At age 7, Derick Grant ’05 couldn’t have imagined his name appearing on a historic roster of basketball players that included the legendary Wilt Chamberlain. Add names like Curly Neal, Goose Tatum, and Sweet Lou Dunbar and it was even less conceivable.
Grant, a former guard at The College of New Jersey and 2005 Eastern College Athletic Conference Metro Division III Men ’s Basketball Player of the Year, is currently a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. He plays for the Arizona affiliate of the Globetrotters and tours with the team, thrilling audiences around the country. Grant himself attended a game when he was 7 years old, and was so electrified by the experience that he began playing basketball the following day and hasn ’t stopped since.
“Playing for the Globetrotters has been kind of like a dream come true,” said Grant, who had just returned from a two-week playing stint in Canada. “It’s definitely an honor playing for one of the most famous teams in the world, and I feel blessed to be a part of the team. ”
An organization that has provided entertainment for the past 81 years, the Globetrotters play exhibition games across the nation from December through April. One tour stop that Grant enjoyed was at the Sovereign Bank arena in Trenton, just miles from the campus where he excelled over four seasons. The Globetrotters also participate in tours overseas and offer summer camps for children ages to 6 to 16.
At TCNJ, Grant finished second all-time in scoring with 1,543 career points to go along with 126 steals and 181 assists. He was a first-team New Jersey Athletic Conference performer in his junior and senior seasons. During his Player-of-the-Year season in 2005, he averaged 20.8 points per game while shooting 41.4 percent from the floor.
The Harlem Globetrotters have entertained 25 million fans in 118 countries during their 81-year existence. The organization is only the fifth team ever to be inducted into the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.