Ron Christy catches kids' attention in an instant. As a former member of the Harlem Globetrotters , the Westport-Weston YMCA's new basketball coordinator produces all kinds of tricks that mesmerize children. "When I show them how to spin the ball on one finger, it gets their attention,'' Ron says. "I've been doing that since I was 10 years old."
Christy, 28, can do more than just tricks. He starred at Post University in Waterbury, where he was a two-time All-American, a two-time runner-up in Division II Player of the Year balloting and the Central Athletic Collegiate Conference two-time Player of the Year. He was Post's all-time leading scorer and led the nation in scoring in his junior year in 2002-03.
The Stratford native plays competitively in leagues in Norwalk and Hartford. He played a year for the Globetrotters and has been a member of the Harlem Wizards, Harlem Rockets and Court Jesters, who perform similar entertainment routines. But the shift from competitive atmosphere to show business was hard. "It's kind of like being on a TV show,'' Ron said. "The script changes every day."
There's a YouTube video of Christy also known as Rocket Man featuring his incredible dunks. Though he enjoyed it, the term from September 2008 to May 2009 with the Globetrotters was taxing. "It's tough, going from city to city to city,'' Ron said. "It takes its toll, mentally and physically."
Christy, who also played professionally overseas, devotes his time to teaching basketball to children. He has worked at camps at Stratford and Yale and helps kids with mental disabilities at Inclusion First in Canton. Christy has two young sons and loves working with kids. "I like teaching kids the correct way to play basketball,'' he said. "First you have to learn the right way, and then you can get fancy." His focus in Westport is working on fundamentals.
Christy can see himself combining his passions for instruction and for the sport. "I love the game,'' Ron says. "I never want to be too far away from it. I really enjoying the game to kids, and it's something I've always wanted to do. I can myself doing this for a long time."
Do you think your child would enjoy learning basketball fundamentals from a former Globetrotter?
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