Being Cherokee High School alumnus Brawley “Cheese” Chisholm means traveling the world, playing basketball and entertaining crowds.
Chisholm is a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Chisholm never expected to leave Brooklyn, N.Y., and eventually live in Marlton.
He arrived in Evesham Township in 2000, his freshman year of high school.
“When my mom said she wanted to move to New Jersey, I didn’t want to,” Chisholm said. “I’m a city kid at heart. I didn’t know anybody.”
Luckily for Chisholm, being an athlete meant making instant friends.
“There was the camaraderie from players and the coach,” he said.
Chisholm still lives in Marlton.
After high school, Chisholm traveled to Western Texas College, a junior college that provided him with a full scholarship for basketball.
He then attended Ball State University located in Muncie, Ind., an opportunity afforded by a second athletic scholarship, where he graduated with a communications degree.
“It’s nice not having to pay for student loans,” Chisholm said. “It was a good few years there, I learned a lot of things there.”
Chisholm played 50 games in two years at Ball State, scoring his career high of 12 points in a home opener against Valparaiso.
He averaged 4.5 points per game his senior year.
While playing in a pro-scouting tournament in New York, Chisholm was given the opportunity to tryout with the Globetrotters.
“I was honored to have an invite to tryout. I played exceptionally well in tryouts, too,” he said. “I always wanted to be a pro player.”
The Globetrotters offered Chisholm a one-year contract, an agreement that’s renewed each year.
The Globetrotters’ style of play is unlike the NBA’s competitiveness.
The show includes entertainment, skills exhibition and crowd involvement.
“You get accustomed to it. You need to be a great basketball player, a great person and a great entertainer,” Chisholm said. “In college, there’s the college tradition, it’s always there, and it’s a different atmosphere. There’s a lot that goes into being a Globetrotter. You have to entertain and perform basketball wise.”
The schedule is longer than a typical 82-game NBA schedule.
The Globetrotters play 250 games a year.
The team hosts training camp in August and practices before each game.
“It’s more than any pro sport. You have to keep your body fit, mentally and physically strong, it’s more challenging,” Chisholm said.
Chisholm’s career has taken him all over the world, and not to just to play the game.
The Globetrotters do charity work as part of the job.
The Globetrotters traveled to Newtown, Conn., to play for the kids after the tragedy.
“It was a humbling experience to do something positive for them. You find yourself doing these things off the court,” Chisholm said.
He has made visits to schools to speak about bullying and visit patients at children’s hospitals.
“Just seeing what the kids give me is amazing. They call me ‘Cheese’ because I smile all the time,” he said.
Chisholm loves working with children. He hopes to coach after his time as a pro athlete ends.
While in Laredo, Texas, he visited a children’s hospital, specifically the pediatric cancer wing.
“The child smiled and the dad told him the child hadn’t smiled in days,” Chisholm said. “It humbles me to look back at that and know that it doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like a love and something I’ve looked for my whole life. There’s nothing better than impacting someone’s life.”
Chisholm isn’t certain of what the future holds, but hopes to remain a Globetrotter.
“As long as you love what you do it’s the best thing to have. I’m 26 years old. I get to create memories for people from 8 years old to 80 years old,” Chisholm said. “I get paid to do what I love. I’ve played all over the world. I do so many things.”
The Globetrotters will be playing in Philadelphia March 8–10.
For more information on the Harlem Globetrotters, or tickets to the upcoming games, visit www.harlemglobetrotters.com.