Jordan McCabe's rise into the realm of phenom fame has been nothing short of meteoric. In the past two months, the 12-year-old has gone from unknown Beaver Lake (Wash.) Middle School student to a much ballyhooed guest appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," a spot on "ABC News," and halftime performances at Washington and Wisconsin basketball games, not to mention the NBA's Golden State Warriors, a performance for which he warmed up with Stephen Curry.
Then, on Monday, McCabe's rise hit its zenith, with the middle schooler greeting two of his heroes at his school. No, we're not talking about former Sonics-turned-Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant or Portland Trailblazers guard Brandon Roy. We're talking about the Harlem Globetrotters.
By the end of a psuedo-impromptu assembly in front of the Beaver Lake student body, McCabe was working on a new neck-roll trick Rivers was attempting to teach him, with the two Globetrotter stalwarts raving about the pre-teen's skills and commitment.
"I'm just proud to be standing here with Jordan," Neal told Seattle's KOMO News. "It's an honor. He's fantastic. I'm proud of it."
"I'm not really surprised by him, because he puts in work," Rivers told the Times. "You can tell. There's some things that you can't teach. There's some things that are just natural. But all the things you can teach [McCabe is] willing to learn, and like he says, he's in the gym two, three hours a day.
"He's in the gym like a professional athlete, so of course it's going to pay off."
Given McCabe's rampant exposure, the Globetrotters rendezvous may have seemed like just another meeting with new famous friends. Yet for a teen who is establishing himself as the preeminent fancy ball-handler of his (still young) generation, trading tricks of the trade with the men who have helped make the skills so famous was a groundbreaking moment.
"This is just absolutely breathtaking, because it's the Harlem Globetrotters," McCabe told the Seattle Times. "They're calling me. It's crazy. Meeting Mr. [Curly] Neal and Rocket [Rivers], it's just been an amazing experience."