By Kristen Johanson


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On the court, she’s Swish — off the court, she’s Philly native, Bria Young.

“Travelling back to Philadelphia is going to be huge for me,” says Young. “Of course Philadelphia has a special place in my heart.”

Young played for Preparatory Charter High School in Point Breeze, watching her uncles and father play in city tournaments. When she wasn’t cheering for her family, she was cheering for Temple University’s Women’s Basketball team, then coached by Dawn Staley.

“I loved them so much that my childhood room was painted cherry and white,” Young says, with a laugh.

Eventually, she made her way to western Pennsylvania, to play Division I at Saint Francis University.

“But I got home sick.”

Young came back to her hometown after one year, and attended Philadelphia University, under the direction of Coach Tom Shirley.

“She’s probably the most athletic player I ever had,” said Shirley. “ The funny standard story that we tell, is when she first started playing for me, I used to say to her, what do you think you’re a Globetrotter?” Shirley laughed. “She could beat people off the dribble with some of her head fakes and jukes and her spin dribble.”

Young red-shirted her first year, recovering on the bench from an injury to her knee. She went on to play for three years, graduating with a degree in Psychology. She was about to head into a Master’s program, when: “I received a phone call, asking if I would like to try out for the Globetrotters,” says Young.

“I was on vacation with my family in Florida, and so I had to leave vacation early.”

Young flew to her first tryout, and continued her work on the court, to make it back for another tryout.

“As she progressed through the tryouts, she would come back and say, you know, one of the things they need me to do is perfect my sliding,” said Shirley. ” She would come into my gym, and put on the long leggings and knee pads and she would just start sliding.”

And, after a second tryout, she made the team.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Young. “I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The Harlem Globetrotters will dribble their way into the Wells Fargo Center March 5th and 6th, and play the Liacouris Center on March 11th.

For ticket information, head to: http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets