James Justice, who won the 2012 College Slam Dunk Contest, always dreamed of playing professional basketball.
But, when you're 5-foot-9, it's not always attainable to make the NBA. Even if you have a 52-inch vertical leap.
So, imagine Justice's surprise when he was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters on Tuesday in their sixth annual player draft. He -- along with three-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt and Iesha Davis, the sister of likely No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Anthony Davis -- got the good news about an opportunity to join the team.
"I get this chance to travel the world and make a lot of people smile," said Justice, who was a two-time first-team NAIA All-American at Martin Methodist College in Tennessee. "This is going to be a great opportunity for me. I've always dreamed of this."
The Globetrotters began playing in 1926 and have showcased their ball wizardry in 120 countries and territories on six continents.
“Our draft is always fun, because we look for athletes of all different kinds that might have the attributes to be a Harlem Globetrotter,” Sweet Lou Dunbar, the Globetrotters’ director of player personnel, said in a statement. “James Justice is a dunking dynamo in the mold of many great Globetrotter dunkers, Iesha Davis has a great bloodline, and how can you go wrong with the world’s fastest human?”
Justice said he'll continue to work out this summer and possibly bulk up (from his weight of 170 pounds) before minicamp opens in August and training camp starts in September.
"I'm still working on my game. It's all kind of crazy," Justice said. "Making the Globetrotters would be fulfilling a dream for me. I can't really put it into words."