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TOP OF THE POPS!

Posted on 29 August 2007  - 12:00

After recently finding the net for the first time in a Spurs shirt, Darren Bent was hoping to do the same on the basketball court with the help of Tottenham-born NBA star Pops Mensah-Bonsu on Tuesday.

After recently finding the net for the first time in a Spurs shirt, Darren Bent was hoping to do the same on the basketball court with the help of Tottenham-born NBA star Pops Mensah-Bonsu on Tuesday.

The pair met at St Thomas More College in Haringey to take part in an inspirational talk for the Borough’s young people, as well as taking time out to ‘shoot some hoops’ in the college gym.

Darren and Pops spoke on issues such as youth crime and the importance of education, as well as giving an insight into how sport can have a positive effect on the lives of young people.

The day allowed Darren to take a break in his recovery from a thigh injury, and he said: “It’s always nice to give something back to the community and for young people to come and see us and talk to us and see that we are human beings.

“A lot of people who see us on TV might think they’d never be able to talk to us, so for us to come down here and meet young people and influence them will hopefully give them some inspiration.”

Darren’s enjoyment of the day was helped even more by the fact he is a huge fan of the NBA.

He added: “Pops is a top man. Considering he’s a similar age to me, he’s massive! It’s always good to meet people from other sports and the NBA is massive. I’ve always loved watching basketball and playing basketball, and I had a good go. It was all fun.”

Mensah-Bonsu left the UK in 1999 and now plays for the Dallas Mavericks – but he hasn’t forgotten his roots and claims to be a Spurs fanatic.

He said: “I was probably more excited than any of the youngsters about this day! I’ve been a Spurs fan for as long as I can remember, and to meet one of the best strikers on our team was pretty big for me. Hopefully we can become good friends after this.

“The likes of Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, David Ginola and Jurgen Klinsmann were my heroes growing up. That’s why it was a pleasure for me to meet Darren."