There are a special few individuals that can earn the title of “playground legend.” Thanks to his dazzling ball handling ability, locomotive-like speed, and a world class showmanship, Arnold “A-Train” Bernard is one such basketball player. Despite standing only 5’6″ A-Train has been a showstopper throughout his career.
A native of the Bronx, New York, A-Train was a boyhood star for the Gouchos AAU Basketball Team, which won a national championship and provided a young A-Train with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; to carry the Olympic torch as it passed through New York on its way to the 1984 Olympics. A-Train’s high school career was also illustrious. In first teaming up with future star, Rod Strickland, in the backcourt at Harry S. Truman High School, winning a state championship. He then transferred to Xaverian Lutheran. It was here that he became an All-City player and led his team to a New York City championship over another New York City playground legend, Kenny Anderson. Even though he went on to play against many greats in the NBA, Kenny called A-Train one of the toughest players he ever had to f ace because of his quickness, ball-handling ability and court savvy. Showing that he can both swish and dish, A-Train set a school record with 28 assists to go with his 24 points during a game in his senior season.
From there A-Train went on to San Jacinto Junior College, one of the top junior college basketball programs in the country. As a sophomore, he led his team to third place in the National Junior College Tournament and lost to Odessa College, led by former NBA All-Star Larry Johnson. In finishing his collegiate career at Southwest Missouri College (of the Missouri Valley Conference), A-Train went on to average 11 points and 11 assists per game as a senior, was named an honorable mention All-American,and led his “Cinderella” team to the NCAA Tournament against powerhouse North Carolina. A-Train’s cinderella story was just getting started on the hardwood.
A-Train was recruited directly out of college by the Harlem Globetrotters and played with them from 1990-1998. He traveled all over the world and even got to meet Nelson Mandela during the team’s visit to South Africa. In 2001 A-Train won a Nike competition that crowned him the best ball-handler in New York City. He then went on to star in the highly-popular “Freestyle” television ads that aired nationally. He has also appeared in other Nike television ads with Lebron James, Vince Carter, and Snoop Dogg. A-Train signed a contract with Nike and stayed with them for 5 years. Other television appearances include, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The TV show Hanging with Mr. Cooper, and the MTV Music Awards performing with rap artist Jay Z. He still continues to tour all over the world, but every single year he comes to Harrisburg, PA to be the Co- Director of The Ultimate Spin Basketball Camp.