Harlem Globetrotter visits DC basketball spinning teacher - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Harlem Globetrotter visits DC basketball spinning teacher

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We have all tried spinning a basketball on our fingers at one time or another. This skill has put a D.C. teacher in the spotlight.

He used the spinning basketball to help kids learn science. On Thursday, his classroom got a special visit from someone else who knows a thing or two about handling a ball.

It's the one day everybody wanted a front row seat in physics class.

“I saw the Globetrotters when I was in eighth grade and ever since then, I've just been completely fascinated by them,” said David Hovan.

He carried a basketball -- or two -- everywhere he went as a kid.

“There's a lot of marks on the wall and the ceiling from me bouncing the ball around,” Hovan said.

He grew up to be a physics teacher at St. John's College High School in D.C. He brought his basketball with him.

One of last year's students posted a video of Mr. Hovan on YouTube -- spinning a basketball while grading papers.

It caught the eye of Harlem Globetrotter Handles Franklin.

“I've been watching you all over the internet,” said Franklin walking alongside Hovan into his classroom.

Even the Harlem Globetrotter just had to see it for himself.

“I was amazed by the teacher and inspired,” said Franklin.

“I think it's exhilarating and it's fun. But it is overwhelming,” said Hovan. “I'm kind of an under the radar guy so I don't like being in the spotlight at all.”

Don't worry, only a half million people have seen the video.

Hovan explains how spinning a basketball works.

“The whole concept behind spinning a basketball involves angular momentum. And in the same way that forces cause things to accelerate, torque causes things to have an angular acceleration to start spinning faster and faster,” he said.

“Most teachers would just lecture you and tell you about it, but he actually is showing us,” said one of his students.

Showing them physics can be a slam dunk.

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