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Baltimore Globetrotter ‘Too Tall’ gives big gift to needy

12/11/2015, 6 a.m.
At 5 feet 2 inches, Baltimore native Jonte “Too Tall” Hall has the distinction of being the shortest player in ...
At 5 feet 2 inches, Baltimore native Jonte “Too Tall” Hall has the distinction of being the shortest player in the history of the Harlem Globetrotters. (Courtesy Photo)

At 5 feet 2 inches, Baltimore native Jonte “Too Tall” Hall has the distinction of being the shortest player in the history of the Harlem Globetrotters. Despite his diminutive stature, teammates, friends and family affectionately call him “Too Tall,” in part because of the big heart he displays on and off the court.

Hall and his Globetrotter teammates have formed a partnership with World Vision to encourage fans to give back this holiday season.

(Courtesy Photo)

World Vision, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization, has created a holiday gift catalog that features goats, chickens and more than 100 other humanitarian gifts that are used to help fight poverty.

“Giving a goat to a child or a family in underprivileged and impoverished countries can really make a difference,” Hall said. “Being involved with World Vision, I’m excited because there are so many families who struggle with food and other needs and if we can get them a goat which can provide needed milk and food or other animals, it really helps.”

Hall explained that just one goat can provide up to 16 cups of milk a day and families can produce cheese and yogurt.

Also, fertilizer from the goat can increase the amount of vegetables grown in a family’s garden such as carrots, lettuce, and corn and any surplus milk, cheese and yogurt can be sold to buy essentials such as school supplies for children.

Additionally, a healthy goat can produce two offspring a year, which are often shared with neighbors and ultimately make a better life for an entire village.

“I’m from the McCulloh Projects in West Baltimore, so I’ve seen a lot and I understand what people are going through,” Hall said. “Working with World Vision helps us to make a difference and I really appreciate doing it.”

Since its launch in 1996, the World Vision Gift Catalog has steadily grown in popularity as a leading holiday gift-giving alternative for generous Americans wanting to make a difference in the world, organization officials said in a news release.

In 2014, more than 822,000 individuals and their families benefited from the items purchased in the catalog.

This year, more than 122,000 donors gave more than 297,000 items from the Gift Catalog helping more than 650,000 people around the world.

“It’s worth it to do something about it,” said Hall, who was signed by perennial Globetrotters’ foil, the Washington Generals, before becoming one of only two players in 20 years to make the transition from Generals to Globetrotters.

Hall was introduced to basketball when he was nine by his uncle Ernest Hall, who played professionally overseas and in minor leagues in the United States. He played recreation ball with basketball superstar and Baltimore native Carmelo Anthony and credits his mother as being his role model.

“This is all still a dream. My family is so proud of me and I’m the shortest Globetrotter in history,” Hall said. “I always wanted to play pro basketball and this feels like my NBA.”

To order from World Vision’s Gift Catalog, visit: www.worldvisiongifts.org or call 855-WV-GIFTS.