Third-year Harlem Globetrotter enjoys entertaining the fans

Speedy Artis and the Globetrotters are ready to perform on Sunday at Wink Arena. (Couresy photo)

BIG RAPIDS — He’s called Darnell “Speedy” Artis for a reason.

Artis is in his third season with the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters, who are putting on a show 2 p.m on Sunday at Jim Wink Arena.

Globetrotter officials point out Artis was a four-year starter at Gwynedd Mercy University in Philadelphia, where he graduated in 2016. His former coach John Baron previously coached college standouts at Gwynedd Mercy. who went on to play for the Globetrotters’ longtime opponent, the Washington Generals.

The Globetrotters say Artis proved his dribbling and shooting ability was world-class, and got a tryout with the Globetrotters after graduation.

“(Baron) thought I had a different skill set that would fit me instead of the Generals,”Artis said, of the Globetrotters regular opponent. “When you come to a Globetrotters game, it’s different than a regular game. We don’t just play, we also entertain. We have some of the world’s greatest shooters, dunkers and dribblers. You’ll see some of the world’s greatest entertainers. We’ll do things from high flying dunks, plus 4-point shots, 30 feet from the basket.”

He advised fans to hang onto their concessions and be ready to dunk if water comes their way.”

“There’s a lot you can enjoy, even if you’re not into basketball,” Artis said. “You’ll be entertained on Sunday.”

Artis grew up in East Germantown, Pa., and learned the sport of basketball at the Lonnie Young Recreation Center. He attended grade school at Pastorius-Richardson Elementary before attending La Salle College High School. On Nov. 16, 2018, Artis was one of three Globetrotters to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange at the onset of the Globetrotters’ new Fan Powered World Tour.

Artis said he works full-time for the Globetrotters.

“We have shows everyday for about six months,” he said. “We go from November through about May. Everyone’s schedule is different. It’s over 100 shows. We get our inspiration from our fans. There’s someone who may never see a show before. You want to put on your best performance for the fans so they leave with memories they’ll have forever.”

Artis said there’s eight to 11 players that appear at a show and overall, there’s more than 40 players.

Tickets are available at harlemglobetrotters.com, ticketweb.com, the Jim Wink Arena box office or by phone at 866-468-3399. For more information, visit harlemglobetrotters.com.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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