Sunday, July 31, 2011

Washington Generals Top Players: Derick "Dizzy" Grant

Before he was entertaining YouTube users with impressions of basketball greats, or nailing 4-point shots, he was a New York National.

I am talking about none other than current Globetrotter Derick "Dizzy" Grant.

Born December 3rd of 1982, Derick first saw the Washington Generals play the Globetrotters when he was 7 years old. Little did he know he would one day be part of the show, playing for both teams at different times.

Indeed, Grant has stated in interviews that many people told him he wasn't good enough to make it as a basketball player. But Derick set out to prove them all wrong.

Indeed, Derick eventually went on to play for the College of New Jersey. While playing there, Derick was a first team all-conference selection in both his junior and senior year. Grant also was the New Jersey Athletic Conference player of the year during his senior year.

Among his other college accomplishments, Grant led the league in scoring for his senior year with 20.8 points per game. In addition his 1542 points are the second highest in his school's history and he ranked third in the conference in 3-pointers made per game. The last turned out to be a sign of things to come.

After graduating in 2005, Derick proved the critics wrong when they said he could never make it as a pro-basketball player by being recruited by the New York Nationals, the name the Washington Generals were going by at the time. Among his team mates were other notable Nationals, Shawn Faust (one of the few players to play for both the Nationals and Generals) and future elite basketball trainer Michael Atkinson.

After playing a season for the Nationals, Globetrotters owner Manny Jackson liked what he saw, and Grant was "traded" to the Harlem Globetrotters. Derick took on the name "Dizzy" and has been with the Globetrotters ever since.

One of the more popular current Globetrotter players, Dizzy has also gained a cult following with his recent YouTube videos where he impersonates NBA players.

Dizzy made Globetrotter history in December of 2010 when he scored the first ever 4-point shot in a game against the Generals at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which aired nationally on ESPN2. Both the ball, and the 4-point circle he scored the shot from, have since become immortalized in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

From being told he couldn't make it, to being part of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Dizzy has shown he has the heart of a champion. Whether he wears the colors of a New York National or a Harlem Globetrotter.

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