El Gato Melendez is the first Puerto Rican-born basketball player ever to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Early years Edit
Melendez, was born in the City of Ponce. When he was 14 years old, he would go home after school and with his basketball under his arm make take a 2-mile jog every day to the nearest basketball court and practice the sport with the local kids. Jogging was in his blood since father used to jog marathons, and his grandfather is a track and field expert.
When ever he arrived at the court he would be accompanied by an entourage of cats, thus his nickname "El Gato" (The cat).
Melendez, tried out for his Juana Diaz high school basketball team and was accepted. Through an exchange student program, he was able to play at McDowell High School in Marion, North Carolina were he finished his senior year.