Source: Jimmy FisherHarlem Globetrotter Wun Versher recently stopped at Wyoming Area Catholic School in Exeter, PA to present a program called “The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention.” Versher and a couple of students closed the program by doing a fun activity in which they passed around a basketball using fun moves and antics.
EXETER — Standing at 6-feet, 5-inches tall, nobody would have imagine that Wun “The Shot” Versher, a Harlem Globetrotter, was bullied in elementary school.
Thanks to a program called “The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention,” he is able to talk about those experiences and deliver positive messages to schools all over the country, and he made a recent stop at Wyoming Area Catholic School.
Versher has been a Harlem Globetrotter for over 20 years, using fun antics to bring joy to families all over the country during basketball games.
The Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater and comedy.
“This is probably the most important part about being a Globetrotter,” Versher said. “Being out there on the floor, playing and entertaining comes natural; it’s what we’re supposed to do. I think the Globetrotters have done an awesome job of promoting it and getting it out to schools and trying to eliminate (bullying.)”
Wyoming Area Catholic School Principal Eileen Rishcoff said the idea to have the program with a Harlem Globetrotter came to her when watching the morning news one morning in October.
“I was watching WNEP and Ryan Leckey was on and I saw this great anti-bullying campaign… and I thought I’d really like to have that program,” she said. “I called Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza and they directed me to Stephen Poremba (director of sales and marketing) and he said it was over (at that time), but they would be back in February.”
Versher spent time talking to the students about the ABC’s of bullying which stands for action, bravery and compassion.
He told the students not to handle bullies the way he did growing up.
“Fortunately, the bully moved away and so did I,” Versher said. “That eliminated my problem, but for some kids the bullies are still in the same school and are there all the way until the end of high school.”
To conclude the program, Versher got some of the students involved by teaching them tricks with a basketball like having them dribble between their legs and throw it behind their backs.
The students stood in a circle and passed the ball around using various body movements such as passing between the legs or with their feet.
Versher said it was important to get the students involved with the program to let them have some fun.
“That’s just something where we like to keep them interactive with this whole thing,” he said. “It’s very easy when you have a tall guy in a blue Harlem Globetrotter uniform with a red, white and blue basketball spinning it; so it captures their attention. Of course, I cannot come here and not do fun stuff with them. It’s what the Harlem Globetrotters are all about, and it’s all about having smiles and having a good time and we were able to mix the two.”
Rishcoff said this recent program is just one of many steps Wyoming Area Catholic has taken and will continue to take to help prevent bullying.
“We promote service and compassion and everything we do centers around doing things in the name of Jesus and service,” she said. “Anti-bullying is all part of that.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher