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Cheap Seats: Hall Is Coming Home As A Wee Globetrotter

December 13, 2012

By Chris Garman

In late December, the Harlem Globetrotters will play two games at 1st Mariner Arena, and the event will be a homecoming of sorts for Globetrotter guard and Baltimore native Jonte "Too Tall" Hall.  

The event in Baltimore will be a special time for Hall, who, at 5-foot 2, is the smallest player in Globetrotters history and is in his second year with the team.

"Being able to play in front of the home crowd," Hall said, "play in front of my family, giving them the chance to see me again, it's going to be a great feeling."

Hall has carved out a niche with the 'Trotters, but it didn't come easily.

Born and raised on McCulloh Street in west Baltimore, Hall began his basketball career at the age of 9 with a heavy influence from his uncle, Ernest Hall, who played professionally overseas. At the age of 13, Hall played on a local recreational team with New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony.

After playing at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, Hall worked a full-time job while continuing to try out for professional teams.

Hall decided to give a basketball career one final shot, and he e-mailed the Washington Generals and asked for a tryout. The Generals brought him in, Hall made the team and he spent 1.5 years with the organization. That's when he got his big break.

"I was happy to be playing professional basketball [with the Generals]," Hall said. "I took every game like it was my last and played extremely hard. Then the Globetrotters liked me and gave me an opportunity."

On Aug. 9, 2011, Hall had his tryout with the Globetrotters, and the following day, he was awarded a spot.

"I got emotional," Hall said. "My mom got emotional. Everyone did. Knowing what I've been through with basketball, it was very exciting for me."

Since joining the Globetrotters, Hall has had the opportunity to travel the world and continue playing the game he loves. Although being a professional basketball player comes with plenty of perks, Hall said what he loved most was being a role model.

"I love inspiring kids," Hall said. "By me being small, a lot of kids really look up to me. That's the best part -- making the kids happy and making them feel as though they can be anything they point their mind to, regardless of their height. That's amazing to me."

Through all the triumphs and failures, Hall has cemented a place in Globetrotters lore. When he makes his return to Baltimore, it will be a chance for him to reflect on his long journey. After years of hard work and struggles, Hall has persevered.

"I got my blessing at 29 years old," he said. "I never gave up, and here I am, just living the dream."

More Cheap Seats:
Noted Man Of Vision Passes Away At 94
Durban And Reynolds To Compete In S. Korea
Hall Is Coming Home As A Wee Globetrotter
Orioles Offering Suite Deals For Fans In 2013
Westminster Team Improves In Hurry
Forrester Tees Off In New Position

Issue 180: December 2012