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Globetrotters to visit Lake Placid (UPDATE)

February 19, 2012
MARGARET MORAN , Lake Placid News

Editor's Note: The Lake Placid News was just informed by a Harlem Globetrotters PR person on Monday afternoon that Paul "Tiny" Sturgess will not be part of the Lake Placid show.

LAKE PLACID - The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to town as part of their 2012 World Tour.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. they will play in the Olympic Center, providing family entertainment by showcasing their basketball handling skills, shooting abilities and humorous antics.

Article Photos

Photo courtesy of the Harlem Globetrotters
Young fans are always part of a Globetrotter performance.

This year's rookie lineup features 10 players including Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, the world's tallest professional basketball player at 7 feet, 8 inches; Jonte "Too Tall" Hall, the shortest Globetrotter ever at 5 feet, 2 inches, Fatima "TNT" Maddox, the team's ninth female player in its history, and Jacob "Hops" Tucker, who sports a 50-inch vertical leap.

"They are very talented, talented athletes," said Maddox, about her teammates. "I've never been on a team with such talent, and I've been on some pretty good teams throughout the years."

Sturgess said his signature move is a "slam-in dunk ... standing on the floor," whereas Maddox said she is best known for her dribbling skills.

Fact Box

Tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters start at $17, and are available at, the Olympic Center box office or by phone at 518-523-3330.

"I've always been good at dribbling ever since I was younger, so that was one of the things that caught the Globetrotters eye when I tried out," Maddox said. "Of course I try to incorporate that into the game and there's a couple plays that kind of highlight that."

She said audience reactions to her have been positive.

"Every time I come onto the court, it's a great response, and it's been great for me to kind of represent the ladies, being the only female out there," Maddox said.

Maddox is the first female Globetrotter since Jolette Law in 1993, making her the ninth woman to play on the team in its 86-year history, the first female player being Lynette Woodard.

"Being the ninth woman in 86 years has definitely been humbling for me," Maddox said. "At this point, I'm just trying to carry on the torch that the other women started and trying to make them proud."

Rather than following in the legacy of others, Sturgess is starting his own.

At 7 feet, 8 inches, Sturgess' height has literally surpassed that of his predecessors Dut Mayer, the previous tallest Globetrotter in history, and NBA star Yao Ming, who are both 7 feet, 6 inches tall.

"It's pretty cool that I'm getting the chance to use it (my height) and doing something so great as being with the Harlem Globetrotters," Sturgess said. "They (the audience) love it. Obviously, they hear about me before they come to a game, but they don't truly believe it until they actually see me out there. I see them smiling and just the general reaction of shock when they first see me. It's great."

The 2012 rookie class has two other 7-foot players, and they are Jermaine "Stretch" Middleton at 7 feet, 4 inches, the third tallest player in the team's history, and Anthony "Biggie" McClain at 7 feet.

Other current players include: Special K Daley, Big Easy Lofton, Flight Time Lang, Dizzy Grant and Scooter Christensen.

"The veterans are really good," Sturgess said. "They've help us out a lot, so we're fitting in really well. It's like a family."

Maddox echoed that statement.

"I walked in with two brothers and now I have like 30," she said. "They've taken me in and made me feel comfortable and a part of a big family. It's great."

That "family" will be on the road until the end of April as part of the North American leg of their 2012 World Tour in which the Globetrotters will play nearly 270 games in more than 230 cities in 46 states, the District of Columbia and five Canadian provinces."

"We get to travel to so many different places," Sturgess said. "I've been a Globetrotter for about four, five months now, and I've already been to five different countries, so just to travel to all these different places, meet different people, it's been great."

"Whenever I go to a different place, I always walk around and explore and see what's going on, so I'll walk around a little bit and talk to some of the local people to find out what there is to do," Sturgess said. "I'm sure they'll let me know what's going on, and I'll definitely go and show my face and experience the place."

But Sturgess has a suggestion of his own for what locals and visitors alike can do when the Globetrotters come to town.

"I just hope everybody in Lake Placid comes out to see the team play on Feb. 21," he said. "They'll have a lot of fun and will have a memory that will last for the rest of their life."

Tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters start at $17, and are available at, the Olympic Center box office or by phone at 518-523-3330.



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