Derick “Dizzy” Grant was in second grade when he saw the Harlem Globetrotters for the first time.
Like many second-graders, he wanted to be a professional basketball player when he grew up. He also faced occasional bullying, like many children that age.
The 29-year-old New Jersey native is now a Harlem Globetrotter himself, and he visited Fred L. Aiken Elementary in Green Tree on Monday to share an anti-bullying message with students.
“We want to tell kids how to avoid bullying, and what to do if they are being bullied, or if a friend is,” Grant said. “We want them to understand why it’s wrong.”
It featured plenty of basketball tricks, a little dancing, and a strong anti-bullying message, which Grant said is especially important since children could now face cyber-bullying as well as face-to-face bullying.
“A teacher thanked me for speaking about cyber bullying, which is something I never had to deal with as a child,” Grant said. “With Facebook and things like that, kids could be facing a lot more and they might not know how to deal with it.”
Grant presented the anti-bullying assembly at four local schools on Monday, including Aiken. While he visits schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio this week, about 30 of his teammates are visiting schools around the country, sharing a similar message.
“We do about 300 schools and hospitals a year,” Grant said. “It’s nice to be able to extend a hand and spread an anti-bullying message. We take a lot of pride in what we do with this.”