Seven-year-old Samaya Clark-Gabrial’s got game. And on Friday, she got to show off her basketball skills to some of the flashiest in the world, the Harlem Globetrotters.
Two Globetrotter players, Buckets and Hoops, showed up to meet the pint-size potential point guard at her after-school program in Bedfort-Stuyvesant.
Before the meeting, Buckets said that Samaya is a “dribbling phenom and ambassador of goodwill, [who] does a lot of good stuff in her community. We’re going to Globetrotter her down!”
A handful of students greeted the players with screams, and Samaya jumped into Hoops’ arms for a hug.
The stars and Samaya traded tricks of the trade. Hoops demonstrated some smooth two-ball cascade dribbling in front and around her back, prompting Samaya to say “I can’t do that yet.” But youth does have its advantages, as even the Globetrotters seemed impressed at the ease with which Samaya dropped into the splits while continuing to dribble with her right hand.
But the heart of the visit, and what the players clearly hoped Samaya would remember at the end of the day, is that education is important, and “you can do whatever you want.”
“Gender doesn’t matter. You can break barriers,” said Hoops, one of four female Globetrotters, who told the class she has been playing since she was about 4 years old.
Young Samaya, who said she’s been playing for a year, was surprised by the Globetrotter visit, which was set up by her dad and the staff of P.S. 309.
Samaya got a basketball, some wristbands and a Globetrotters jersey. Her final treat came when Hoops told her that she and her family were all going to be guests of the Globetrotters on April 2 when they play at the Barclays Center.