Don’t tell Too Tall Hall he can’t jump

New Zealand visit is a dream for leg­endary team’s big­gest lit­tle player

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By CHE BAKER

At 159cm, the short­est ever Har­lem Glo­be­trot­ter bas­ket­ball player in his­tory, ‘‘Too Tall Hall’’, proves short men can jump.

Too Tall, aka Jonte Hall, 32, has been a Glo­be­trot­ter for five years, start­ing his bas­ket­ball ca­reer at the age of nine.

‘‘I’m short. I had to work harder than ev­ery­one else,’’ Hall said.

His first trick was learn­ing how to spin a ball on his fin­ger and his spe­cialty tricks now were his drib­bling skills, which he can do while slid­ing on the floor, and shoot­ing ‘‘four-point-shots’’.

A four-point-shot was one that went in from over 10.5 me­tres from the bas­ket.

‘‘It’s a dif­fi­cult shot but I can shoot them very well,’’ Hall said.

The Har­lem Glo­be­trot­ters is the world’s most fa­mous bas­ket­ball team, mix­ing ath­leti­cism, theatre and com­edy into their games, and has played more than 20,000 ex­hi­bi­tion games in 120 coun­tries since be­ing es­tab­lished in 1926.

This is the team’s first visit to Queen­stown and In­ver­cargill.

Hall said Earl Boykins, a for­mer United States pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball player, who stands at 1.65 me­tres was a sport­ing fig­ure that in­spired him.

Hall, who was from Bal­ti­more, played in bas­ket­ball mi­nor leagues grow­ing up be­fore spend­ing a year-and-a-half as a mem­ber of the Wash­ing­ton Gen­er­als, the team the Glo­be­trot­ters of­ten played against.

He said he cleaned bath­rooms for a living be­fore be­ing given his shot to play in the global team that trav­elled the world.

‘‘Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be in New Zealand . . . I heard the at­mos­phere was awe­some,’’ he said.

Hall and the rest of his team­mates, as well as mem­bers of the Gen­er­als, touched down in Auck­land on Thurs­day.

While some of the play­ers were ex­cited to get to Queen­stown on Mon­day to try some of the adventure tourist ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer, Hall said he was afraid of heights and would likely be keep­ing his feet on the ground.

The team spent some down­time in the re­sort be­fore play­ing at the Queen­stown Events Cen­tre, as part of their New Zealand tour, tonight..

The short­est ever Har­lem Glo­be­trot­ter bas­ket­ball player in his­tory, ‘‘Too Tall Hall’’, in ac­tion. The ex­hi­bi­tion bas­ket­ball team will per­form in Queen­stown on June 10 and In­ver­cargill on June 11.

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