Philadelphia University women’s basketball coach Tom Shirley is fanatical about the point guard getting to her spot, distributing the ball and running the offense. So when Bria Young ’15 first joined the team and kept dribbling behind her back and through her legs, it drove him crazy.
“It was way too fancy,” Shirley recalled. “My standard line was, ‘Who do you think you are—a Globetrotter?’”
His words proved prophetic, as it was announced today that Young was selected for the 2017 Harlem Globetrotters team. The recent graduate—who has been dubbed “Swish” by the team—is only the 14th female player in the team’s 90-year history and the first out of PhilaU’s program.
“Not many female athletes receive this opportunity,” said Young, who will begin her tour with the team through the U.S. and Canada the day after Christmas. “I am both thankful and filled with excitement for the upcoming season.”
“This lifelong Philly girl modeled her game like Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson—even adopting his famous crossover as a signature move,” according to the Dec. 14 announcement by the Globetrotters, the internationally renowned basketball squad probably best known for entertaining arenas with their eye-popping trick shots and dribbling skills, as well as community outreach.
Young tried out for the team in July and was called back for a second tryout in October. By the next morning, she had an offer to join the 30-person roster. She will join two other women on the team, including Fatima “TNT” Maddox, who worked in Safety and Security at PhilaU before landing with the Globetrotters six years ago. Maddox played basketball at Temple University.
“As a little girl, my career goal was always to become a professional basketball player,” said Young, who attended Philadelphia’s Prep Charter High School. “As a psychology major, I gained an interest in helping communities and families. Thankfully, this position with the Harlem Globetrotters allows me to do both.”
At PhilaU, she scored 1,067 career points as a three-year starting point guard for the Rams. Young’s many accolades include first team all-league, first team all-region, and co-MVP and Defensive Player of the Year of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
“Bria was a pleasure to coach,” Shirley said. “She was an integral part of our 2015-16 championship team, and I could not be more proud about her contract with the Globetrotters.”