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Harlem Globetrotter defies odds time and time again

Zeus McClurkin. Source: Harlem Globetrotters. Zeus McClurkin. Source: Harlem Globetrotters.
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

After 91 years of thrilling and exciting crowds of basketball fans all over the world, The Harlem Globetrotters are headed back to New Orleans to bring the 2018 Amazing Feats of Basketball World Tour to the Smoothie King Center.

Zeus McClurkin will be playing in the New Orleans event on Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.

The journey has not been a typical one, but that would not stop McClurkin from doing what he loves.

He is dealing with exercise-induced asthma, a narrowing of the airways in the lungs that is triggered by strenuous exercise. To this day, Zeus carries an inhaler with him.

McClurkin is not new to overcoming obstacles. 

He was cut from every basketball team he tried out for from seventh grade through tenth grade, but he kept pushing and finally made his high school team his junior and senior seasons. He played his first couple of years of college ball at a Division II program, but the departure of the head coach left him on the outside looking in, according to his biography.

Undeterred, he enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University, and he made the basketball team as a walk-on, beating out 30 other hopefuls in the process.

McClurkin earned an undergraduate degree in business management at North Carolina A&T and then a master’s degree in marketing and communications from Franklin University, based in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

McClurkin is also a Guinness World Records® record-holder. On Nov. 17, 2016, he set the mark for the most basketball slam dunks in one minute, with 16. He could only dunk one ball at a time and was required to run back across the free throw line before each attempt. 

He also set a new record for the most bounced three-pointers in one minute, with 5, according to his biography. 

McClurkin's stories of defying the odds has stretched into his community outreach. He offered this advice to kids: 

"Be coachable. Be the player that the coach never has to worry about and can depend on when called upon. I have played a lot of minutes over players that were more talented than me, simply because I was coachable and understood what the strategy and philosophy was for each team on which I played.”

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