Globetrotters break barriers with basketball

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 19:02:47-05

It's no secret that the Harlem Globetrotters play basketball all over the world.

"I've been to 79 countries since I've been on the team. I'm on my third passport and still got some more countries to visit," said Buckets Blakes, a 14 year member of the Globetrotters.
But Buckets says that the team does more than just dazzle fans with unbelievable moves and shots.
"We introduced the game of basketball to places around the world that didn't have any running water or electricity," said Buckets.
"We opened the floodgates for all nationalities because we broke the color barrier in the game of basketball. We are the first all-men sports team to have a woman play. The only color that matters when we show up is the red, white and blue basketball."
Buckets said that the team is in the midst of a stretch where they play in 250 cities from late December to May. He said that seeing the enthusiasm of the kids in the stands gets the players energized for every game.
"They're our source of energy. We play so many games," said Buckets.
"That 20th game comes up and you're like 'Oh, where am I going to get this energy from?' and then you see that one kid who you know has not seen a Globetrotter game before and he's smiling and he's waiting to be wowed."
Bakersfield has been wowed by Buckets before. A few years ago, the city recognized Buckets, who owns the world record for most underhand half court shots in a minute
"I met the mayor and they declared that day Buckets-filled Day," said Buckets.
"I got a little proclamation from the mayor. It's up in my office at home so that's definitely one of my favorite memories. I had my own day for one day."
Buckets says that he made a lifelong dream come true by joining the Globetrotters and he wants kids to reach for their dreams too.
"Ever since I was five, I told myself I would be a professional athlete and here I am. I encourage kids to do the same thing. Whatever you put in your subconscious will manifest itself, whether it's positive or negative, so try to put as many positive things in your mind as possible."
The Globetrotters will play at Rabobank Arena on February 15th at 2 PM.