A Harlem Globetrotter came to Fresh Meadows this week to visit a group of energetic young gymnasts as they prepared for their big performance at the basketball team’s halftime show.
Julian “Zeus” McClurkin was met with cheers and elation from the “My Gym Tumblers” when he surprised the children, ages five to 11, at their practice on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The talented gymnastics team is set to perform at the Globetrotters’ halftime show at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Feb. 20.
After greeting the students and being met with exclamations of “He’s so tall,” the six-foot-eight McClurkin motivated the students while they performed a series of athletic moves, starting with a roundoff.
“Is he gonna be here forever?” one excited student inquired to Meredith Coleman, the director of the gym.
Monday’s appearance will be the team’s third performance at Madison Square Garden with the Globetrotters, Coleman said. The team has also performed at the Barclays Center, Hersheypark and the Queens Health Expo.
“They’re going to be doing a tumbling performance,” Coleman said. “They’re going to be doing cartwheels on the balance beam, front flips, as well as front walkovers and back walkovers.”
Founded in 1926, the Globetrotters have entertained over 144 million fans in 122 countries and territories by combining athleticism, theater and comedy into one performance. McClurkin said he was impressed with the group’s energy and spirit, which pairs well with the Globetrotter’s high flying, dynamic spectacles.
“The kids are really athletic,” McClurkin said. “They gave us a little preview of what they’re gonna be doing at halftime — some front flips and back flips.”
McClurkin was asked if he thought the students had the potential to be future Globetrotters.
“Definitely, definitely,” McClurkin said. “We got a guy on the team named Flip, so as long as you know how to flip I think you got a chance to be a Globetrotter.”
The Globetrotters game at Madison Square Garden will begin at noon on Feb. 20.
My Gym is located at 176-60 Union Tpke. and offers fitness classes and programming for children up to age 13.