PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The world famous Harlem Globetrotters tip off their new season the day after Christmas with a pair of games at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Today an all-girls school in Shadyside got some tips from a female member of the team.
Sweet J. Ekworomadu is only the 12th woman to take the floor with the formerly all-male bastion of basketball hijinks known as the Harlem Globetrotters.
“I personally have been to over forty countries,” she informed Ellis School girls in Shadyside, Wednesday morning.
“I play in a male dominated industry. All my teammates are males,” she added. “Regardless of your gender, just remember you can do anything you put your mind to.”
But it’s not all talk and no play. A lucky few join her on the gymnasium floor, getting tips from a player who knows all the moves.
“Everyone was cheering me on and stuff, and it was really fun to be out there with her,” said seventh grader Hunter Kloss.
“I always thought they were really cool, and I saw them on TV, so I though it would be awesome, and I was a globetrotter for five minutes,” added fifth grader Cate Sauer.
Senior Dayna Rouse says there will be more basketball in her future.
“Next year, I’m playing division one basketball at Longwood University in Virginia.”
But Sweet J has to match up against the men, on the Globetrotters.
“It’s nothing new to me. You know, we love to challenge each other, but it’s great because they respect my game. Once I’m on those lines, I’m a basketball player, and that’s how I view them, too.”
The Texas State University grad fell in love with the game when she was ten. But the idea of becoming a Globetrotter?
“It never crossed my mind, because I didn’t now it was possible. The first female came in 1985, which is a year before I was even born. So for her to pave the way for me now, being the twelfth, it’s just amazing the barriers she broke. And now young girls can look at me and say, ‘Hey, I can be a Globetrotter when I grow up.’ That’s why I’m here, to inspire.”