Pope Francis Scores a Slam Dunk With Harlem Globetrotters | NBC 10 Philadelphia
Pope Francis in Philly

Pope Francis in Philly

Look Back at the Pontiff's Historic Visit

Pope Francis Scores a Slam Dunk With Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters teach Pope Francis how to spin the ball on his finger as they meet during the general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (Published Wednesday, May 6, 2015)

We can't vouch for his dribbling skills, and it might take more than a prayer to sink a three-pointer, but Pope Francis scored a slam dunk as the newest honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

The basketball troupe met with the pope during his weekly general audience at the Vatican. They presented a framed No. 90 jersey backed with "Pope Francis," and encouraged him to play with them.

With teammates Hi-Lite Bruton, Ant Atkinson and Big Easy Lofton looking on, Flight Time Lang got a red, white and blue ball spinning on his own finger, then took the pope's right index finger and let a smiling Francis try it himself.

"We are humbled by the opportunity to bestow this honor upon Pope Francis," said Harlem Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider in a statement.

The Globetrotters are touring Italy. Both the team and the pope will be in the Philly area this summer. The Globetrotters perform in Wildwood from July 29 through Aug. 1. Pope Francis is expected to arrive in Philadelphia at the end of the World Meeting of Families on Sept. 28, take part in the Festival of Families on Saturday and hold a public Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway that Sunday.

This is the eighth time the Globetrotters have had an audience with a pope.

Pope Francis is the team's ninth honorary member. Others include Henry Kissinger, Bob Hope, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Whoopi Goldberg, Nelson Mandela, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Pope John Paul II and Jesse Jackson.

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