A senior at a New Jersey high school has received a special visit from Harlem Globetrotters star Zeus McClurkin.
Kate Spadaro, who has Down syndrome, made her first appearance on the varsity girls’ basketball team at Camden Catholic in Cherry Hill, N.J. during "Senior Night" on Feb. 15, scoring two points during the game.
In recognition of this accomplishment, McClurkin paid a visit to the high school Thursday to honor Kate with her teammates by her side.
“Kate is a phenomenal basketball player,” McClurkin said as he was seen approaching the doors of the high school gym in a video released by the Globetrotters.
McClurkin ran in and opened the doors of the gym, where he was welcomed by Kate and the team.
“Zeus commended the girls for showing compassion, one of the key components of the Globetrotters’ national bullying prevention program,” the Globetrotters said in the statement.
During McClurkin’s visit, he showed the team various tricks with the basketball.
Kate even assisted with an alley-oop dunk made by McClurkin and even shot a bucket of her own on the court while sporting her very own Globetrotters jersey, No. 17.
“Kathleen’s been on cloud nine," said Kate’s father, Jerry Spadaro. "She just can’t believe all the attention and all the recognition she’s received."
Jerry was amazed by her daughter and was surprised to see her twirl a basketball on her finger.
“I’ve been a part of the team for four years and it means everything,” Kate said.
McClurkin gifted the girls’ basketball team with tickets to see the world-famous Globetrotters play two live games on March 4 in Philadelphia and Kate was able to share the news with her excited teammates.
“It’s really cool,” Kate explained as she was holding the red, white, and blue ball given to her by McClurkin. “I’m definitely going to be doing my skills on this ball for now on, but that was awesome."
Kate is the second high school student with Down syndrome to be recognized by the Globetrotters this season.
James Meiergerd, a senior at a high school in Nebraska, made a half-court shot facing backwards during a halftime contest in his school gym, and was subsequently visited at his school by Globetrotter Orlando "El Gato" Melendez.