For the first time on Digital Trends Live, we took it to the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon — home of the NBA’s Trail Blazers — where Riley Winn got to chat with Nathaniel “Big Easy” Lofton of the Harlem Globetrotters. Big Easy has been with the Globetrotters for 14 years, and the way he got on the team is truly special.
“I’m from New Orleans, and when Hurricane Katrina hit, our family lost everything,” he said. “We evacuated to Houston, Texas, and the Globetrotters were doing a charity event for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and I got to work out with the team while they were there and I’ve been with them ever since — 14 seasons, 90 countries, three-time loser on Amazing Race, and I’ve been voted the best-looking player on the team every year.”
Since Big Easy has traveled around the world and performed in front of millions of people, we asked him to name one of his favorite all-time memories.
“There are so many, but the one that I always go back to is we were in Sacramento [California], it was my first year, and there was this kid on the court that was doing something for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and we were shooting hoops, me and him shot hoops the whole time — he didn’t really say too much, but we had a good time. Then the next day, we were in the airport and I was flying out, and his mother walked up to me and started crying and she said her son hadn’t spoken a word for the past six months — he was going through so much pain with his disease and diagnosis, and that it was the first time that he had talked to Big Easy … Just last year, she sent me some pictures of him and he had built his first computer and he is doing well.”
Big Easy is also the holder of two Guinness World Records, one is a half-court, blindfolded hook shot and the other is the farthest hook shoot ever. And don’t try and break Big Easy’s record — he mentions that two people tried and broke his records a year later only to have him break them again.
The Harlem Globetrotter’s have just released their very first app for Apple and Android. The app features augmented reality Stickers, where you can turn into an honorary Globetrotter. It shows you when they are coming to your city, and leads you to all of your favorite player’s social media accounts. Big Easy’s favorite part, though, is the basketball game.
“We have a really cool game that my 2-year-old likes to play … No matter where you are, at home, on an airplane, anywhere around the world at any time, you can play a three-point, four-point, half-court contest with yourself and try to be our highest score,” he said.
Big Easy said his go-to would be his cellphone and Firestick, but his favorite app may not be what you would expect.
“Besides the Globetrotter app, my favorite app that’s on my phone is this golf game,” he said. “I just got into golf about two months ago, I’m not quite that good, but I’m not Charles Barkley either. Also the Amazon Prime app, and I just like listening to music, just little things like that.”
We ended the interview with a couple of brainteasers. Is a hot dog a sandwich? “No, because a sandwich, you have lettuce, you have the option of putting lettuce, tomatoes __ have you ever put lettuce and tomatoes on a hot dog? It’s a hot dog, it’s not called a hot sandwich,” he said. And when it comes to pizza, what is more important cheese or sauce? “I think it’s the combination of both,” he said.
The best way to keep in contact with Big Easy and the rest of the team is to download their brand-new app, available everywhere today.
Digital Trends Live airs at 9 a.m. PT from Monday through Friday, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, among other prizes.
- The best songs about money
- Grit and gear: How Chris Hershman went from retail clerk to music video director
- Dear Instant Pot Smart: I love you. Thank you for changing my life
- Comedian Michael Lenoci talks Carnegie Hall and his podcast, ‘Guys Night Out’
- DT Daily: Chef Patrick McKee talks fine dining, details green bean side dish