|basement tapes||concert reviews||cd reviews||interviews||ticket swap||music news|
By Andy Argyrakis
Harlem Globetrotters' Hot Shot spins in more ways than one
"One on One"
Dec. 26, 2008
At face value, comparing the worlds of basketball with rock or soul might not appear to have all that much in common, but when digging past the surface, the parallels are certainly slam-dunk worthy. For starters, both share arenas packed out to the brim with enthusiastic fans, followed by a slick production that provides plenty of excitement to those gathered. Games are often loaded with music in between plays, while staging a concert at stadium scale certainly requires athleticism (just ask a finely chiseled Madonna these days). When it comes to the legendary hoop heroes the Harlem Globetrotters, veteran player Hot Shot Branch also bridges the gap between the two mediums. Outside of his showmanship on the court, he's also a burgeoning DJ, spinning for his pals when he's not on tour with the team. Here's a little more from the switch hitter from a recent chat prior to the Globetrotters' Chicagoland appearances:
Livewire: How did you first get hooked up with becoming one of the Harlem Globetrotters and where did the name Hot Shot come from?
Hot Shot: I received my first look by scrimmaging against the Globetrotters during their competitive season in 2000. I was training to prepare to go overseas and the Trotters were in Houston practicing and wanted to scrimmage. I had an excellent game against them and shot the ball very well. While I was playing in the summer league in the Dominican Republic, a former player got word back to the Trotters that I was dominating the league. They contacted me and I accepted the offer. The name was giving for the way I shoot the basketball- with range, consistency and accuracy.
Livewire: What type of practice schedule does the team maintain to stay so sharp with their skills?
Hot Shot: We have a very intense practice schedule, two hours before each game. We spend many hours practicing our ball handling skills at the arenas and the hotels, so that's why things look so sharp.
Livewire: Considering Globetrotters have toured arenas for decades, how do you account for the continued longevity?
Hot Shot: This makes my 6th season with the Globetrotters. We are known for our spectacular skills as basketball players and display great showmanship. The Harlem Globetrotters have always been affordable fun for the whole family. Our unique brand of basketball guarantees memories that will last a lifetime.
Livewire: Outside of the court, tell us about your time as a DJ?
Hot Shot: I've always had a love for music and enjoyed great DJ's...[Outside of DJing parties] sometimes, I would make a master mix to play for my friends just to see how they would respond to the variety of songs I put together. Twenty minutes into the mix I would tell them that it's me doing the mixing.
Livewire: Do you ever hope to open at the arena level for a major pop or rock star with your skills on the turntable?
Hot Shot: Of course, I would love to rock the house. I'm a self taught DJ and just have an ear for the hype. Once I learn more on the advances of new equipment and with plenty of practice, I will be ready to rock the house any day.
Livewire: What types of tunes get you revved up before a game?
Hot Shot: Lots of hip-hop and R&B.....I love listening to "Victory" by Puff Daddy. Then some Master P to get me jumping around, followed by Jay-Z and Scarface.
Livewire: To what degree is music intermingled during an evening with the Harlem Globetrotters?
Hot Shot: Our locker room is pumped every night and the current music throughout the show keeps the audience excited.
Livewire: Lastly, any plans to hit up any Chicago clubs for a set or even just to hang after your games?
Hot Shot: My day is coming to rock the house, but showing off my basketball skills and carrying the Globetrotter legacy is my biggest priority.
Hot Shot Branch appears with the Harlem Globetrotters on December 29 and December 30 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. For additional information, call 312-559-1212 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.