The Harlem Globetrotters took to the court to showcase their skills Friday at the Convocation Center. But what most people didn’t know was that there was an Eastern Michigan Eagle soaring amongst the crowd.
Chris “Smooth” Staples is an EMU alum who proved that if you have a dream, you can make it happen.
“Smooth” originally was a highly recruited football star that came to EMU. During his time at EMU, the 6-foot-3 athlete was regularly found at the REC/IM, where it was that he found his calling. “Smooth” started to dunk, and it was his medley of dunks that not only made him a YouTube sensation, but also earned him a spot on one of basketball’s greatest teams.
“I’ve always been a pretty good basketball player, so being at the Rec I always used to work on my game,” Staples said. “Doing slam dunks and, eventually, it reached the Globetrotters, I got a tryout, and been on the team ever since.”
Smooth went into Friday’s contest not only with dozens of fans watching, but also family, friends and former professors.
“It’s just like an overwhelming experience,” Staples said. “I’ve been on the team for a few years now, and it’s my first time back at the school. I got a lot of family and old professors that are gonna be there. So it’s really good to play in front of them.”
When it was time for him to come on to the court, “Smooth” did not disappoint. The first time he came on the court, he electrified the audience by throwing down an alley-oop that was thrown from out of bounds. In addition to his impressive ball handling, “Smooth” caught another three alley-oops, one being thrown from behind the basket. Even though the Globetrotters had an 84-82 lead with two seconds left, “Smooth” threw down a powerful windmill to end the game.
Although “Smooth” is traveling the world helping the Globetrotters celebrate 90 years, he received a chance to put on a show for his home crowd.