Originally published 3/17/2017 at 06:00a.m., updated 3/16/2017 at 11:44p.m.
The Globetrotters dazzle, thrill and even have a habit of dousing a fan at courtside with a bucket of confetti, which at first appears to be water.
Not only is it rare that the team loses but the millions who have seen the Harlem Globetrotters over the years
usually walk away winners, too.
The famed hardwood legends will bring their 2017 world tour to the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore on Saturday, March 25, 2017.
The Ambassadors of Goodwill will also be visiting Charm City school children before for the big game. Led by one of their stars, Bucket Blakes, the team will be in the city on Tuesday, March 21 and Wednesday, March 22 to talk about the team’s 2017 World Tour, Blakes own record-breaking accomplishment and their Great Assist Program.
The 6’ 2” guard broke the record for the highest basketball shot ever taken in North America with an epic shot off the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas. The shot measured 583 feet and 8 inches.
“I didn’t get to practice the shot, I just showed up and shot it,” said Blakes, a 15-year member of the Globetrotters who also holds the Guinness World Record for most underhanded shots from half court in one minute. “I was shooting shots from half-court under handed, [and] one day after practice it snowballed from there.”
While in Baltimore, Blakes says he will enjoy eating some crab cakes and probably hang out with teammate Jonte “Too Tall” Hall who is from Baltimore and “the funniest guy I’ve ever met.”
“We will visit local schools and present our ABC’s of Bullying prevention. This is to help kids eradicate bullying from their schools,” Blakes said.
The team plans to leave its mark in all the communities they visit through their “Great Assist” program that encourages acts of kindness such as advocating against bullying in schools.
Launched in October 2015, the team pledges to create 100 million smiles over the course of a decade, through the initiative.
Blakes says he enjoys working with and mentoring children and he envisions one day, running his own gym and helping young ones build character and self-esteem through sports mentoring.
“Be the best that you can be, because it’s very difficult to try and be someone else,” he said.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Blakes’ first exposure to basketball was watching the
Phoenix Suns at the age of five. He made his own hoop by cutting a hole in the top of his dad’s hat, flipping it over and shooting a tennis ball through it. Years of practice from that point forward made him one of the most accurate shooters around, hence the name “Buckets.”
He says his parents are his heroes
because they always involved him and his nine siblings in positive activities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in January 2012 by taking
online courses. Despite the demands of entertaining people all over the world year-round, Blakes made the Dean’s
List three times while completing his courses.
“My parents put me in the best situation that they were able to in order for me to succeed,” Blakes said. “I’m now living my childhood dream playing for the world’s greatest basketball team.”
Tickets for the Royal Farms appearance can be purchased at www.harlemglobetrotters.com.