Hoops there it is!
Photos by Nick Reynolds (nixaov.com) / Video by Amanda and Brittany van Frankfoort
The high-flying, smile-inspiring Harlem Globetrotters are taking over the Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday afternoon to perform “amazing feats of basketball” in celebration of the team’s trademark type of interactive entertainment and commitment to fans that transcends the game.
Timeout with the Twins were thrilled to chat about the Globetrotters’ World Tour with Briana “Hoops” Green, one of four women currently on the Globetrotter roster and the 15th woman in the Globetrotters’ 92-year history to wear the iconic blue, red and white.
Ottawa Life Magazine: Thank you very much, Hoops, for sitting down with us today.To begin, can you please tell us what you do, because we can’t tell from your outfit!
Briana “Hoops” Green: I am with the world famous Harlem Globetrotters and I’m one of the players.
For how long have you been a player?
This is my second year.
So as a veteran, what does it take to be a Globetrotter? Can you give us the secret?
Obviously you gotta know how to play basketball. But it’s more than just playing basketball. We try to be the ambassadors of goodwill as well. We’re involved in the community, in different programs. Then on the court we have to be able to put on a good show and entertain our fans and just have a smile on our face while doing it.
You’re only the fifteenth female in 91-years of the Globetrotters. What does it mean to you to be a woman playing for the team?
It means a lot. Just representing the women out there, the girls out there, who need some inspiration and if that’s what it takes I’ll be that person. I just try to be a positive role model and just try to be the best person I can be on and off the court and just let girls know we can do anything that guys can do, if not better.
And what kind of reaction do you get from those girls who get to come out and see you being one of the only women in the sport?
It’s really cool to be part of this organization and be only the fifteenth woman. Literally after every game I have someone tell me that I’m their inspiration and that means a lot to me. I also get, through social media I get a lot of messages from people who tell me that I’m their favourite player or that I’m the reason they picked up a basketball. It’s also cool when guys, like young guys—boys, will come up to me and tell me that I’m their favourite player. I’m like, ‘Yeaaaah! Girls can do this!’
That was going to be our next question! What about the reaction from the young male fans because we’ve seen that some male fans come up to you and say, “you’re my favourite player.” So how does that feel to have a young boy, not just the girls, coming up to you and saying that you’re their idol?
It’s really cool because young guys that age they’ll be like "girls can’t play basketball! Girls aren’t athletic…" whatever. And, at the end of the game when they’re like "you’re my favourite player!" I’m like, "yeah, we do this! We can do this." It’s really cool and guys will tell me that I’m their favourite player—not just with Globetrotters but in general—I’m their favourite basketball player, which is really neat just to hear it from them.
We’d also wanted to ask you, since you said that part the Globetrotters is being present in the community and being a role model, what does it mean to you to be a role model for the kids?
It just means a lot. Outside of basketball, as I said we’re the ambassadors of goodwill. It’s more important, there’s so much more important things going on in today’s world. We talk about bullying, I go to schools and talk about anti-bullying and the ABC’s of bullying prevention. I go to schools and talk about being active and trying to get off of social media, get off of your PlayStation, get off Fortnite and all that good stuff, and just go outside and do something positive and be fit. Before I even became a member of the Globetrotters I was actively involved in my community, so once I realized how involved they are, it made me like being on the team even better.
Can you tell us about the atmosphere of a Globetrotters’ game? What it’s like to be playing on the team down on the court and look up at all the fans?
It’s a lot of fun. Oncethose lights come on, once we go out to the court, we’ll look into the stands and we’ll see those kids, we’ll see the smiles on their faces and we feed off their energy. Everybody’s laughing, everybody’s having a good time and once we see that, we’re here to put on a good show for them. Even though we play everyday, it’s somebody in the stands first game so we want to make sure they have a good time and really enjoy it.
And speaking of first games, thinking back to the first time that you saw a Harlem Globetrotters game when you were six-years-old, what does it mean to you now to be actually on the team that you said you couldn’t stop talking about for weeks after you saw the first show when you were six?
It was amazing. I couldn’t stop talking about it. But actually, in January,I got to play at home for the first time in Kentucky, in Rupp Arena, and my aunt who took me to my first Globetrotters game was there, my dad, my mom—my mom flew in, I had family fly in from out of town—because they knew it was a big deal. That was an amazing opportunity because it was like full circle—I went to the game when I was six, seeing them for the first time and years later I’m wearing the jersey on the court. It was pretty cool.
And so where you are now, being able to go home and be apart of such an incredible team, where would you say you are in your career?
I’m continuing to learn everyday, how to be a better person on and off the court. A better Globetrotter on and off the court. And I’ll continue to improve everyday, I’ll continue to work on my craft and master that and just try to progress everyday.
What have you learned about yourself since becoming a Globetrotter?
I just learned there’s more to basketball and basketball has brought me to amazing places, met amazing people, but there’s more to it. And I try to take advantage of my platform and reach out to people who need someone to talk to or reach out to girls who need some type of inspiration and the Globetrotters allows me to have that platform and give a positive impact.
So what can fans expect when you guys come back to Ottawa on Saturday April 7, 2018?
They can just expect to have a wonderful time. With a smile on your face and a lot of laughter. You’ll see a lot of dunks—high-flying dunks—cool trick-shots, amazing ball skills, dribbling, just a lot of crowd interaction, a lot of fun. It’s for everybody, it’s family fun—three generations, you’ve got the grandkids, the parents, the grandparents—it’s for everybody.
Is there anything new that you’re bringing to the table that they haven’t seen before?
This year we have the Flying Globies, they’re acrobatic dunkers. They’re crazy! I don’t even know how they do it! Jumping off the trampoline from the three-point line, going between their legs, spinning it, flipping, dunking...I’m impressed!
We like to ask everybody to describe something in three words so for you, we’d like to ask if you had to choose three words to describe what it means to be a Globetrotter, what three words would those be?
Memorable, impactful and…goofy! Goofy! Everybody on the team’s got their personalities and everybody’s so different but once we’re on the court you see different—I don’t know how to explain it—we come out of our shell. Even if you’re shy, everybody comes out of their shell and you’ll see everyone’s just goofy and having a good time!
Is there anything else you want to tell us about the Globetrotters, about the show, about girl power in the show?
I just want to encourage everybody to come on out. If there’s a problem, something going on at home, something going on at your job, just leave it at the door and you’ll be able to enjoy the show, the game for at least two hours and just have a good time.
And maybe we can also help tempt them by learning some of the tricks!
Are you ready to teach us some of the tricks?
I’m ready! Born ready.
Excellent. Take it easy on us, we’re newbies!
I’ve got you!
Tickets for the Globetrotters’ Ottawa show can be purchased at: http://www.canadiantirecentre.com/event/harlem-globetrotters/
WATCH: Hoops teaches the Twins Harlem Globetrotters' Tricks – coming soon!
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