Harlem Globetrotters at Mohegan Sun Arena
The Harlem Globetrotters need to have exceptional skills on the basketball court, and they must be well-rounded athletes who enjoy meeting people from around the world.
As the famous basketball stars prepare to bring their 2012 World Tour to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre on Friday night, we caught up with one of the team’s most seasoned veterans, Flight Time Lang, who spoke with us on the phone last week from Wilmington, Del.
As his name implies, the 6’3” Flight Time has a remarkable ability to jump (as if he’s taking flight) and dunk. He was only 5’10” when he dunked for the first time in a game as a high school junior. “People were kind of in awe and hanging over the railings in the stands; they didn’t even notice a guy on the other team got a dunk the very next play,” he said. In 1998, he won the College Slam Dunk contest in front of an ESPN audience. And he’s been wowing crowds ever since.
An ambassador of goodwill on and off the court, Flight Time truly enjoys every aspect of his career. “I’ve been doing this for 13 years now, and I’ve been to over 90 countries,” he said. “I’ve had an opportunity to see how people live all around the world as well as being able to make people smile who can’t even speak the same language as I do — smiling is universal.” And while some might grow weary of traveling and making public appearances for more than a decade, Flight Time is still going strong. “I enjoy taking the pictures and signing autographs, and I just enjoy the kids.”
Perhaps he can relate to the youngsters who look up to him and dream of becoming a professional athlete — after all, he was a young dreamer once, too. “When I was a kid I played a bunch of different sports. I played football, Little League baseball, basketball, and I would dream of playing professional sports, but at the same time, I prepared myself in the classroom,” he said. “I graduated from high school with honors and I was class president. I figured if I couldn’t play basketball, I could go to college on an academic scholarship. So for me to be able to go to school on an academic scholarship and then get a job playing basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters was something I never even dreamed of — when I say it’s more than a dream come true, it really is.”
In addition to gaining fame on the basketball court, Flight Time has appeared on several reality television shows. He and teammate Big Easy Loftus competed on two seasons of The Amazing Race. They finished fourth in Season 15, and they were invited back for Season 18, “Unfinished Business,” facing off against other teams that had competed in previous seasons. The duo got even closer the second time around, with a runner-up finish in the 11-team field.
In addition, Flight Time has appeared on Hell’s Kitchen, The Bachelorette, The Price is Right, The Bonnie Hunt Show, and Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
And, if Dancing With the Stars calls upon him, he told us he’s totally ready for it!
You can see Flight Time’s fancy footwork on Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Tickets start at $15 and are available at www.harlemglobetrotters.com, www.ticketmaster.com, the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, or by phone at 800-745-3000.