She’s a Globetrotter!
Briana “Hoops” Green Dons the Red, White and Blue
One of the new faces dribbling with the Harlem Globetrotters this season is Lexington, Kentucky native Briana “Hoops” Green. She joined the Globetrotters after playing professionally overseas in the Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico. She played her college basketball at the University of Texas-El Paso, where she ranks 3rd on the schools list for all-time wins, with 79 and scored 650 career points.
You developed an interest in playing basketball early on. The game has been a part of most of your life.
I was four years old and would be playing against my older brother. I think I wanted to be like him and follow his footsteps. I’d play with and against him all through my elementary and middle school years. His early guidance led to me playing basketball in college and then professionally in the Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico and that eventually brought me to the Globetrotters.
You being from Lexington, Kentucky, I gather that you’d either be into basketball or horse racing. For you it swung in favor of basketball.
Yes, it’s basketball country. Big Blue Nation for those of us Kentucky Wildcat fans. I grew up around basketball, going to the women’s games at Kentucky, so I saw basketball at a very young age and that definitely helped my progress.
You were an outstanding player in high school and then at Texas-El Paso. Did you know early on that you wanted to play the game professionally somehow?
I think I always knew that because it was something I was passionate about. I went to a really good school academically and athletically. We were on a lot of people’s radar. I was getting recruited at a young age and knew I wanted to play basketball at the college level and wanted to get a scholarship as well. I think I knew that I just had to keep working on my game to improve and not just stay consistent.
How was your experience at UTEP as far as preparing you for a professional career?
I definitely think it helped me because I was so far away from home. I knew I wanted to go to school away from Kentucky and just grow and be by myself. That taught me a lot because later playing in Spain, the Czech Republic and Mexico, I was always away from home and I never really got homesick. I just knew how to deal with it. I think it worked out for the best.
How was playing professionally different from college?
The Czech Republic was the first place I played overseas and it was different. I did not know what to expect because it was the first time for me playing professionally in a foreign country. Then I had a lot of fun in Spain and then in Mexico but now that I’m with the Globetrotters, honestly, I don’t even see it as a job. It’s something I love to do. I love playing basketball and I love traveling. I’m blessed to be here and to be a part of this team.
How do you balance your competitiveness on the court with the need to also be an entertainer and playing to the crowd?
We do put in a lot of time practicing our craft. It’s not just doing tricks. We have to be good basketball players first and foremost but we know and understand that it is entertainment. We’re still trying to compete because the team we’re playing, the World All-Stars, they’re trying to beat us so we have to bring out best game every night.
What does it mean to you to be just the 15th female member of the Harlem Globetrotters?
After every game I’ll have parents come up to me and thank me for being an inspiration to their daughters. That means a lot to me and says a lot because it breaks barriers letting you know that gender doesn’t matter. You can have a role model, like I did with TNT (fellow female Globetrotter), seeing a girl playing basketball with all these guys lets the girls know that you can play at any level as long as you put the time and work in.
Being active in community service is important to you and fits in well with being a Globetrotter.
The Globetrotters are the ambassadors of goodwill and that’s something I wanted to be a part of. I like getting involved with the community, giving back and working with kids and this gives me a huge platform to do so. Like going to schools to talk about bullying or the cheer program or going to hospitals on smile patrol. Promoting positive character is definitely something I want to be a part of.
What is your specialty skill during the game that fans can look for?
I’m a dribbler so you’ll see all my dribbling skills. You’ll see me slide on the court and my ball-handling skills throughout the game.
The HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS will play MARCH 11 at Philips Arena and MARCH 18 at Infinite Energy Arena. For more information, please visit Harlemglobetrotters.com.