By John Benson
Harlem Globetrotter Cheese Chisholm has vivid memories of playing on the Ball State University basketball team at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
“I was there in college when we played in the MAC championship game,” Chisholm said. “We lost to Buffalo.”
The 2010 Ball State University graduate returns to Northeast Ohio with the Harlem Globetrotters Wednesday, but this time at Covelli Centre in Youngstown.
One thing he definitely didn’t do during that college game was chuck shot after shot from mid-court. However, in his third year as a Harlem Globetrotter, that’s become the forte of this Brooklyn, N.Y., native. It’s called the 4-point shot and, well, let’s let him explain.
“That’s my specialty,” Chisholm said. “It’s 35 feet away from the basket. That’s 12 feet further from the NBA line. It’s pretty far out there. The most I ever hit in a game was 11. It was in France.”
Naturally, making 11 shots from basically just across mid-court is pretty amazing. However, Chisholm can’t seem to remember how many attempts he had in that one game. He also said there was one recent streak where he hit six-straight shots from midcourt.
Anyone who has ever seen the Harlem Globetrotters in action understands the world-famous act is known for turning the extraordinary into the mundane.
“Realistically, if you gave me 10 shots from the 4-point line, I would think I’d make all 10,” Chisholm said, laughing. “I’d pressure myself like that, but it depends on the shooter’s night. If I had 10 shots, I’d probably hit five.”
Hoop fans wanting to see Chisholm in action actually have the ball in their court. The Globetrotters’ brand-new “You Write the Rules Tour” takes fan interaction to a different level.
For the first time, fans can decide the rules for the game between the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals. They can vote online (harlemglobetrotters.com) for playing with two basketballs at once, getting double the points for each basket made or adding the 4-point shot.
“It puts the game in fans’ hands,” Chisholm said. “Every year we spice it up a little bit to make it more challenging. It’s still always easy for us to win.”
On the surface, it would seem as though using two balls at once would be the hardest change.
“We’re Harlem Globetrotters; we can just make it happen,” Chis-holm said. “It’s challenging, but we’ll get it done for the fans.”
The current tour marks the hoop organization’s 87th-consecutive year entertaining audiences with ball-handling wizardry and basketball artistry.
“It’s a family show and a family game,” Chisolm said. “Just like some cities have NBA teams, the Harlem Globetrotters are like the world’s team. We can play anywhere. We create memories for a lifetime. That’s why we’ve been around so long.”