Harlem Globetrotter surprises boy with rare genetic condition

Posted at 7:30 AM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 07:30:04-04

PRESCOTT, WI (WCCO/CNN) - An entire Wisconsin school took part in a birthday surprise for one of its students when a Harlem Globetrotter stopped by Monday.

The celebration included a special message about bullying for a 10-year-old boy who's had to endure his fair share.

In a way that only the Harlem Globetrotters could, Zeus McClurkin explained the ABC’s of preventing bullying.

"Disarming a bully is one of the best things you can do," said McClurkin to the crowded gymnasium.

Ethan Kranig knows quite a bit about bullying. His mother Natalie Kranig said they recently resolved a bullying issue.

Kranig has a rare genetic condition that caused him to lose much of his eyesight, fingers and toes. Kranig also has a cleft lip and growth problems.

"The kid was calling Ethan a name and it really hurt him,” she said.  “He came home crying. We talked to the teachers about it and the kid wrote an apology. Ethan came home and said ‘You know what, that kid wrote an apology and I forgive him Mom. ‘ "

The bullying has also affected Kranig’s older brother, Wyatt Kranig.

"It kinda hurts me,” Wyatt Kranig said. “You know he's a unique kid. Once you really get to know the guy, he's amazing."

Last summer, the Kranig parents took their son to see the ocean for the first time.

A foundation arranged for Kranig to become an honorary lifeguard during his visit to the New Jersey Shore and an honorary police officer with the Wildwood Police Department.

The Globetrotters heard about Kranig and decided to pay him a visit in his hometown of Prescott.

"I don't want anyone bullying while Ethan is on the job,” McClurkin said. “You guys promise me that? Awesome."

McClurkin also brought Kranig tickets to see the Globetrotters perform in Wisconsin later this month.

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