- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pope Francis briefly spun a basketball on his finger in a rare sight Wednesday as the Harlem Globetrotters visited St. Peter’s Square.

The basketball troupe, which is currently touring Italy, met with the pope during his weekly general audience. They presented him with a framed No. 90 jersey that had “Pope Francis” emblazoned on the back, Fox News reported.

Teammates Kris “Hi-Lite” Bruton, Anthony “Ant” Atkinson and Nathaniel “Big Easy” Lofton joined Pope Francis for a photo op as Herbert “Flight Time” Lang spun a basketball on his finger. Mr. Lang then tried to transfer the spinning ball to the pope’s right index finger several times before the laughing pope finally gave up.

Francis, 78, joins the late Pope John Paul II as one of the nine individuals to be named an honorary Globetrotter, Fox News reported.

“We are very humbled by the opportunity to bestow this honor upon Pope Francis,” Globetrotters President Kurt Schneider said in a statement. “His tireless work for the well-being of the poor and elderly, his humanitarian efforts and his commitment to bridge gaps between people of various cultures are ways the Harlem Globetrotters also aspire to touch lives around the world. He embodies the Globetrotters’ efforts to provide service, smiles and sportsmanship globally.”

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