Globetrotter brings anti-bully message to Boys & Girls Club
by Bob Brownne
Jan 15, 2013 | 3083 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Harlem Globetrotter visit
Harlem Globetrotter forward Slick Willie Shaw spins a basketball on Alexis Mejia’s finger Monday, Jan. 14, as he visits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tracy Central School site.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The kids at the Tracy Boys & Girls Clubs picked up some basketball skills and lessons on how to get along with one another from the Harlem Globetrotters’ Slick Willie Shaw.

Shaw, known for his ball-handling skills as part of the famous touring basketball troupe, dropped by the club’s Central School site Monday, Jan. 14, to talk about the team’s ABCs of Bullying Prevention, a National Campaign to Stop Violence effort that the Globetrotters promote as they travel the country.

“A lot of kids can relate to bullying, so we gave them the right tools,” Shaw said. “A means action, B for bravery, and C for compassion, and we elaborate on those things.”

Shaw had already visited other schools in the region and a hospital Monday before he arrived at Central School.

The Globetrotters are in San Joaquin County this week and were scheduled to play a game Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Stockton Arena.

While in Tracy, Shaw got some of the youngsters to talk about how they can react when they see someone picking on someone else.

Then came a quick session on the ball-handling skills that have made the Globetrotters famous.

Faith Smith, a player on the Boys & Girls Club team, said she expects the messages he brought will stick with her and the others at the club.

“I learned that basketball is a great sport, and don’t go along with bullying,” she said.

Other youngsters at the club on Monday soaked in the experience.

“I learned to spin the ball,” said Alexis Mejia, 7, describing how Slick got the ball spinning and then passed it onto her fingertip.

Angie Morales, 10, also learned how to pass a basketball Globetrotter-style to the tune of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” the team’s theme song.

“It means a lot, because he came here on his own time to talk to us about bullying,” she said.

Shaw, a 6-foot, 6-inch forward, is a native of the Bronx and was a four-year starter for St. John’s University in New York, where he holds the school record for the most career 3-point shots.

He said the Globetrotters spotted him nine years ago when he was playing semi-professional basketball and that he’s been with the team ever since.

“Besides giving people great memories on the court, we’re ambassadors of goodwill, and we go into the communities,” he said. “This is one of my favorite things about being a Harlem Globetrotter.”

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.

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