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Interview: Primetime on Joining Harlem Globetrotters, Returning to Grand Rapids, and Being a Superhero

Our next featured guest in an incredible athlete from our backyard of Grand Rapids, MI. Possessing breathtaking leaping ability, this 5’5’ basketball star won TNT’s ‘The Dunk King’ slam dunk competition by jumping over 7’2” NBA Hall of Fame legend Shaquille O’Neal. Yes, he jumped over Shaq. Now he travels around world making people smile as a member of the iconic Harlem Globetrotters. Please welcome to…Porter Maberry aka Primetime! You’re a Harlem Globetrotter. You won a slam dunk competition by dunking over Shaq. Primetime, are you the ultimate role model for short people?


Primetime: I would say so! I came up through the basketball rankings a bit different than most. I did really well in high school. Senior year I was All-Area, All-Conference. I got a few offers to go off to school in Oklahoma and Texas, and locally in Grand Rapids. I didn’t play basketball my first year out of high school; I want to GRCC and got a job. What made you decide to pick GRCC and stay in Grand Rapids?


Primetime: I had a daughter at an early age. So I just worked, went to school, and gave up basketball for a while. A few years later I put a dunk video on YouTube and it blew up! From there I’ve been performing all over the world. I’ve been to 80 countries in the last five years. I connect more with people who haven’t went to school or they’re not in the NBA making millions of dollars a year as a professional athlete. People tell me all the time I inspire them to do something better in their lives by them seeing the stuff I can do. You recently got to perform in your hometown at Van Andel Arena, which is one of the top venues in the nation now. What’s your opinion on how much the entertainment industry has grown in Grand Rapids?


Primetime: I was excited to come home and perform in Grand Rapids! The energy was crazy! The people who came out showed a lot of love. That was probably one of the biggest moments of my life. The city is really growing. Entertainment there is definitely growing. We have a new venue downtown, 20 Monroe Live, and different showcases are coming in. We’re bringing a lot to the city. I’m loving it. How eager were to come home wearing the Harlem Globetrotters uniform?


Primetime: My mom was there; that was her first time seeing me perform like this. My daughter was there. It was just a great feeling to share that with them. I don’t get too nervous anymore going out there in other cities. But at home you can look into the crowd and see faces you know. You’ve got friends there who will make funny faces and try to make me laugh. I know that when I get nervous I’ll do pretty good. Once you became a Harlem Globetrotter what did you learn about the organization that you didn’t expect?


Primetime: I’ve been inspiring kids all over doing the dunking stuff, but it’s an amazing feeling just to be part of this organization, becoming more of an entertainer and connecting with people. I didn’t know that they connected with people like this on a daily basis. The games are a lot of fun and it puts a smile on people’s faces every day. I didn’t know how to spin a basketball on my finger a month ago. When we put a basketball on a kid’s finger and spin it they go crazy! Kids come up to me after the game and I’m like a superhero to them! Do you have a personal goal that being a Globetrotter will help you accomplish?


Primetime: I’m a goofy dude, so being able to showcase that with public speaking. Being part of this organization’s going to help with that. I was only with the organization 6 months and they gave me a speaking role. Being in front of 2,000 to 3,000 people on the microphone, to be able to be funny and get that acting side of me out is great. They’ve given me a great opportunity to be a showman. And in everyday life I’m able to open up more and talk to people more, and start different conversations. If I want to do a basketball camp or motivational speaking at schools it helps because I have that name. Everybody knows the Harlem Globetrotters! One of the things we enjoy most about Harlem Globetrotter is your outreach. Our photographer was with Hoops when she visited Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital last year. In giving back you’re going to encounter children who will never be able to physically do what you do. How does it feel when you have to interact with them knowing they look up to you for your abilities, and offer them some type of encouragement? I wish I could have been there and done that last year. It makes me feel good when we go out to do these outreach things because I feel like I’m blessed. You don’t know too many 5’5” dudes who can dunk a basketball or jump over a 7’ guy. Looking at it from my perspective, things like this don’t happen every day. If I could give back or give them some type of hope, or brighten up their day for that one moment, I feel like I’ve done my job! I want to continue to do that because everybody isn’t as blessed as some of us and don’t have the things we have. Just to inspire them is a great feeling for me. |


CREDITS Written by Jiddoe S’Phatt | Interview by Jiddoe S’Phatt and Emmanuel Walker | Photos – Provided | Primetime – as Himself | Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment | Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee | Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Site Editor – Doug Sims | Webmaster – Doug Sims | Twitter – @LiquidAEMag | Instagram – @liquidmagazine

Liquid Arts & Entertainment is committed to presenting engaging conversations with top artists. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Primetime.

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