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Dude Turned Dad Episode 25: Talking Fatherhood and Playing Horse With The Harlem Globetrotters

For the Harlem Globetrotters ball is life, and so is fatherhood.

I love basketball. Most mornings I feed my son his first bottle while we watch NBA highlights. I tried to have my wedding party dunk for their intros into my wedding reception (nixed by my mother-in-law but I still got to enter to the Chicago Bulls theme). My son will know how to get a solid screen and hit the open man. You get the picture. Ball is life.

So when I heard that the Harlem Globetrotters wanted to talk about parenting with me while playing a game of HORSE, I started doing Mikan drills. Being the Dude Turned Dad has allowed me to do some pretty amazing things but hooping with the legendary Globetrotters? I felt like I had just hit my third shot in a row in NBA JAM. HE’S ON FIRE! Except… I hadn’t held a basketball in eight months. I had been busy holding my son. How quickly would my hoop dreams become hoop night terrors?

Fortunately, my worries evaporated as soon as I met El Gato and Bull, two Globetrotters who are also dads, at the, appropriately chosen, Harlem YMCA. We kept things light with a fun shootaround around while discussing parenting. I quickly learned that the job of a Globetrotter is tough. Their time is filled with constant workouts, practicing impossible trick shots, and a whole lot of traveling, which means being away from family. The guys discussed the difficulty of the road, the importance of communication (face-timing is huge), and the pride their kids feel when they tell people that “their dad is a Globetrotter.”

Bull and El Gato had chased hoop dreams their whole lives before finding a home with the Globetrotters. Becoming fathers didn’t mean they gave up their passions. It meant that they shared their skill with the world and with their children. I watched a few Globetrotter videos to prepare for this shoot. Watching the faces of children light up as they spun basketballs on their fingers reminded me of how excited I was to see the Globetrotters when I was a kid. And I can’t wait to take my son to see them one day.

Oh, and since I know you’re wondering, we did play HORSE and despite my best efforts, I regret to inform you I will not be the newest member of the Globetrotters. Maybe I’ll have better luck with the Washington Generals.