Globetrotter talks to children about bullying issues

Yaneek Smith

        The students at Regina Coeli Catholic School in West Toledo were treated to an assembly featuring Harlem Globetrotter Chris "Animal" Hyche.
        Hyche was there to spread the word about the Globetrotters coming to Toledo for a Dec. 30 show at the Huntington Center.
        He was also there to talk to the students about bullying and how to deal with it as part of the Globetrotters’ “T.E.A.M. Up at School Program” which discourages bullying, promotes empathy and assures those who are bullied that they are not alone.
        "It's important," Hyche said. "We talked about bullying, what to do, who to talk to and how to deal with it. It's something that's a real problem today. Kids have to know that they are not alone. Being here with the kids is rewarding. It makes my day."
        Hyche, who stands 6-foot-5, showed off some of his basketball skills, specifically interesting and unusual ways to pass the ball behind the back, between the legs, and he wowed the crowd with a few dunks, too.
        When he's not talking to kids about bullying, Hyche can be found communicating with deaf children. He is the son of two deaf parents (known as CODA) and knows sign language. As a Globetrotter, he's participated in the nation's first basketball camp for deaf athletes, the Mike Glenn Basketball Camp, where he inspired and encouraged campers.
        Recently, Hyche visited the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh and communicated with the kids via sign language. It was a treat for the students to not have to communicate with someone using a translator.
        Hyche is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, Walter Payton's hometown. He attended Provine High School and played collegiately at Talladega College in Alabama where he averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game as a senior.
        From there, he got a chance to play professionally overseas and see part of the world.
        "I played professionally in Mexico, Morocco and Kosovo," Hyche said. "It was a great experience."
        The Globetrotters have been an American institution for decades. From the likes of Fred "Curly" Neal and Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain, who became one of the NBA's greatest players, the team has inspired and entertained audiences for nearly 100 years and has played in 26,000 exhibition games in roughly 125 countries.
        Honorary members have included Bob Hope, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II.
        For information on tickets, go to


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