JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The iconic Harlem Globetrotters, known for their amazing basketball skills and family fun, will be in Capital City next week!
A Jackson-native is also part of the team. Chris Animal Hyche is the son of two deaf parents and travels around the world doing acts of goodwill that go beyond the game.
“I went to Provine High School, I attended Jackson State University and I did a year at Talladega College.”
The 6-foot-5 Jackson native turned Harlem Globetrotter is known for his basketball skills on the court, from fancy dribbling to ball spinning.
“I didn't even know how to spin a ball on my finger when I became a Globetrotter. I was in my hotel room trying to practice almost breaking furniture. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of repetition.”
Tuesday, the Globetrotter spent time showing students basketball tricks at the School for the Deaf in Jackson. It is a cause close to his heart.
In fact, Hyche has participated in the nation’s first-ever basketball camp for deaf and hard of hearing athletes.
“My mom and dad are hearing impaired, they are deaf, so I grew up in a household with deaf parents, learning sign language and communicating with my hands.”
One thing his family taught him was to never let any life challenges stop him for reaching for your dreams; advice that helped the 30-year-old land a job of a lifetime.
“I never ever imagined playing for the Harlem Globetrotters. I was overseas and I went to Sacramento to train with other professional players and this guy said it would be wise to join the Globetrotters with my skills and personality.”
For four years he has entertained crowds young and old across the nation.
“I won’t say it was most attractive place, but we went to Afghanistan to play for the troops. It was a really cool feeling to give them a piece of home,” said Hyche.
His advice to young people here in the Magnolia State with big dreams:
“Don’t let anything stop you. If you want to be a lawyer, doctor or basketball payer, just do your best,” said Hyche.
You can see Hyche in action with the Harlem Globetrotters when their all-new tour will make a stop in Jackson January 15th at the Mississippi Coliseum.