Harlem Globetrotter talks to students about bullying prevention

Harlem Globetrotter Julian “Zeus” McClurkin spoke with over 300 students at a filled gym at Dallas Elementary School on Monday afternoon about the ABCs of bullying prevention.

McClurkin visited as part of a Magic 93 contest that second grade teacher Kimberly Smith entered. The presentation was on a theme that they talk about a lot at school, Smith said.

The ABCs of bullying prevention — or Action, Bravery and Compassion — were the topic of a discussion that included a few basketball tricks and a lot of laughter. McClurkin engaged the kids with questions, stories and tricks.

“A” means action, or going to tell a teacher, McClurkin said.

“Telling on (a) bully is one of the best things you can do,” he said.

“B” means bravery, or avoiding fighting or yelling at a bully.

McClurkin said, “Kill them with kindness.”

“C” means compassion, or befriending the bully and the bullied.

“The number one language that everyone speaks is smiles,” he said.

McClurkin talked about his own life too and how he was bullied when he was young.

Because of standing up to bullies, and believing in himself before he excelled at basketball, McClurkin said he was able to succeed and eventually travel to 18 countries with the Harlem Globetrotters.

“When I was your age and your size, I was bullied in school,” McClurkin said.

People thought he was too nice to play sports, but now he plays for the Harlem Globetrotters.

“If you’re a nice person, stay a nice person,” he said. “Be who you are.”

Part of bullying is not letting people play basketball because of their skin color or their gender, something that McClurkin talked about in addition to the ABCs. That is an important part of the Harlem Globetrotters history — the team was formed because African Americans and women weren’t allowed to play in the NBA.

At the end of the lesson on bullying prevention, McClurkin gathered four students and two teachers in a magic circle to learn some tricks.

Students Vera Moser, Makenzie Musselman, Cameron Hudgins and Mikey Cumbo, and teachers Mike Viglone and Julie Bird tossed the ball around before McClurkin slam dunked it.

The Harlem Globetrotters play at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township on Sunday at 3 p.m. during their 2017 World Tour. Tickets, starting at $15, are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com and the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena.