When the Globetrotters iconic song started playing and Hammer Harrison came running onto the court with the red white and blue basketball ball, the students at Anthony Pizzo Elementary School began to cheer wildly.
Are you guys having fun? Harrison asked the audience of kindergarteners through fifth-graders.
Part of a campaign for the Harlem Globetrotters show at the Sun Dome in March, Harrison visited local Tampa schools, including Pizzo Elementary on campus, he was promoting the ABCs of Bullying Prevention, part of the National Campaign to Stop Violence, whose goal is to reduce bullying and violence in schools.
Harrison, who has been with the Globetrotters for four years and has visited more than50 countries, taught the students of Pizzo how to handlebullying.
A, he said, stood foraction, because studentsneed to take action any timethey saw bullying or violenceat school or in their community.
Harrison called a boy tothe front of the room, raising his arms high above his head and told him to spread his feet apart.
B, he said, was for bravery.
Harrison called another student to the front and asked him to lie down with his feet pointed to the sky and arms curved over his body, forming the letter B.
C, he said, was for compassion.
Harrison called up a small girl, who came timidly to the front. Harrison cupped her hand to make a tiny letter C.
After watching fellow students comically demonstrate the ABCs, students were further entertained by Harrisons basketball-handling skills, a trait his team is also known for. Rolling the ball across his shoulders, tossing it over his head and under his legs and having volunteers do the same, Harrison kept the crowd of more than 400 students giggling and cheering from start to finish.
Angela Fullwood, assistant principal of the school, said she thought the event was a great idea when it wasproposed by the Sun Dome, and that it was the perfect way to showcase the schools policy against bullying.
I thought Hammer did a great job keeping them engaged and entertained, she said. I can see how much of an impact it had. The looks on their faces showed how much he drew their attention. The students learned bullying is not going to be tolerated.