Crystal Palace stars look like children as Philadelphia 76ers players tower over them during kids clinic ahead of NBA London game

CRYSTAL PALACE players were made to look like children in a funny picture of them next to giant basketball stars.

Mamadou Sakho, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Patrick van Aanholt and Jairo Reidewald took part in a kids coaching clinic alongside players from the Philadelphia 76ers – who are in London to play the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

The Eagles quartet took part in skills drills alongside Robert Covington, Dario Saric, TJ McConnell and Trevor Booker.

But when they lined up for a photo after, it was hard to suppress a smile.

Both Sakho (6ft 2in) and Fosu-Mensah (6ft 3in) are considered tall in this country, well above the average height of a British male – 5ft 10in.

The pair look like kids when standing next to their NBA counterparts.

Covington (6ft 9in) and Saric (6ft 10in) are both giants.

Point guard TJ McConnell, holding the No12 shirt, is 6ft 2in – and considered less than ideal size for his position.

Van Aanholt revealed he was delighted to take part.

"It was a very helpful session," he said, "I really liked it, it was a good experience to have – very different from football. I really enjoyed it.

"I'm a big basketball fan, I play NBA on PlayStation a lot and I watch a lot of the games on TV, but it's hard with the time delay, I have to record them!

"For the kids this is a great experience, to inspire and help them."

British basketball legend John Amaechi reckons the game between the Sixers and the Celtics will be one of the best ever this side of the Atlantic.

"We are in a really fortunate position in that we’ve had some interesting match-ups in the past, we’ve had some marquee names in the past, but as the audience has matured here, so has their understanding of the NBA," said Amaechi, who played five seasons for three NBA teams.

"In this match-up there will be a game they really appreciate – there are a lot of young stars on the two teams, there is a lot of experience in the two teams and both of their franchises are really storied.

"But at the same time this game really matters for them, so it’s not just a jaunt to the UK to chill out and have tea with me! It’s a vital game for them to maintain their momentum.

"The Celtics, after having a bit of a slide, are starting to turn things around. Philadelphia are going to want to consolidate, so this is going to be exciting for people to watch, a match-up that the mature watchers of the NBA can really appreciate."

The Philadelphia 76ers host the Boston Celtics at The O2 in London on January 11 as part of NBA London Game 2018. The game is live on BT Sport or via NBA LEAGUE PASS.” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter

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