PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local 9-year-old’s basketball skills are so advanced, she’s caught the attention of the Harlem Globetrotters.
She might be small — just 4-feet-6-inches tall — but she’s larger than life with a ball in her hands.
“She knows she’s good, but she doesn’t think she’s better than anyone else, and that’s what’s great about her,” coach Jamal Woodson said.
Woodson first discovered 9-year-old Karis Thomas when Thomas’s dad walked her into his clinic for girls twice her age.
“I was like, ‘Sir, this is for high school players only,’ and he said, ‘Oh, I know. Do you mind if she plays just for a little bit?’ And in the back of my head, I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, this is another dad that thinks his daughter is great and she’s about to be the worst player ever,'” Woodson said.
Thomas outshined the entire clinic — all 75 girls. It might be “natural” talent, sure, but some adults can’t touch her work ethic.
“I’m not nervous because I work hard all day, every day, and it just doesn’t get in my head,” Thomas said.
Thomas says she’s even attracted the attention of college coaches — even meeting the girls court-side at Duquesne, which is one of her two top choices for now.
“I want to play at UConn or Duquesne … because they win a lot,” Thomas said.
With all this practice, a lot of winning is in her future.
She’ll join the Harlem Globetrotters at PPG Paints Arena for the first game of their world tour the day after Christmas.