MANSFIELD, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A local coach knew one of her basketball players was destined for great things, and when Lili Thompson returned to Mansfield Timberview High School last fall, she had a new uniform.
When Lili Thompson stepped on the court, instead of wearing a Lady Wolves jersey, she wears the famous uniform of the Harlem Globetrotters.
She’s a member of the rookie class of 2019.
“I actually met the Harlem Globetrotters when I was 7 years old in Hawaii. I’m an Army brat. I never knew that some 15, 16 years later I would be joining the team,” Thompson said.
She’s learning what it’s like to be a basketball ambassador:
“There are so many tricks. So many trick shots. But, I think the dunking is what I’m really working up to,” Thompson said.
She showed off her skills playing ball with the likes of NBA champion Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
“When I was here playing basketball at Timberview, my goal was to be a professional basketball player, travel the world and get to have new experiences. It all worked out for me to have this perfect job that I have now,” she says.
That perfect job allowed Thompson to come back home and push students to follow their dreams.
She also had the chance to reunite with her coach from 2013: Kit Martin.
“This is fantastic, but I thought she would be President of the United States at this point,” Martin joked.
Thompson has already tasted success as a member of Notre Dame’s college basketball championship team last season. Now she’s ready to live up to her Globetrotter nickname: “Champ.”
“What’s ahead for me is kind of the same thing with the Globetrotters. Just being an ambassador of goodwill and spreading joy and positivity through the game of basketball in whatever way I can,” Thompson said.
After Mansfield, Thompson went to Stanford — and then Notre Dame. She now has two degrees, including business management — in case that basketball thing doesn’t work out.