when he saw a video online, and it wasn’t until 2014, during one of their tours of China, that he was finally able to see them play. He said he was “shocked” and “awed” by their hilarious performances and superb skills, and from that point on he went to their shows every time they came to China.
Lucky says he tries to emulate his new Globetrotter teammates, including the ball-handling skills of Handles Franklin, as well as the long-range shooting ability of Bull Bullard. He also idolizes Kobe Bryant, whom he met during one of Bryant’s visits to China.
And as much as Bryant has influenced him, Lucky also made an impression upon Bryant after performing a demonstration of “tai chi basketball” for the former NBA star. “Kobe sent me a message after I met him. He said he has played basketball for so many years, but ‘I cannot make moves like you!’”
His historic signing with the Globetrotters was announced on NBC’s “Today Show” in November 2019, as he amazed hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Hager with his ball handling. Lucky was also part of a first-ever visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York City with his Globetrotter teammates in November 2019.