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Globetrotter "Dizzy" Grant brings an anti-bullying message

By Lailani Upham

Dizzy Grant, guard for the Harlem Globetrotters makes a visit to Missoula’s Russell Elementary School before hitting the courts at the Adams Center on February 27. (Lailani Upham photo) Dizzy Grant, guard for the Harlem Globetrotters makes a visit to Missoula’s Russell Elementary School before hitting the courts at the Adams Center on February 27. (Lailani Upham photo)

MISSOULA — Harlem Globetrotter Derek “Dizzy” Grant was the surprise visitor at the Russell Elementary School last Friday.

The Harlem Globetrotters are debuting a new community outreach program, “The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention,” in an effort to impact schools and communities around the world.

The program centers on three components when it comes to anti-bullying – Action, Bravery and Compassion.

The program targets ages six to 12.

It gives kids tools kids can use on a daily basis to reduce bullying.

One of the biggest obstacles facing kids when combating bullying is fear of telling someone, says Dizzy.

“I tell kids to tell someone. It is the right thing to do. It’s not always the easiest,” Dizzy added.

Using the tool of bravery is key, according to 6’2” guard Grant.

It is the first year the Globetrotters have hit the streets talking against bullying.

They hope to reach each town they play in with the message that bullying is not cool.

Globetrotters equate what it means to be part of a team to how kids can offer support to one another to help stop bullying.

The best way to connect violence prevention to youngsters is through student participation says the Globetrotter organization.

The team’s signature fancy ball handling skills and humor is a great impact for kids to remember.

Dizzy says his mother taught him how handle a bully and the responsible thing were to walk away and tell an adult. The latter was not his strong point he admits. “Now that I am an adult I wish I would have done that.”

Dizzy mingles with little ones at the Missoula YMCA. Growing up in Rochester, NY, Dizzy went to see a Harlem Globetrotters game at age 7; he liked what he saw, and went home and started playing basketball. Decades later, he’s a Globetrotter, inspiring the next generation of kids to come and take his place, he says. (Lailani Upham photo) Dizzy mingles with little ones at the Missoula YMCA. Growing up in Rochester, NY, Dizzy went to see a Harlem Globetrotters game at age 7; he liked what he saw, and went home and started playing basketball. Decades later, he’s a Globetrotter, inspiring the next generation of kids to come and take his place, he says. (Lailani Upham photo)

Dizzy says his first encounter with the Harlem Globetrotters was at the age of 7 when he went to his first game in New York. “I never imagined I would play professional basketball.”

He is on his 3rd year with the Trotters.

Dizzy holds the sole distinction of sinking a 4-point shot in basketball history of all time in 2010.

One of his favorite pranks in the game is the water bucket. “I remember this one guy was so scared of getting water poured on him he took off up the bleachers and all over. You should have seen his face, it was funny.” The bucket ended up being a load of paper confetti he said.

Dizzy said he hasn’t made a visit to a Native community but hopes that one day soon the team will make a trip to Reservation schools.

One of his favorite tours was for the troops in Iraq in 2008, he said. “Just seeing the faces and what it meant to them for us to be there. They said we were their heroes. We told them they were the heroes.

Globetrotters get their name by their personalities and how they handle the ball he said. His name came from getting his opponent dizzy after handling the ball against them he said.

The Globetrotters will play in Missoula at the Adams Center on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

For the first time ever, during the Globetrotters’ 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour, fans can decide the rules for the game that could affect the final outcome. This could be anything from playing with two basketballs at once, to getting double the points for each basket made.

To participate go online to www.harlemglobetrotters.com to vote for which groundbreaking rule you want to see implemented in the game.

Tickets go on sale this week starting at $14 at the Adams Center box office. You may call 888-MONTANA for information on groups and tickets or visit at www.griztix.com.

For information on the “The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention” call Ruby Ramirez, Public Relations Coordinator, (602) 258-0000 ext. 124.

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