Harlem Globetrotter drills Bibb County students on anti-bullying

lfabian@macon.comMarch 11, 2013 

Herbert “Flight Time” Lang loves mingling with the public.

Signing autographs, posing for pictures and talking to folks are what he enjoys about being a Harlem Globetrotter.

Monday morning, the 6-foot-3 guard brought a serious message on the “ABCs of Bullying Prevention” to Ingram-Pye Elementary School students.

Catching youngsters early in their lives can keep them from fostering dangerous habits, he said.

“This is the time when their personalities are developing, and if we can start them in the right direction now, then hopefully they can lead to be some positive people in our society,” Lang said. “Once you get a little bit older, you kinda get a little bit set in your ways and it’s kinda hard to tell you to do things.”

He asked the students to demonstrate how they can take “action” and show “bravery” and “compassion” to diffuse the effect of bullying at school.

The athlete, who has also appeared on reality television shows such as “The Amazing Race,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “The Bachelorette” and Disney’s “Kickin’ It,” seemed to score the most points with students when he recruited second-grade teacher Synja Turner for some audience participation.

Turner, a former Wesleyan College basketball player, joined a handful of students as Lang showed them some trick moves.

The youngsters passed the balls around their waists, under the legs and over their heads, but Lang had a special move for Turner.

After she passed the ball over her shoulder, she was to shake her backside to the left, right, front and back.

“I didn’t want to,” said Turner.

She reluctantly played along, but Lang still bopped her on the backside with the ball.

“He got me good,” Turner said.

Lang’s appearance precedes the world-famous basketball wizards’ appearance Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Macon Coliseum in their 2013 “You Write the Rules” world tour.

Fans’ applause will decide how the fourth quarter of the game will be played -- whether it’s using two balls, getting double points or other options.

The Globetrotters are partnering with the National Campaign to Stop Violence to help curtail bullying in appearances across the country, Lang said.

“You can’t always reach every kid, but if we can reach a few kids and make a difference, then our job is done.”

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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