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WHIZ KIDS TO TAKE COURT IN TORONTO

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Karl Malone and John Stockton won't take the court with this year's edition of the Dream Team at the World Championships, but some young Utahns will.

The Whiz Kids, four Provo brothers who do Harlem Globetrotter-style half-time shows, will perform during the tournament beginning this weekend in Toronto. The boys - Brad, 13; Blake, 11; Michael, 9; and Jeff, 7 - put on dazzling dribbling, spinning and shooting exhibitions."It's all fundamentally based," said Dave Hagen, the boys' father and coach. "A lot of this stuff looks really difficult, but if you understand the fundamentals it's not."

But basic basketball doesn't teach a Brad Hagen how to spin a basketball on the end of a spoon while feeding someone pudding. Or balancing the ball on the end of a razor while shaving a girl's legs.

The boys' repertoire of tricks is based on drills they have rehearsed over and over since they could walk. Jeff Hagen, the youngest, dribbled a ball across the floor for the first time at age 16 months after watching his brothers.

Because basketball fans aren't interested in a half-time show of exercises, the Hagens spice up the show to make it entertaining. One of them will dribble between his legs and behind his back, sometimes with three or four basketballs. They'll play a quick game of "Around-the-World" without missing a shot.

The Whiz Kids have performed for nearly every team in the NBA and at many colleges and grade schools. They've also traveled to Europe for shows.

Besides entertaining, the Hagens help teach hoops at the Whiz Kids Basketball Camp.

The weeklong camp teaches kindergartners through fifth-graders basketball basics while helping them learn to enjoy the game. "If you know how to play right, it's a lot more fun," Hagen said. The noncompetitive camp also is designed to help children build self-esteem.

The third annual camp, a fund-raiser for the private Meridian School, will be held at the school, 931 E. 300 North, Provo, Aug. 15-19. Tuition is $49. WordPerfect, Village Inn, Geneva Steel, Lott's Originals, Ultimate Electronics, Lifetime Products, Parks Screen Design and Color Press Printing are sponsoring the event. For more information, call Whiz Kids International at 374-8363 or Meridian School at 374-5480.

Campers might not leave as whiz kids, but they'll know basic basketball.

"The thing about fundamentals is once you have it, you have it," Dave Hagen said.

The Whiz Kids have it. And more.