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Basketball's new star: Pope Francis meets Harlem Globetrotters

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Media captionPope Francis tries spinning a basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters have a new star: none other than Pope Francis himself.

The basketball team arrived in the Vatican on Wednesday as part of a tour of Italy.

The Pope was presented with a framed Globetrotters shirt adorned with the name Pope Francis, and the number 90 on the back.

He also took time out from his weekly general audience to be taught a few basketball skills.

The Globetrotters, a basketball exhibition team, were founded in 1926, and were one of the first to feature African-American players at a time of segregation in the United States.

While visiting Pope Francis, they did not, however, go as far as they did when they were last at the Vatican - when they made Pope John Paul II an honorary member of the team.

The significance of the number 90 on Pope Francis' honorary shirt was not immediately clear - although his most recent approval rating among US Catholics was at 90%.

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