North Point High School welcomed former Harlem Globetrotter Matt “Showbiz” Jackson and North Point alumnus Naim Muhammad on Friday for a special slam dunk event held inside the school’s gymnasium, where several dozen students received life advice and watched fun basketball tricks performed by Jackson in celebration of Black History Month.
Jackson kicked off the event with a video presentation of his early life and rise to fame. He then shared some pointers with the students about overcoming adversity and being successful on and off the court.
“Just sharing wisdom and the importance of Black History Month, especially being an African American who has excelled in the sport of basketball for 20 seasons,” said Jackson, who played with the Globetrotters from 1987 to 2007 and received a Globetrotter Legend ring last month in Atlanta after being inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. “What an honor it is for me to be wearing this uniform because I know the struggles that my forefathers went through to pave the way for me. I just want to tell the kids to reach for the stars and don’t take life for granted. Seize every opportunity and dream big.”
Muhammad said coming back to speak at his alma mater is an honor. He is grateful for the many connections and lessons he gained through playing basketball.
Muhammad, a White Plains native who graduated from North Point in 2013 and now serves as a major gifts coordinator for Duke University’s athletics department, also shared a video of his basketball accomplishments and inspiration through sportsmanship. He contributed a great deal to North Point having an undefeated 27-0 season from 2010-2011, ultimately winning the state 4A championship game and becoming the first boys’ basketball team from the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference to win a state title since 1972.
“With me being a young black male and [North Point] having a Black History Month program based around sports, I just thought it would be good for me to come back and tell my story,” Muhammad said. “I always loved coming back here and I think that’s because I had so much fun here. What I like most about basketball is the things that the game can do for you. It’s amazing how I got to travel around the East Coast and meet people from all different cultures and countries. Bringing people together is part of the game and that’s something I really enjoy.”