WASHINGTON, October 26, 2013 — The Harlem Globetrotters take their trademarked reputation as the “Ambassadors of Goodwill”™, to an entirely new level as “Bull” Bullard took the time this week to deliver the team’s “ABCs of Bullying Prevention” message to over 2,500 students at seven schools in Washington and Northern Virginia.
The former college Slam Dunk Champion and finalist in the “American Ninja Warrior” competition demonstrated the Action, Bravery, and Compassion components of the ABCs by telling his personal story of being bullied as a young foster care child in Detroit.
“I was chosen as one of the Globetrotters Advanced Ambassadors three years ago and I have seen thousands of kids around the country. I begin by telling a personal story and they look at me and say, he was bullied and he turned out all right.”
The 6’4” all-around athlete was good enough to be invited to camp as a free agent tryout with the New York Jets, and demonstrated his amazing ball handling skills with the assembly hall full of grade school youngsters at Thomas elementary in the Kenilworth Gardens neighborhood in Washington, DC.
“While in elementary and middle school I was bullied because I was not one of the privileged kids. When I was 13 I was in foster care for three years, and I just told myself I had to stay positive and get through it,” said Bullard.
The ABC’s program is done in partnership with the National Campaign to Stop Violence, and the program has reached thousands of kids across the country. When asked how he measured the success and impact of the program, Bull replied, “I’ve gotten letters from teachers and kids around the country and got one special letter from a kid who apologized to all the kids in his school for being a bully after he participated in the program.”
Bull is the Globetrotter that his teammates say spends the most time in front of the mirror. Maybe all that mirror time is so he can admire his collection of tube socks and shoes. For real, the man collects tube socks. You can get away with that kind of thing when you’ve nailed a perfect score at the College Slam Dunk Championship, like Bull has.
Sponsored by Howard Johnson Hotels, Wonderful Pistachios, Greyhound Lines, Spalding, and Russell Athletic, the Original Harlem Globetrotters are celebrating their 87th consecutive year, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages.
October is nationally recognized as Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and the message that an athlete and role model has on the kids plays a big role in addressing aggressive behavior on and off the basketball court. The Globetrotters are particularly effective at delivering this message said “Bull” because, ”The Globetrotters don’t play an aggressive style – I’ve never had a technical foul or fouled out of a game. My message is be aggressive in the weight room and always keep your sportsmanship. We have to promote sportsmanship because these kids lose sight of that when they see the pros emphasis on the pursuit of money”.
“Bull” Bullard used his amazing ball handling skills and outgoing personality to keep 350 rambunctious elementary school kids engaged without ever losing control of the ABC message which the kids remembered in the closing dance session.
The important message of bullying and violence prevention is conveyed with participation from the kids – and the team’s signature ball handling skills and humor – for a well-balanced program that informs and entertains.
“We start with younger kids because we try to start because the high school kids think they have all the answers and by middle school the kids are already being affected. No kid can avoid getting bullied, but our message is take Action when you see someone being bullied by someone else, be Brave by standing up for your classmates, and be Compassionate when you see someone having a bad day”.
The “ABCs of Bullying Prevention” program is part of the Globetrotters advance community service promotion prior to bringing their 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour to town next spring. Bull’s job as an Advanced Ambassador is to spread goodwill in DC and Virginia before the Globetrotters bring three games to the area. The Globetrotters will play one game at Verizon Center on March 15, 2014 at 1 p.m. and two games at the Patriot Center on March 15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. and March 16, 2014 at 2 p.m.
During each school visit, Bull will incorporate the Globetrotters’ famous ball handling into an assembly that teaches students how to combat bullying by using Action, Bravery, and Compassion.
In addition to his first stop at Neval H. Thomas Elementary, 650 Anacostia Ave. NE, Washington, DC Bull’s full schedule includes visits to Jefferson-Houston School in Alexandria, Drew Model Elementary in Arlington before doubling back to visit Randle Highlands Elementary and JC Nalle Elementary and, Kimball Elementary in DC before wrapping up the goodwill tour at Grace E. Metz Middle School in Manassas, VA.
Throughout their history, the Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans—among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents—over more than eight thrilling decades. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com.
Fans can see the Globetrotters live at Verizon Center and the Patriot Center by purchasing tickets at www.ticketmaster.com, calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or in-person at the Verizon Center and Patriot Center box offices. Visit www.verizoncenter.com or www.patriotcenter.com for more details.
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