High Schooler With Down Syndrome 'On Cloud Nine' After Harlem Globetrotters Surprise

"I've been part of the team for four years and it means everything to be on the court with my teammates."

The Harlem Globetrotters surprised a teenage student at school yesterday after hearing about her passion for basketball. Star player Zeus McClurkin stopped by Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, NJ to show some trick moves to Kate Spadaro, a senior who has Down syndrome. 

McClurkin heard about Spadaro after she got into a varsity game last week and scored two points. She became one of the featured players on senior night. 


McClurkin hoped that surprising her and the rest of her teammates would spread some joy to the team, and get them even more excited about playing the game. 

"I learned some really cool tricks. He gave me a jersey and a ball that I'm holding right now. It's really cool," Spadaro said. "That was awesome." 

McClurkin commended the girls for showing compassion, one of the key components of the Globetrotters' national bullying prevention program, according to a press release, and gave the whole Camden Catholic girls basketball team complimentary tickets to see the world famous team live when they play in Philadelphia in early March.

"In the last week, Kathleen has just been on cloud nine," Jerry Spadaro, her father, said. "She just can't believe all the attention and all the recognition that she's received. It started last week with the senior night with the fact that she was able to start the game and score the first basket. Then, of course, today is a culmination of it because when she found out that the Globetrotters were gonna be here, she was just literally out of her mind with excitement. Making shots and spinning the ball on her finger." 

But what means the most to Kate is just being able to play with her friends. "I've been part of the team for four years and it means everything to be on the court with my teammates," she said. 


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