Away from the game he is shy, reserved, church mouse quiet, as the old idiom goes.
On the court – quite literally all around the world – he is known as Quake; as in earthquake.
The transformation happens to the tune of Sweet Georgia Brown and the sounds of laughter in places like Iceland, Ecuador, Dubai and Djibouti, Africa.
Quade Milum is a Harlem Globetrotter.
Since joining the famed basketball troupe two years ago, the 6-foot-9 Colonel White product figures he’s performed in more than 20 countries and all across the United States.
Last November, he was one of the players chosen for the Globetrotters 11th Holiday Military Tour. The team entertained troops across Afghanistan (the 121st country visited by the Trotters) and played a game on the flight deck of USS John C. Stennis, the nuclear-powered super-carrier deployed in the Arabian Gulf.
“Seeing what the military goes through every day over there was a real eye-opening experience,” the 27-year-old Milum said. “The soldiers and sailors showed us a lot of love and appreciation and in return we tried to show them that same love for what they do for our country.”
Milum is back in Dayton now to take part in the Top Talent Basketball Camp which begins with a one-day session next Saturday and has more extensive activities June 10-14 at the Beacom-Lewis Gym on the Central State University campus.
The camp is for boys and girls ages nine to 18 and will feature instruction by Milum, former NBA players like three-time NBA champ A.C. Green, veteran NBA player and coach Jim Cleamons, two-time NBA champ Craig Hodges, 13-year NBA vet Sean Rooks, Dayton and University of Kentucky hoops legend Dwight Anderson as well as several high school coaches.
Top Talent organizer and sports consultant Tyree Fields, who played at Trotwood Madison High, said he wants the camp to be all inclusive and will work with parents on the cost. He can be reached at (937) 321-1367 or through the website www.toptalentbasketball.com.
Milum said he is taking part for one reason: “This is my hometown — I’m a product of the Dayton Public Schools — and I’m never going to forget where I came from. I want young kids from this area to get some of the same opportunities I’ve had. I think I can help them with their basketball and by sharing some of the positive things I’ve learned away from the game.”
High jumper with hops
As a prep athlete here, Milum was best known as a high jumper, clearing 7 feet during his senior season and winning the state high jump crown.
Recruited by a few mid-major basketball programs – including Wright State – he chose Akron and ended up eighth in career blocks for the Zips , while scoring 499 points, grabbing 273 rebounds and getting a degree in psychology.
His pro career began with a season in Virum, Denmark, then a stint in Dusseldorf, Germany, before returning to Dayton in early 2011and playing for the Dayton Air Strikers.
It was here that he met Don Sellers, then the Air Strikers coach and general manager who had been an assistant with various minor league teams, an NBA advance scout and had worked with the Globetrotters.
“The No. 1 thing that stood out about Quade was his athleticism “ Sellers said by phone from Los Angeles, where Saturday night he worked out former Dayton Flyer Josh Benson for five NBA teams.
“Like Josh, Quade was long and wiry and could affect a game. He got his hands on a lot of balls so you didn’t have to run plays for him and he’d still get you 14 points and 10 rebounds.”
While Sellers said he believes Milum “still has a lot of regular basketball left in him,’’ he thought he might be a good fit for the Globetrotters:
“The Trotters always have some dunkers or finishers, as they call them, and Quade fit that MO perfectly. He’s a real high flier, so I called the Trotters.
“I thought it would be good for him. He could make some money, see the world and maybe he’d come out of his shell a little bit. Of course that’s the one thing I worried about, too.
“Quade doesn’t talk much. I was afraid that could have been a concern with the Trotters. With them you’ve got to have some kind of outgoing personality. But everyone is telling me, he’s working on that as we speak.
“And I’m sure the Trotters have found out what I already know. People always talk about what’s wrong with college basketball and street ball and professional ball, but Quade stands for everything that is right. He’s just a nice kid.”
Fields agreed: “You can tell he was raised right. He’s the kind of guy you want your daughter to date.”
Opportunity of a lifetime
Milum said he didn’t know much about the Globetrotters at first.
“When I was a kid I’d watch the old Scooby Doo cartoons with Curly Neal and Marcus Haynes,” he said of those ghost-busting adventures featuring Scooby Doo, his four teenage sidekicks and their Globetrotter pals.
“I had never seen the Globetrotters play or anything, but the older people in my family told me stories about what they meant to them. Everyone had memories and from their perspective I saw being a Globetrotter was really an honor.”
Quade’s mom, June Davis-Milum – an adoption placement worker with the Montgomery County Department of Jobs and Family Services/ Children’s Services – has a special affinity for the Trotters:
“I think a lot of the younger generation doesn’t really appreciate the history involved with the Globetrotters and what they represent. But for my generation – for me and my husband (Jerome) – it’s historic. The Globetrotters were trailblazers and now our son gets to be a part of it.
“To watch him go from pee wee basketball with the Dayton Mohawks and see it culminate into this, I’m a little flabbergasted. It’s truly amazing. He’s getting some opportunities of a lifetime.”
Milum was one of eight rookies to emerge from a Phoenix tryout camp in July of 2011 and joined the new tour that November. The Globetrotters split their roster into two and sometimes three units so they can play around 270 games a year, but Milum said the closest he’s performed around here was in a game in Toledo.
He said he was nicknamed Quake because of his “earth shattering’ dunks: “On the court I become a totally different person. Instead of the quiet guy, I’m pretty outspoken.”
Once he became a Globetrotter, he said he quickly gained that appreciation his mother spoke about:
“You realize our performances, the antics we do, they work no matter where we are in the world. Being a Globetrotter, you realize you have a responsibility to bring smiles to people’s faces. You don’t know what they’re going through in their life, but for the couple of hours they spend with us, we want to put a smile on their face.
“And it really works. We do touch people. I remember this year – I believe it was in Washington state somewhere – a parent came up to me with his daughter. She couldn’t have been more than five or six. She wanted me to have a picture she had drawn. It showed her playing basketball with me and some other Globetrotters in her driveway and now I’ve got it up on my refrigerator at home. I like it.
“In the picture, she is smiling.”