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Harlem Globetrotters offer Brazilian soccer star Neymar chance to use his hands

The Harlem Globetrotters have “drafted” Brazilian soccer star Neymar (left in photo) in their annual exercise of selecting from a host of world-class athletes and others “who all embody the Globetrotters’ spirit and passion for basketball.” (Jorge Saenz / Associated Press)
The Harlem Globetrotters have “drafted” Brazilian soccer star Neymar (left in photo) in their annual exercise of selecting from a host of world-class athletes and others “who all embody the Globetrotters’ spirit and passion for basketball.” (Jorge Saenz / Associated Press)

ATLANTA– Hey, Neymar, we’ll let you use your hands.

The Harlem Globetrotters have “drafted” the Brazilian soccer star in their annual exercise of selecting from a host of world-class athletes and others “who all embody the Globetrotters’ spirit and passion for basketball.”

Also chosen Friday were Olympic swimming gold medalist Missy Franklin, golfer Jordan Spieth, and actor Kevin Hart – who at 5-foot-4 certainly would face some height challenges on the court.

The Globetrotters made Turner Broadcasting sideline reporter Craig Sager an honorary draftee.

The one true basketball selection was college slam dunk champion Devan Douglas of Division II University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Franklin took to Twitter to react: “This is such an honor! Better start working on my game.”

Neymar da Silva Santos Jznior stars for FC Barcelona, but is a basketball fan who recently posted a video of his dribbling skills. But he’s best known for his soccer footwork and finishing touch.

“We like to think outside the box with our draft, so we look at all different kinds of athletes that could have the qualities of a Harlem Globetrotter,” said Sweet Lou Dunbar, Globetrotters coach and director of player personnel. “Traditionally we have looked for talent at the annual college slam dunk contest, where this year Devan Douglas certainly stood out for us.

“But we also look beyond the court, for those athletes and entertainers that have the qualities of not only being great on the court or the field, but also being a good person off of it. Those are the most important traits that make a true Globetrotter.”


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