Skills of Harlem Globetrotters bring out fans

Kai Ladbroke (12), of Invercargill, jumps as high as he can to high-five the 2.32 m tall Paul ``Cager'' Sturgess who played for the Washington Generals against the Globetrotters last night. Basketball enthusiasts got to meet the Globetrotters at ILT Stadi
Kai Ladbroke (12), of Invercargill, jumps as high as he can to high-five the 2.32 m tall Paul ``Cager'' Sturgess who played for the Washington Generals against the Globetrotters last night. Basketball enthusiasts got to meet the Globetrotters at ILT Stadium in Invercargill. Photos: Giordano Stolley
A crowded stadium watched last night as the Harlem Globetrotters showcased their basketball skills in Invercargill.

ILT stadium general manager Nigel Skelt said about 1600 people were expected to attend the event.

About 70 of those had purchased Magic Pass tickets which enabled them to interact with players in a pre-game event.

Basketball fan Tom Strickson said some of the players had signed his ball and he was excited to see how the game would go.

''I hope there are some ankle-breakers.''

Tom had travelled from Dunedin to see the team, and had missed a night of basketball camp to be there.

Tom Strickson (10) travelled all the way from Dunedin to see the Globetrotters in Invercargill....
Tom Strickson (10) travelled all the way from Dunedin to see the Globetrotters in Invercargill. Here Craig ``Hi-Rise'' Hinton shows him some ball-spinning skills.
The Harlem Globetrotters played the Washington Generals.

Globetrotters player ''Dragon''', whose vertical jump is 45 inches (1.14m), said: ''They're pretty good. Hopefully, we get the chance to beat them. They have this one guy named Cager; he's their toughest player.''

He said New Zealand was his favourite country, and he had enjoyed trying Southland's oysters.

''I am not a seafood person but it was amazing. Everyone kept telling me about them.''

The Invercargill event was part of the 2019 fan-powered world tour.

It was the first of four games to be played in New Zealand after the tour left Australia.

After New Zealand, the team heads back to the United States.

-By Laura Smith

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