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Harlem Globetrotters hope to inspire Tampa kids before World Tour

Posted at 5:28 AM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 07:40:41-04

"I just want kids to believe in themselves, right? I want kids to understand how important it is to have confidence in themselves. And by having confidence in yourself, you can accomplish any dream that you put your mind to," said Harlem Globetrotter Darnell "Speedy" Artis.

It's an important message for Artis and the team of Globetrotters.

ABC Action News caught up with them as they visited ICON Preparatory School in Tampa.

The talented men and women of the Harlem Globetrotters not only shine on the court, they visit schools and clubs before their tours; showing kids their skills and heart.

"Our team is one of the most inclusive teams, and all sports history, one of the winningest teams, of all sports history. So we're going to schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, any environment where I'm gonna get a chance to talk to a kid and inspire a kid, I want them to feel me. I want them to not just look at me and think that I'm just someone just pitching something. But that I really have been through things, you know, I really am a human that has that opportunity to accomplish extraordinary things. So just like them, they can accomplish extraordinary things," said Artis.

Because at the end of the day, it's more than just basketball.

Artis said, "I want them to leave inspired, right? Not inspired to just play basketball, not inspired to chase a sports dream. But I want them to aspire to just be a better each and every day, you know, if you take your time each and every day, if you go after the thing that you really want, if you move with confidence, right, that success will come to you. It won't, it won't be something that you feel like you're chasing, or when you feel like you're chasing something that might always be just out of hand's reach. But if you just go after the thing that you truly believe in, right, which is spirit, with your energy with your effort with confidence, then there's going to be nothing you can't accomplish."

The Globetrotters will kick off their Florida part of the Spread Game Tour April 20. They will honor longtime Globetrotter Fred "Curly" Neal who wore #22 for 22 seasons. Click here to find out more about their schedule.

"Well, this is what when I was eight years old, you know I wanted to be a basketball player. But I told my mom when I was a kid that I wanted to change the world. And I feel like this is my opportunity. This is my chance this is my purpose. So it's not something that I'm just trying to do is just actually who I am. It's not just a job is really what's inside," Artis.