“These areas helped me to grow into the woman I am today,” Brawner said of three camps the Globetrotters are holding this month in the region, including one on the Peninsula. “It is rewarding to be able to go back into all these different communities amongst the Bay Area and and give back some basketball knowledge and pure fun.”
The camps are at a 24 Hour Fitness locations — Saturday-July 8 at San Jose Super Sport, July 10-15 at San Mateo Super Sport and July 16-20 at San Ramon Super Sport (July 16-20).
Brawner, a 5-foot-6 guard, was All-Oakland Athletic League at Skyline High School, walked on at Cal State Northridge and finished her collegiate career at Dominican University in San Rafael. She picked up an agent after college, and received an invite to a workout with the Globetrotters, now in their 88th year of existence.
“I did very well, and here I am, still with the team,” said Brawner.
She has been a Globetrotter since 2012, and is one of 12 women ever to play for the fabled, swashbuckling side (three currently do).
That she can return and work camps in the Bay Area takes on special significance.
There is plenty of instruction, but this is the Globetrotters, so of course it is presented with a lighthearted twist.
“We teach the fundamentals of the game ... but we do it Harlem Globetrotter-style,” Brawner said. “We have competitions, we show off our tricks from the magic circle, and even teach the kids their very own magic circle. You never know what you’ll get — other than some laughter.”
There are three two-hour sessions for each day of camp, and any and all skill-levels are welcome. Parents are encouraged to watch the camp sessions and, as Brawner said, “share some laughs.”
“The most rewarding part is seeing kids do things they didn’t think they were able to do,” Brawner said. “It’s like unlocking the magic in them. And for some kids, these camps will be the thing that forever lets them know that they can do anything they put their mind to.”