Harlem Globetrotters Select 7-Foot-8 Center, Slam Dunk Winner and 3-Point Champ, Soccer Superstar Lionel Messi, and 12-Year-Old Prodigy in 2011 Draft

“A 5-foot-11 dunking

machine against a 7-foot-8 tower of shot blocking has YouTube written

all over it.

Sponsored by Campbell Soup Company, Howard Johnson Hotels, America’s

Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, Greyhound Lines, Spalding, and Russell

Athletic, the Original Harlem Globetrotters continue a world famous

tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and

one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all

ages. Throughout their history, the Globetrotters have showcased their

iconic talents in 120 countries and territories on six continents, often

breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with

their first-ever basketball experience. In all-time

Division I play, the native of Stone Mountain, Ga., is in the top 40

on the career scoring list (2,571) and No. 11 in career 3-pointers

(396), hitting nearly 42 percent. Hailing from Rosario, Argentina, Messi

was the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010, and he has won

three Champions League titles and an Olympic gold medal in Beijing in

2008. The

Globetrotters are exercising a “Future Discovery Clause” to obtain the

rights to McCabe when he graduates from college.

Finally, with a special “future discovery clause,” they picked

12-year-old ball handling sensation Jordan McCabe of Issaquah,

Wash.

. Capturing the Globetrotters’ ambassadorial spirit, Messi has

also established his own foundation that supports access to education

and health care for at risk children, and in 2010, he was named a

goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

Paul Sturgess of Mountain State (W.Va.) University is the

tallest college basketball player in history at 7-foot-8. At just 5-11, Tucker

sports an incredible 50-inch vertical leap, which helped him mesmerize

the crowd with two perfect scores of 50 among his amazing

dunks. Men’s

National Soccer Team.

Following is a full recap of the Globetrotters’ draftees:

The two were among a total of six players selected, including 2011

College Slam Dunk Champion Jacob Tucker of Illinois College and

2011 College 3-Point Champion Andrew Goudelock of the College of

Charleston (S.C.). The gravity-defying Wilks, hailing from

Nashville, Tenn., helped the Bearcats to the second round of the 2011

NCAA men’s tournament, where they were upended by eventual champion

Connecticut.

Notable players selected in past Globetrotter drafts include current

Globetrotters Anthony “Ant” Atkinson, the first ever

Globetrotters’ draft selection and a college All-American; former Siena

sharp-shooter Tay “Firefly” Fisher; and Michigan Wolverine

dunking sensation Brent “Thunder” Petway-as well as Anthony

Johnson and Shaunte Nance-Johnson, selected in 2010 as the

first husband-wife duo ever drafted by a professional sports team; 2007

World Indoor High Jump Champion and 2008 Bahamian Olympian Donald

Thomas; and Tim Howard, the top goalkeeper of the U.S. His 23.7 points per game

as a senior ranked fourth nationally in Division I. Goudelock (GOWD-lock), a projected

NBA draft pick, was named the 2011 Southern Conference Male Athlete of

the Year and earned AP All-American honors.

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The world famous Harlem

Globetrotters today selected history’s tallest college

basketball player, 7-foot-8 Paul Sturgess of Mountain State

(W.Va.) University, as well as international soccer superstar and

ball-handling wizard Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona, as part of the

team’s 2011 draft class.

“I love all of the players we drafted this year, even the one we have to

wait 10 years for to get in a Globetrotter uniform.”

“The first day of practice, we are going to have Jacob Tucker and Paul

Sturgess go one-on-one,” said Sweet Lou Dunbar, the

Globetrotters’ director of player personnel. For the latest news

and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, and to purchase tickets

and team merchandise, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com.

Andrew Goudelock of the College of Charleston (S.C.) won the

2011 College 3-point Championship, averaging an incredible 20 points

(out of 30) per his three rounds. This special

provision was acquired as part of an agreement with the rival

Washington Generals in the 2007 deal that brought the Trotters current

star Dizzy

Grant.

Continuing their trend of seeking to acquire the world’s most superb

athletes, the Globetrotters drafted Lionel Messi, the

greatest ball handler in the soccer world, and star for FC Barcelona

and Argentina’s national team. 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 more than eight thrilling decades. Sturgess,

from Loughborough, England, helped the Cougars to a runner-up finish

in the 2011 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Jacob Tucker won the 2011 College Slam Dunk Championship, a

culmination of a YouTube

video campaign to take part in the competition that has gained

worldwide fanfare with well over 4 million hits. The Carlyle, Ill., native led Illinois College in

rebounding and steals as a senior, and was the team’s second leading

scorer.

Darnell Wilks of the University of Cincinnati was narrowly

edged out in the semifinals of the 2011 dunk contest, posting a

near-perfect semifinal round score of 49 that was bested only by two

perfect scores of 50. His range would translate well to

the 4-point

shot, the 35-foot shot the Globetrotters introduced to

the game in the winter of 2010.

Jordan McCabe, a 12-year-old ball handling phenom from the

Seattle area, showcased

his incredible talents for none other than Harlem

Globetrotters legend Curly

Neal during a recent visit to Beaver Lake Middle School in

Issaquah, Wash., where McCabe just finished the sixth grade. The Globetrotters also selected 2011 College Slam

Dunk semifinalist Darnell Wilks of the University of Cincinnati

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