Don’t tell Too Tall Hall he can’t jump
New Zealand visit is a dream for legendary team’s biggest little player
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.