American basketball’s iconic Harlem Globetrotters team have looked across the Atlantic to recruit their latest star.
Paul Sturgess, from Loughborough, is the first ever Briton to join the Globetrotters in their 85-year history. And the 24-year-old will tour the UK next month with his new teammates as the legendary basketballers showcase their flair on court in a series of
Nicknamed ‘Tiny’, the Guinness World Records last year declared Sturgess the world's tallest professional, and in 2007 he became Britain’s tallest man, measuring at 7ft 7ins. He has since grown another inch, making him just 2ft 4ins’ lower than the height of a basketball hoop.
At a photocall atop the Empire State Building, Sturgess joked "I guess I kind of make people look tiny," reported The Sun.
Sturgess stands as the exhibitionists’ tallest ever player whilst the side also fields its shortest. ‘Too Tall’ Hall is dwarfed by colleagues at 5ft 2ins, while at a photocall atop the Empire State Building alongside 6ft 3ins Herbert Lang, Sturgess joked "I guess I kind of make people look tiny."
The Globetrotters will be playing at 10 venues in late March throughout the country, as they defend their near-six-year winning streak. An NABC College All-Stars outfit defeated them 87-83 in March 2006, yet the Globetrotters boast a 98.4 per cent win rate.
Founded in 1926 and originally dubbed the Savoy Big Five, the team has played over 20,000 matches and they rank as one of the most recognisable sporting franchises.
Their flamboyant insignia has spawned a vast amount of cultural references, and since 2007 the Globetrotters initiated a draft programme which has seen their alumni include such diverse personalities from Bill Cosby to Lionel Messi.