Colorado Springs

Harlem Globetrotters visit kids during "Smile Patrol"

Harlem Globetrotters on Smile Patrol

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Harlem Globetrotters are known for their tricks on the court.  But one player made a different kind of slam dunk at Memorial Hospital.

Orlando Melendez, also known as "El Gato," visited children at the hospital to take their mind off of their diagnoses and treatments and instead, make them smile.

"It just takes a little bit of happiness to make someone feel better," Melendez said.

He showed them some fancy moves and taught them tricks.

The fun had patient Colin Humlicek feeling better in just minutes!

"When he came in, he kind of got my mind distracted by playing around with the ball and talking to him, so I didn't really feel my pain," Humlicek said.

The visit was part of the Globetrotter's program called Smile Patrol, helping kids feel better by making them smile.

It also gave the parents some relief.

"You see your kids smiling after they haven't smiled in a couple of days, so it's always a good feeling for a parent to see them move away from the pain for a little bit and think about something fun," Colin's dad, Chris Humlicek said.

It's points El Gato says he feels honored to score.

"You can get really down with all the beeps and needles and things we don't like, so for me to lift them up in just a few minutes is really rewarding," Melendez said, "I love it and hope to do it for a long time."

The Smile Patrol visits more than 150 hospitals around the world each year.


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