Tall order to net a winner at Hillside

Reaching high is the name of the game in education as well as in sport and at Hucknall’s Hillside School it was a combination of the two this week.

The primary pupils welcomed a special guest to their Robert’s Lane site in the shape of 7ft 8in Harlem Globetrotters’ player Paul Sturgess.

Basketball champ Paul was invited to Hillside as part of its sports week. Youngsters have been celebrating sport in various events including a Commonwealth themed day and other classes including Taekwondo with Ian Lennox.

Guiness World Record holder Paul, is the tallest pro-basketball player in the world and officially stands at 7ft 726in high (and 325lbs) according to his record, (which meant being measured 3 times in a day as people shrink throughout the day.)

This friendly giant is also the second tallest Englishman after Neil Fingleton at 7ft 756in.

Paul was born in Leicestershire in 1987 and was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters in 2011 where his nickname is Tiny. He has just been traded to the Texas Legends based in Frisco.

Mark Waters, who visits schools with Paul to promote healthy living and to encourage sports and exercise in the young pupils said: “Through our visits to schools and our coaching, children have really been inspired to become active, with some going out and buying their own balls and hoops to continue practicing at home.

“It is great to see and hear children outside playing basketball not only at school - but also after school and at weekends.”

During the day, Paul, together with Mark, taught the children some basketball fitness skills and held a hoop challenge.

Pupil Mia Shanahan took part and said it was a great day: “I think Paul is very very good. Tall and kind. I scored three hoops today and like basketball more than before.

“My team didn’t win the shooting competition but we had fun.”