Height doesn't matter -- and neither do skill level or age, really. All that matters at the Harlem Globetrotters basketball clinic is that children bring their A-game. For the entire week, Harlem Globetrotter TNT Maddox, a Colorado native, and her fellow player Slick, have been hanging out in her home state to teach six- to 12-year-old children basketball, self-esteem and other life skills. Want to see those skills? Continue reading for our one-on-one video.
"For me, giving back is really important because growing up, a lot of people gave back to me," Maddox says. "Being able to bring that back full circle has been a blessing to me, if I am able to teach them it is better to give than to receive."
As the first female Globetrotter in almost twenty years, Maddox is living her dream -- and maybe recruiting the next generation of Globetrotters. Throughout the teaching tour, the youngsters have been consistently eager to learn and attempt each shot, layup and trick.
When asked what the best part of the clinic is, Maddox says with no hesitation, "their willingness to learn. It is nice to share with people who appreciate your presents."
Getting to actually see two Globetrotters in action is cool, but being taught by them is out of this world for a six-year-old. Along with dribbling, shooting and spinning the ball on a finger, the Harlem Globetrotters basketball clinic also teaches kids bully prevention.
"Basically we want to give them a sense of teamwork," Maddox says. " That's really big for us. We also have a cheer program, which is a character building program."
Fun tricks such as circling the basketball around their backs and under both legs were no problem for the children. Bouncing the ball off their arms, legs or butts posed more of a challenge, but the young players had time to practice. The clinic lasts two hours each session and is jammed packed with skills and drills.
This stop in Colorado is just one of the twelve stops the Globetrotters are making on their nationwide clinic tour. This year marks the second year the team has worked with 24 Hour Fitness to bring basketball to youngsters.
Maddox, who grew up in Colorado Springs, earned her team nickname in training camp for being explosive on the court, makes a three-day stop at the 24 Hour Fitness in Broomfield with teammate Slick to share skills, pass on tricks and give a little back to her home state.
"The kids are definitely the highlight," says Maddox. "Just like with our games, we go to a different city every night, and you never know what you're going to get. The kids have a great time, and we have a great time."
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The Globetrotter Basketball Skills Clinics for Boys & Girls costs $59 and continues tomorrow at the Broomfield 24 Hour Fitness, 4650 W. 120th Avenue, with two-hour sessions at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. For more information, visit the event website.