Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, right, listens as Harlem Globetrotters Nate Lofton, center, and Eugene Edgerson speak to fourth-graders about physical fitness at Kilmer Elementary School Feb. 28.Full size photo

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, right, listens as Harlem Globetrotters Nate Lofton, center, and Eugene Edgerson speak to fourth-graders about physical fitness at Kilmer Elementary School Feb. 28.

Contact: Julie Willmot
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TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes joined Harlem Globetrotters players Nate Lofton and Eugene Edgerson today in a visit to the Joyce Kilmer Elementary School to encourage students to stay active and healthy.

Hughes and the world-famous Globetrotters told students about the importance of doing well in school and keeping fit before the Globetrotters showed off their basketball wizardry.

"The Globetrotters have to practice hard to stay in good shape and they talk to students just like you from all over the world about staying active," Hughes told Kilmer's three fourth-grade classes during the presentation yesterday. "You should always remember that exercising is fun and it helps keep your mind sharp so you do well in school."

Dressed in their unique red, white, and blue uniforms, Edgerson and Lofton-who are player-ambassadors for the Globetrotters-visited Kilmer as part of the team's program to promote fitness education for children in areas where they tour. The Globetrotters are bringing their high-flying hardwood antics to the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton March 10 as part of their "Nothing Like It" World Tour.

Edgerson, who stands 6 feet, 7 inches tall and won a college national championship playing for the University of Arizona, told the students they can stay fit in a variety of ways.

"You can do anything from walking your dog to playing basketball with your friends to jumping rope," he said. "As long as you are active, you will have a positive attitude and could even grow up to be a Globetrotter yourself. Staying inside to play video games isn't healthy and it's not going to help you in life."

In response to a student's question about how he became a Globetrotter, Lofton, 25, said he had to practice often, eat healthy foods, and get lots of rest.

"Whatever you want to be when you grow up, you should practice at it, stay focused, and go after your dream," Lofton said.

Taking a red, white, and blue Globetrotters' ball from Hughes, the players then showed off some of their skills to the tune of their theme song, "Sweet Georgia Brown." They then taught students how to spin the ball around their backs and dribble between their legs.

Later, Lofton and Edgerson fielded students' questions about everything from what countries they have visited, what their toughest competition was, and what they like best about basketball.

The Globetrotters and the Sovereign Bank Arena also donated two-dozen basketballs to the Kilmer Elementary physical education department.