Seth Kraft, Laurel basketball teams get shout-out from Globetrotters

2014-02-27T10:50:00Z 2014-02-28T19:20:23Z Seth Kraft, Laurel basketball teams get shout-out from GlobetrottersBy CHRIS CIOFFI ccioffi@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette
February 27, 2014 10:50 am  • 

Laurel High School basketball players got the chance to meet Harlem Globetrotters player Dizzy Grant after he heard about player Seth Kraft's inspiring story. 

Kraft, a senior at Laurel High School who is 4 feet, 1½ inches tall, joined his teammates in the starting lineup on Saturday night against the Senior High Broncs, after spending four years on the bench, three as manager and one as student coach.

He missed his first shot, but sank his second earning a standing ovation during the two minutes he spent on the court.

Videos and news articles about Kraft's experience went viral on the internet, getting the attention of news outlets such as USA Today and the Huffington Post. 

Grant said he came across the video of Kraft getting his points in the paint, while browsing the internet. 

"I just clicked on it," he said. "I got goosebumps watching it."

Grant stopped by Rimrock Auto Arena after the Locomotives' practice on Thursday morning to meet both the boy's and girl's basketball teams. He presented the team with the Globetrotters' Junior Phenom Award, which is the team’s way of applauding individuals who do something extra special.

"It's the pinnacle of sportsmanship," Grant said. "We just wanted him to know the Globetrotters are thinking about him." 

He also signed autographs, took some pictures with excited team members, and gave away tickets to the Globetrotters' performance on Sunday at Rimrock Auto Arena.

Kraft said he was surprised when he found out the Laurel team would be meeting Grant.

"Someone posted it on Facebook, during practice," Kraft said. "Then my phone started buzzing."  

Still reeling from all the attention, being able to meet Grant was just icing on the cake.

"I can't believe it," he said. "That's the power of social media for you."

Sharing the experience with his teammates made it all the better. 

"We've been friends since freshman year," he said.

His teammate, sophomore Marcus Gunn, who let him borrow a spare jersey to play in the game Saturday, said the attention Kraft has been getting is fitting.

"He deserves everything he's getting right now," he said.

Laurel will play in the Eastern A tournament this weekend at Rimrock Auto Arena. Their first game is Friday at 4 p.m. 

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