The Harlem Globetrotters are coming back to the Cape Fear

The Harlem Globetrotters will be back in the Port City Friday March 22.

The Harlem Globetrotters will be back in the Port City Friday, March 22.

Globetrotter and UNC grad, Orlando “El Gato” Melendez was in the area this week getting ready for the event next Friday. He said he’s excited to be back in North Carolina with his team.

Harlem Globetrotter, Orlando "El Gato" Melendez. (Source: Kolby Skidmore)
Harlem Globetrotter, Orlando “El Gato” Melendez. (Source: Kolby Skidmore)

The event will be held at UNCW’s Trask Coliseum and starts at 7 p.m.

This year the tour is all new. It’s called the “Fan Powered World Tour” and Melendez says the audience will get to interact with the players more than ever.

Melendez has been with the Globetrotters for seven years and has had the chance to travel around the world with them to 70 different countries and all 50 states.

One of his signature tricks is being able to spin two basketballs on his fingers at once.

Melendez says his favorite part about being with the Globetrotters is creating memories for the kids.

Harlem Globetrotter, Orlando "El Gato" Melendez. (Source: Kolby Skidmore)
Harlem Globetrotter, Orlando “El Gato” Melendez. (Source: Kolby Skidmore)

“There’s nothing better than to hear somebody say, ‘Hey, I remember when my dad took me to the game when I was a kid and now I’m bringing my kids,’” Melendez said. “So you’re creating that whole experience.”

Melendez is the first and only Puerto-Rican born player to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. He said he got his nickname, “El Gato” in his teens when he was walking to the basketball court one day and he dropped some ham in a sugarcane field. Several cats surrounded him and the game “El Gato” which is Spanish for “The cat” stuck by some friends who called him that after the encounter with the cats.

For more information on the Globetrotter event next Friday and to get your tickets, click here.