Harlem Globetrotters want to help kids against bullies

February 7, 2013
Jeff Brucculeri

Bullying has received much attention in recent years as it has appeared to become a national epidemic. This season the Harlem Globetrotters have focused their community outreach program on “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention.”

In recognition of the Globetrotters’ program, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett declared Thursday, January 31, “Bullying Prevention Day,” during a press conference at Eugene Field Elementary School.

Representing the Harlem Globetrotters was Herb “Flight Time” Lang, who was in town that day to do advance publicity for the team’s Friday night (Feb. 8) appearance at the BOK Center, 7 p.m.

Following the press conference and proclamation by the mayor, Lang presented “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention” to the students of the school. The program was designed in coordination with the National Campaign to Stop Violence.

“You need to A – take action, B – show bravery, and C – have compassion,” Lang told the students.

He asked for volunteers to come forward and give their definition of each word and how they could put it into practice. Lang also taught five students and a teacher some Globetrotters trick passes and they performed their own modified “Magic Circle” to the Globetrotters’ signature theme song Sweet Georgia Brown.

Lang is a 14-year member of the Harlem Globetrotters out of Centenary College of Louisiana, and appeared in two seasons of The Amazing Race with his teammate Nate “Big Easy” Lofton. The Brinkley, Ark., native has also appeared in several other television shows as a Globetrotter including Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader and The Price Is Right. He will be in Tulsa Friday night with the team.

 

GLOVES 4 TROOPS

Two members of the Oral Roberts University baseball squad have been inspired by an article they recently read and have been collecting baseball gear for members of the U.S. military.

Redshirt juniors, Kurt Giller and Brandon Healy, are spearheading a campaign within the team’s clubhouse to send baseball gloves and balls to troops serving overseas.

The “Gloves 4 Troops” campaign was started by minor leaguer Vance Albitz. The campaign recently has picked up steam following a post by ESPN columnist Rick Reilly.

“Brandon (Healy) and I came across the article about Gloves4Troops.com,” said Giller. We were both inspired by the article and thought with all the resources and connections we have through the ORU baseball family, we would be able to make a substantial donation to the program.”

The program is near the heart of the ORU baseball program, as a former member of the Golden Eagles died in combat two years ago.

“With ORU baseball having a former member in Ryan Ianelli fall in combat, we thought this would be a really cool way to give back to the troops with America’s pastime,” said Giller.

Marine Captain Ianelli, who played for the Golden Eagles from 2004-06, died during combat operations in Afghanistan in September of 2011.

Giller said the team had retrieved a collection of gloves and were planning to ship off their donations late last week.

Upon receiving the donated gloves, Albitz’s father oils up the gloves and fixes the laces, and the gloves are sent to the troops out of his father’s garage. Albitz hopes to have collected and sent 1,000 gloves by the beginning of spring training.

For more information on “Gloves 4 Troops,” visit Gloves4Troops.com.

[Jeff Brucculeri is the author of several books, including "Powerful People Are Inspired by Powerful Athletes," available at www.tunedintosuccess.com. Contact; jeffb@tulsabeacon.com.]