Former Harlem Globetrotter to perform, inspire in Roanoke, Salem

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -- A former Harlem Globetrotter will bring his skills to Southwest Virginia this weekend along with a message on overcoming adversity for kids.

Seth Franco, who played for the Globetrotters and served as spokesman for its countrywide character education program, will talk to children at Melrose Park Sunday at 2 pm.

It's part of a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event in Roanoke.

Franco will also perform at the FCA Fields of Faith event at Salem Stadium Sunday evening from 6 to 8.

It's free to the public.

Franco, who grew up in New York, dreamed of being a professional basketball player, according to a news release. In 2003, Seth lived out his dream and became the first Caucasian Harlem Globetrotter since 1942.

His dream of playing professional basketball came with many challenges, the came during his college career when Franco had a leg injury that crippled him. He was told his basketball dreams were over but persevered.

The basketball tricks Franco learned during his injury later became the key to living out his dream. After his recovery, Franco continued to play and became noticed for his basketball tricks. Street ball team, The Court Jesters, offered him a new start playing for the team and performing for the crowds at halftime.

He was later recommended to Universal Studios to audition for a basketball movie where he landed the lead role, then to the Harlem Globetrotter's training camp, where we went on to make the team.

Franco now travels the world to show off his ball handling skills and works to inspire his audiences to "bounce back" from hardship.