Globetrotters Showman Big Easy Lofton gets his nickname from growing up in New Orleans and his easy-going nature, which is a trait that helped him thoroughly enjoy his three runs on “The Amazing Race,” with teammate Flight Time Lang. The duo finished as high as second place on the show.
The self-proclaimed “best-looking player on the team” is no stranger to the camera, having also appeared on Disney XD’s “Kickin’ It,” “Cupcake Wars,” “The Price is Right,” “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and Nickelodeon’s “Mutt & Stuff.” He also had the honor of meeting Pope Francis when the Globetrotters named the pontiff the ninth Honorary Harlem Globetrotter in team history on May 6, 2015 – following the Pope’s weekly General Audience, before a crowd of over 50,000 in St. Peter’s Square. Big Easy’s list of on-court dance partners includes model and TV personality Heidi Klum, comedian Drew Carey and business tycoon Warren Buffett.
Despite his nickname, nothing was easy about what Big Easy and 13 family members and friends went through when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Most of the group lived in the uptown projects, and when the levees gave way, Big Easy, his late father and two friends pushed the group in a pickup truck to St. John the Baptist Church. From there, they were able to make it out of the city and evacuate to Houston. As luck would have it, while he was in Houston, Big Easy was given a tryout by the Globetrotters and then offered a spot on the team. “One of the most difficult times in my life turned into an unbelievably positive twist of fate,” he says.
Big Easy took many life lessons from his parents. “They worked hard so we could have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and clothes on our backs,” he says. “Sometimes I did not see my dad for days, because he would leave at four in the morning for work and come back at 11 at night.” Big Easy’s fondest basketball memory was the last home game of his college career, on senior night at Southeastern Louisiana University. “It was the first game my parents ever came to watch me play; they were always working so hard to pay the bills, they’d never had the chance before,” explains Big Easy. “That was my best basketball memory ever.”
A two-time All-Southland Conference selection, as a senior, Big Easy led the team in blocks, steals, rebounds and assists. During his two seasons, the Lions won consecutive conference titles and made their first ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2005. Big Easy was named to the Southland Conference All-Decade Team for the 2000s and was inducted into the 2013 class of the Southeastern Louisiana University Athletics Hall of Fame.
In addition to his family and the Globetrotters, one of Big Easy’s other passions is his hometown New Orleans Saints. Just ask him about it sometime … he will be MORE than happy to talk about it.