Joyce “Sweet J” Ekworomadu (eck-wor-oh-MAA-doo), out of Texas State University, was the Southland Conference Player of the Year and Student Athlete of the Year in 2008, when she averaged 18.7 ppg and led the school to an opening round Women's NIT victory (hitting the game-winning shot), the first postseason win in program history. Ekworomadu connected on a school-record 82 three-pointers her senior year and finished third in the 2008 College 3-Point Championship.
She previously played professionally in Poland and Italy and has been a member of the Nigerian national team since 2007. The parents of the Dallas native are from Nigeria but moved to the U.S. before she was born. Ekworomadu joins the Globetrotters with current female stars TNT Maddox and T-Time Brawner.
Ekworomadu is now “Sweet J,” and she plays as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. She’s the 12th woman to be on the team. The first was Lynette Woodard in 1985.
“I’m doing what I love to do, which is to play basketball,” said the 27-year-old athlete. “Plus, I get to impact so many people.”
On the court, it’s with her personality. Off the court, she inspires youths through visits to schools.
Since Globetrotters are also “Ambassadors of Goodwill,” they often do community outreach.
In Dallas before their games on Saturday at American Airlines Center, Ekworomadu and teammate Anthony “Buckets” Blakes stopped by two schools to talk about the “ABCs of Bullying Prevention.” They visited Covenant Christian Academy in Colleyville and Holy Family.
Ekworomadu received huge cheers when she stepped onto the basketball court at Holy Family.
“I was once sitting in the seats where you guys are sitting,” she told the students. “I was on the honor roll. I was spelling bee champion … I was a good student.”
The students sat mesmerized. Along with stressing the importance of doing well in school, Ekworomadu also told them to hold fast to their dreams.
“No matter what people tell you, no matter how much they tell you [that you] can’t do something, keep on doing it and prove them wrong,” she said.
Then, she shared a story about being bullied when in day care.
“I felt sad,” she said. “I didn’t know why it was happening to me.”
There’s no bullying on the Globetrotters.
“They are like my brothers,” Ekworomadu said of her teammates. “And they are very protective of me.”
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