February 25, 2016 - 4:30 PM
PENTICTON - The B.C. Winter Games got off to an informal start with basketball demonstrations at Penticton Secondary School and Skaha Lake Middle School starring Zeus McClurkin from the Harlem Globetrotters.
The Globetrotters' star is in the city today, Feb. 25, in advance of the team’s scheduled appearance at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Monday.
McClurkin mingled with wheelchair basketball competitors from all six B.C. zones at the high school gymnasium prior to a 15 minute demonstration that allowed the players to witness his basketball skills, in addition to providing the Globetrotter with a chance to play the game from a wheelchair.
Tanner Jung, a wheelchair basketball participant from Langley, says he enjoyed the exhibition with McClurkin and was looking forward to the next three days’ competition at the winter games. The 15-year-old has been playing basketball for over three years and hopes to pursue the sport as far as he can. These are Jung’s second games.
McClurkin says his appearance was part of a new initiative with the Globetrotters to meet with the younger fans of the game. He says part of the effort has team members go to children’s hospitals and elementary schools to talk to kids about bullying.
“Bullying has become a big epidemic, and we’re just doing our part to stop it,” he says.
McClurkin says it was only his second time playing basketball in a wheelchair and praised the kids for their athleticism.
“People think the Harlem Globetrotters are amazing athletes, well, these kids out there today were showing me some amazing moves, being in wheelchairs and able to shoot as good as us,” he said, adding they were doing things at their age he couldn’t with his good legs.
McClurkin called himself a “late bloomer” making his first basketball team in the 11th grade. He’s been on the Globetrotters for two years and has already been to 17 different countries around the world.
The Penticton 2016 B.C. Winter Games get officially underway this evening with opening ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. Pre show ceremonies get underway at 6:30 p.m.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016