EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— When you think of the Harlem Globetrotters, some full-court, family fun comes to mind.

A northeastern Pennsylvania native plays an important role in making that happen on basketball courts near and far. To do that, she embraces her local roots and her South American heritage in a “Mighty” way.

She goes by the name “Mighty” as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, but when she’s off the court she’s simply Mia Hopkins.

Pittston may be her hometown, but South America is also someplace special to her. It’s where her father traces his roots and where she went on tour with the Globetrotters this summer.

“I’ve never been to South America before so it was very cool for me to be in that environment and be in a place where my heritage is from,” Hopkins told Eyewitness News.

She demonstrated her skills in places like Argentina and Chile.

“It allows me to connect with people that have a similar background. You know, we have the same kind of culture, so I think that’s very cool,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins’ road to playing with the Harlem Globetrotters started with a love of basketball as a kid that later blossomed as a 1,000-point scorer at Pittston Area High School. She went on to play college basketball at three different universities including Bloomsburg. She experienced the highs and lows during her collegiate career and everything in between.

“I think it shapes you, all of it. I think it’s all part of it and it’s just building your character along the way,” explained Hopkins.

Hopkins also overcame a serious shoulder injury that nearly derailed her tryout with the Globetrotters.

“It took a lot of belief in myself and faith in God. I just had a really great tryout, like, it was just my day,” she said.

Another big day happened last winter when she got to play at Mohegan Sun Arena near Wilkes-Barre, just a few miles from where she grew up.

“I was able to come back here and really be a rock star like I don’t think there’s anything that can really top that. Being able to see everyone there supporting me, like, that is so much love in one collective I don’t think that feeling can be matched,” Hopkins told Eyewitness News.

Hopkins uses her platform to inspire kids wherever she goes whether it’s helping them spin a ball on their finger or teaching them the finer points at basketball camps and school visits.

“That’s what’s most important to me and I think that’s what my gift in life is, is to be able to share my story and connect with them and inspire them to strive for greatness always and not let anything break them down,” Hopkins explained.

Touring as a Globetrotter may be tough at times, but the payoff is indescribable. Well, almost.

“You get to take part in greatness just by being part of that team, and I think it’s also about authenticity and finding yourself within that and I know I’m finding myself now and I’m really excited to see what’s to come,” Hopkins concluded.