Spinning with a Star – The Suffolk News-Herald
A former student of Nansemond River High School enjoys sharing his love for baton whirling with others. However, he didn’t expect to share it with one of the best tennis players in the world.
Simeon Guyton is a twirler with the Hampton University Marching Band. On Dec. 18, his team received last-minute notice that they were performing at halftime at the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic HBCU basketball game at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. As the band warmed up, someone asked to see his stick and he happily accepted, not knowing it was Serena Williams’ publicist.
“When they asked to see my stick, I said sure,” Guyton said. “I’m a very generous person and I like to see people trying to shoot. It’s not a very recognized sport, so I’m always happy to share the love.
Then, when Williams herself came and asked, he didn’t recognize her but was happy to let her try. When she finally took off her mask, Guyton realized what was happening.
Michael B. Jordan started this game to increase support for HBCUs, or historically black colleges and universities. Williams was in attendance with her investment firm, Serena Ventures. She was also preparing to present a halftime donation when she saw the Hampton University twirlers practicing.
She asked to film Guyton as he practiced some of his moves, then filmed herself dancing with the stick. As they did their parts of the dance, Guyton’s teammates cheered them both on in the background.
“She did her thing, and she was just killing it,” Guyton said. “Then she handed me her phone to put my Instagram tag on it, and I was so stunned to hold Serena Williams’ phone.”
On January 5, Williams posted the dance to her TikTok and Instagram and tagged Guyton. The video received comments from big names, including Diane Keaton, Angelica Ross and Ciara, whose song “Level Up” was placed on the video.
“I was more excited for Hampton University and the baton twirling to be recognized,” Guyton said. “I was happy to share the love.”