TNT Maddox is Globetrotters Dynamo

Fatima "TNT" Maddox is ninth woman to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. Photo courtesy of the Harlem Globetrotters

Fatima “TNT” Maddox grew up watching the Harlem Globetrotters. Dribbling wiz Fred “Curly” Neal was the one player Maddox enjoyed the most on the well-traveled and world-celebrated Globetrotters. Now Maddox is emulating Neal on the very basketball team she came to watch and adore as a youngster.

“Curly Neal is legendary in his own art,” Maddox said in a phone interview with News4usonline.com. “He was one of the first Globetrotters I was able to see. I had an opportunity to watch the Globetrotters when I was younger…all the stuff they did-I was just amazed. I’m still amazed. It’s kind of sitting in for me what I am a part of.”

It makes sense that Maddox would gravitate towards Neal’s style of play. Maddox makes things happen on the basketball court at the point guard position, the same role Neal used to dazzle Globetrotters’ fans with.

A former basketball standout at the University of Temple, Maddox no doubt will be under the microscope as a player for the Globetrotters. That comes with the territory with being part of a group that has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and is generally recognized as basketball’s goodwill ambassadors. .

But it is also a refreshing sight for the Globetrotters to have Maddox on the team. Maddox became a member of the Globetrotters after getting an invitation to come out and show her stuff at a tryout the Globetrotters were having.

Apparently, she opened some eyes, enough so to become the ninth woman to play with the Globetrotters. It’s not every day that someone can say they play basketball for the famed Harlem Globetrotters, a once successful barnstorming squad that has become a cultural iconic entity praised by world leaders and acknowledged by hubris celebrities.

Maddox, who did not take up basketball until she was 13, is proud of the fact she can add the Harlem Globetrotters to her basketball resume.

“What it does…It allows me to be a professional athlete, which I’ve always wanted to do,” Maddox said. “It allows me to show other women and young girls that we can do whatever we want to do if we put our minds to it. That’s what I strive to do. This gives me the chance to not just tell them, but to show them every night when I put on that uniform.”

Putting on that red, blue and white uniform means a lot more to the female audience that come out to see the Globetrotters, Maddox said.

“I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from women and young ladies,” Maddox said. “I kind of inspire them to chase their goals. It means a lot to me. I have younger sisters. I have nieces and nephews, and they look up to me.”

Harlem Globetrotters players Big Easy and Slick Willie entertain a young fan. Photo courtesy of the Harlem Globetrotters

There will be a lot of people looking up at Maddox and the Globetrotters this weekend as they invade the Southland, delighting audiences at the Honda Center of Anaheim and at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. The Globetrotters started their West Coast holiday trip with a performance at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Whatever she does, Maddox is going to make sure she has fun doing it, even though she is still trying to catch up on all the finesse trickery the Globetrotters use in their shows.

“With the Globetrotters, every time they would do a new trick or something I always have a teammate to show me where that trick can go,” Maddox said. “It’s hard for me to pinpoint one trick as oppose to saying I am learning as much as I can. There’s a sense of responsibility that I feel like I have, not only as a Globetrotter, but as the only woman on the court.

“This team incorporates everything I love about basketball. Not only to play it,

but to entertain, and to give back to the community. I’ve always dreamed of leaving a positive mark in basketball history, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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