‘It’s the best thing in the world’: Globetrotters bring Amazing Feats to Winnipeg

They’re known for bringing smiles to crowds of thousands thanks to their skills, tricks and memorable performances.The Harlem Globetrotters will be bringing that energy and excitement to Winnipeg next month as they stop in the city on their ‘Amazing Feats of Basketball World Tour’.Story continues below

READ MORE: She’s back: Harlem Globetrotters bust a move with dancing granny for her 109th birthdayAhead of that tour stop, El Gato Melendez, dropped by the Global Winnipeg studio to teach some tricks and share his love of basketball.“Just making people smile — it’s the best thing in the world.”Melendez is the first and only Puerto Rico-born player on the team. He says he fell for the sport when he was just six years old.As for how he got his nickname, Melendez said he was walking to the courts with his lunch one day when he attracted a clowder of stray cats (yes, a clowder is what you call a group of cats). Hoping for a bit of his sandwich, the strays followed him all the way to the basketball court, earning him the handle ‘El Gato’, which is Spanish for The Cat, by the other players.READ MORE: Pope Francis shows off his basketball skills with the Harlem GlobetrottersMelendez turned his childhood passion into a career, playing college ball for the North Carolina Tar Heels, making it to the Final Four in both 1998 and 2000. He went on to play with the national Puerto Rican team, which led to Melendez meeting Canadian NBA sensation Steve Nash.“My first international game for Puerto Rico and Steve Nash was still on the team so it was amazing I was like ‘Oh my god, I’m gonna play against Steve Nash’.”Melendez says he has travelled to over 70 countries performing with the Globetrotters for six years now.You can see him, along with the rest of the team, in Winnipeg at Bell MTS Place on Sunday, Nov. 4 . Tickets can be found here.Get daily local headlines and alerts