Fatima Maddox will return to North Broad Street, but this time wearing a Harlem Globetrotters’ jersey.
For the first time since 2007, Fatima Maddox will play on the court where she helped the Owls win their third consecutive Atlantic Ten Conference Championship. But instead of donning the Cherry and White, she’ll be wearing Harlem Globetrotters’ red, white and blue.
The last time Maddox stepped onto the court in the Liacouras Center, she was playing her final home game on senior night. She went on to score nine points on four of 10 shooting, grabbed three rebounds, and dished out four assists in a 74-64 Owls’ victory over Saint Louis.
The Owls were 11-0 in the conference at the time and looked for their fourth consecutive title.
Now Maddox returns to North Broad Street on March 9 to continue another winning streak, the one the Globetrotters have over the Washington Generals. She said she never thought she’d get another opportunity to play in a place she calls her second home.
“I wasn’t sure if I’d ever play there again, so for me to be able to go back there as a Harlem Globetrotter, I’m ecstatic,” Maddox said.
“Just to be back in that environment, I mean, I remember it like it was yesterday,” she added. “Those are some of my best years of my life, playing in that gym.”
And instead of using crossovers on defenders to get an open shot, she’ll be using some of the flashier moves she’s learned the past few months to entertain a crowd full of young children and their families.
“I thought I was pretty good at dribbling and stuff like that, but [the Globetrotters] kind of showed me there’s different levels you can take each trick,” Maddox said. “It’s a lot of fun though.”
Maddox made history last fall when the Globetrotters selected her to be the first woman on the team since 1993. Since then, she’s spent plenty of time learning the tricks of the Globetrotters’ trade, putting in hours of philanthropy with the team’s “C.H.E.E.R. for Character” campaign and growing close to her teammates, separate locker room and all.
“Actually it’s not as bad as one might imagine,” Maddox said. “I get my own space, obviously, I get my own locker room. And the guys, truly they’ve embraced me and made feel like one of the family.”
The Globetrotters play three games in Philadelphia, two in the Wells Fargo Center on March 11, and another in Maddox’s old stomping grounds two days earlier. She said she’s excited to return and hopeful to get some time off to see friends and family and revisit Main Campus.
“I definitely would like to step in there and see how Temple has evolved,” Maddox said of potentially practicing in the renovated McGonigle Hall. “I hope we practice in there, I think that would be pretty cool.”
Since becoming the first Globetrottess in 18 years, Maddox said she’s received great support from Temple, but she also tries to stay up-to-date on the women’s basketball team.
“I definitely have faith in the program and what coach [Tonya] Cardoza is doing,” Maddox said. “And I’m pretty confident that they’ll finish out strong.”
So as the Owls rest from the A-10 tournament and potentially prepare for an NCAA Tournament appearance, Maddox will be preparing for her first of possibly many visits back to North Broad Street with the Globetrotters.
“For me to be a part of something so legendary, and a part of a team with such great athletes that played on the team – I’m on a team that Wilt Chamberlain played on – so I don’t know if it’s sunk in all the way,” she said. “But I hope that I’m around for a long time.”
Jake Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.