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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.
Growing up Cheese was often told that his smaller stature would prevent him from realizing his basketball dreams, but he has always enjoyed proving people wrong. He tells kids dealing with adversity to, “Stay mentally strong, and know who you are as a person.” He also knows a star of his magnitude can have a great influence on a child. “When I was seven years old, Muhammad Ali walked into my barber shop,” says Cheese. “He gave an autograph and a kiss on my forehead. That’s something I will never forget.”
Cheese captained his high school basketball team and went on to become a two-year letter winner at Ball State University, where he graduated with a degree in communications. Reaching goals is something he tells young people to visualize daily. “Write down all of your goals on a big piece of paper, and tape them to your wall, so you can see them every day,” says Cheese. “You will need to work hard, but you should never lose sight of those goals, because they are right in front of you in big letters.”
Some of Cheese’s favorite things include buffalo wings, the music of Boyz II Men, the New York Knicks, vanilla ice cream and the classic book “The Cat in the Hat.” His talents include graphic design and producing music, and he also feels he could hang with the best of them on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Since becoming a Globetrotters’ star, Cheese has brought his fancy footwork, deft ball handling and 4-point accuracy to all 50 states across the U.S. and over 60 countries.