(PHOENIX, July 2, 2007) – The legendary Harlem Globetrotters have added to their roster of basketball magicians by holding their first ever player draft, comprised of five rookies the team feels have the potential to follow in the footsteps of Globetrotter greats.  Drafted today were: Anthony “Ant” Atkinson of Barton College, Sun Ming Ming of China, Mario West of Georgia Tech, Brent “Air Georgia” Petway of the University of Michigan and Marcus Kennedy of the University of Montevallo.
 

  • Appropriately nicknamed “Ant,” at a mere 5-10, 141 lbs., Anthony Atkinson will long be remembered for leading one of the greatest comebacks in the history of college basketball, scoring 10 straight points in the last 40 seconds of Barton College’s 77-75 win over top-ranked Winona State in the 2007 NCAA Division II National Championship game.  “I’m very excited that the world-renowned Harlem Globetrotters have considered giving me the opportunity to represent them as a basketball ambassador to the world,” said Atkinson.  “I think my character, demeanor, personality and basketball skills go hand in hand with what they are trying to accomplish as they travel the world.  I want to touch lives through my basketball.”


 

  • At the opposite end of the height spectrum, 7-foot-9 Sun Ming Ming is the tallest known basketball player in the world and the latest basketball wonder from the Far East.  Sporting a size 20 shoe, he can touch the rim standing on his tiptoes.


 

  • The high-flying Mario West, captain of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, captured the 2007 State Farm College Slam Dunk Contest, netting a perfect score in the final round to edge Brent Petway.  He received the Michael Isenhour Inspirational Award and the team’s Excellence Award for overall achievement on and off the court his senior season.   


·         Nicknamed “Air Georgia,” for his 42-inch vertical leap (and Georgia roots), dunks accounted for over half of Brent Petway’s baskets in his career at Michigan.  His dunking prowess earned him a number of highlight moments on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays throughout his career, and he was named the Big Ten’s Best Dunker in a Sports Illustrated player survey his junior season. 
 

  • Marcus Kennedy, the all-time leading scorer in Montevallo history, drained a near half court shot at the buzzer to win the 2007 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball South Regional championship game.  Kennedy was named a 2007 Division II All-American by the NABC, Division II Bulletin, Basketball Times and Daktronics. 

“Through the draft process, we identified players we feel have the skills and persona to potentially be Harlem Globetrotters,“ said Globetrotters Coach Clyde Sinclair.  “We are very happy with our inaugural draft.”
 
These five players will be invited to training camp in the fall to compete for the honor to join the Globetrotters for their 82nd consecutive season of touring the world.  Since their inception in 1926, the Harlem Globetrotters have traveled to 118 nations on six continents and have played before over 125 million fans.  For more information on the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the team’s official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com.