Missy Franklin: I've got skillz, but Trotters have to wait
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Missy Franklin wants everyone to know: She's got some hoops skillz.
That said, the Harlem Globetrotters will have to wait.
Swimming remains her main focus.
''I haven't been thinking too much about my future basketball career,'' Franklin joked Saturday, breaking into a big smile while wearing a Harlem Globetrotters jersey. ''But after this summer, I will keep you updated.''
She was sporting a No. 4 Globetrotters jersey that was sent to her by the famed team, which ''drafted'' her in its annual tradition of selecting from a host of world-class athletes and celebrities ''who all embody the Globetrotters' spirit and passion for basketball.''
Along with Franklin, the team also selected soccer star Neymar, two-time major champion golfer Jordan Spieth and actor Kevin Hart.
The 21-year-old Franklin won four swimming gold medals at her first Olympics in 2012. She'll be competing for a spot in Rio at the U.S. trials, which begin Sunday in Omaha.
The 6-foot-2 Franklin might've had a future on the basketball court if not for her prowess in the pool.
''I was MVP of my middle school team,'' she said proudly. ''The only reason I stopped is I'm so bad at running. I just hated running back and forth. But other than that, I think with a little bit of practice, I could definitely get into it. I'm so competitive. I know if you got me on the court with someone that, oh my gosh, I would get very, very into the game.''
Franklin's coach, Todd Schmitz, said the bubbly swimmer would fit right in with the Globetrotters, at least when it comes to their on-court antics.
''What are they all about?'' he said. ''I remember going to watch Meadowlark Lemon. C'mon, it was all about energy and making people laugh and goofing around. That's what Missy does.''
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .