By Nick Nahas
Local residents will have an opportunity to witness former Harlem Globetrotter’s legend Michael “Memphis” Douglas and company dunk on the competition as the Harlem Legends take on the Mac All-Stars on June 17th at First Baptist Church in Brandon. Youngsters can also participate in the Harlem Legends Shoot for the Stars Basketball Camp from June 12th-16th. The camp lasts from 9am-1pm. Campers will learn basic basketball fundamentals and will receive a t-shirt, autographs, a certificate, and a camp photo. Registration is $135 per camper. “At the camp we want to instill principles for young students to succeed not only in the game of basketball, but hopefully in the game of life as well,” Douglas said.
The Harlem Legends was created by Michael Douglas and is a part of the Michael Douglas Youth Foundation that was formed in 1991. The team is made up of several former Globetrotters, along with past Olympians and retired NFL and NBA players. “I formed the foundation to give me a platform to be able to assist different organizations, schools and churches in different communities around the country,” Douglas said.
Douglas suited up for the Harlem Globetrotters from 1986-1993. He tried out for the team in 1986 with 1,500 other competitors, and was selected as the first overall pick of the Globetrotters that year. Douglas was the seventh Showman in the history of the Globetrotters, an honor awarded to the leader that helps carry out the antics of the team in the shows. There have been only 12 Showmen in the history of the Globetrotters, which started in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. Each era has a different Showman. During his career, he traveled to over 100 different countries. According to Douglas, in the seven years that he toured with the club, he played in front of a couple of different presidents, kings, queens, Mother Teresa and even the Pope.
“The ultimate goal for us is to continue to be able to help assist different schools and organizations and to be an inspiration to the youth,” Douglas said.
The Michael Douglas Youth Foundation was chosen as an advocate for the President’s Fitness Challenge back in 2008 during President Obama’s first year.
For more information and to register for the events, you can visit their website at www.HarlemLegends.com.