ELON, N.C. – Harlem Globetrotter Orlando “El Gato” Melendez made appearances around the Triad area ahead of the team’s one-of-a-kind show at Elon University’s new Schar Center on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m.
Melendez started his day making an appearance on WFMY’s Good Morning Show in Greensboro, interviewed with Charity Apple of the Burlington Times-News for a story for the “Accent Page”, and made a visit to Hillcrest Elementary School to present “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention,” which was covered by local TV stations in WGHP and Spectrum News.
Known worldwide as the “Ambassadors of Goodwill”™, the iconic Harlem Globetrotters present the community outreach program, “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention,” in an effort to impact schools and communities around the world. Designed by the Globetrotters in coordination with the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV), the program focuses on Action, Bravery, and Compassion, comprising the ABCs.
The program targets 6-12 year-old kids and involves Globetrotter players discussing the three key words in the ABCs and tools that kids can use on a daily basis to reduce bullying. The Globetrotters equate what it means to be part of a team to how kids can offer support to one another to help stop bullying.
Melendez is the first and only Puerto Rican-born player to ever play for the Harlem Globetrotters. He relishes the opportunity that being a Harlem Globetrotter gives him. “As a Latino, I can make a difference in the lives of others and be an inspiration, showing kids that you can really make your dreams come true,” he says.
El Gato played basketball and volleyball growing up in Ponce and Juana Diaz in his native PuertoRico, and then he played his senior season of high school basketball in Marion, N.C. He went on to play college basketball for the storied North Carolina Tar Heels, where he appeared in Final Fours in 1998 and 2000. He has also played with the Puerto Rican national team during his career.
When the Globetrotters visit Schar Center on Nov. 1, they will feature a star-studded roster, including Showmen like Big Easy Lofton, Hi-Lite Bruton, Ant Atkinson, and Hammer Harrison, as well as fan favorites Firefly Fisher, Bull Bullard, Thunder Law and Cheese Chisholm. To match the growing popularity of the Globetrotters’ female stars, the team will also bring the largest female roster in team history to fans across North America – including TNT Lister, Hoops Green, Torch George, Swish Young, and Mighty Mortimer. After virtually every game, the Harlem Globetrotters remain on the court for autographs and photographs with fans. Rosters will vary in each city and are subject to change.
Schar Center will serve as the new home for Elon’s basketball and volleyball teams, as well as a variety of campus events, speakers, concerts and other special events. The arena includes a practice facility with two full courts, hospitality room, club-level seating and high-definition video boards – the largest indoor video displays in North Carolina.
About The Harlem Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters® are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 92 years. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 123 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans – among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents – over nine thrilling decades. The American Red Cross is the official charity of the Harlem Globetrotters. Sponsored by Entenmann’s Donuts ®, Ticket Galaxy and Baden Sports, Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the Globetrotters’ official website harlemglobetrotters.com and follow them on Twitter @Globies.