Laughing, cheering and clapping echoed throughout the gym of the Tolson Youth Center Oct. 23 as Harlem Globetrotters basketball player Orlando Meléndez performed.
Youth from different schools on Fort Bragg were able to observe Meléndez, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall and goes by “El Gato,” do different tricks with the Globetrotters’ signature red, white and blue basketball. Not only did he perform, but he also talked to the children in attendance about the Globetrotters’ new program: The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention.
“We talk to kids about how to deal with bullying inside, outside school and on social media,” Meléndez said. “We do it in a fun and different way because kids always remember that fun teacher. So we want to teach the youth and still have fun.”
Meléndez, who has been part of the Globetrotters for six years, is currently touring different states alongside his teammates performing and spreading the message about bullying prevention.
“I had fun; I learned not to let anyone bully me,”said Kelly Brown, 6.
The Harlem Globetrotters originated in Chicago in the 1920s. The league combines athleticism, theater and comedy in their style of play.