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LI’s Tobias Harris gives group of kids a Merry Christmas

Tobias Harris of the Orlando Magic passes against

Tobias Harris of the Orlando Magic passes against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Friday, Jan. 8, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Tobias Harris spent Christmas at Universal Studios in Orlando surrounded by rides he didn’t ride and kids he wasn’t related to. He thoroughly enjoyed it.

“It was a fun trip,” he said before his Magic defeated the Nets, 83-77, at Barclays Center on Friday night. “Just seeing their faces and seeing the excitement . . . They were kids that, most of them needed it.”

Harris and his charitable foundation took about 35 kids to Universal Studios. He ate with them, sat with them and talked.

He tried not to tell too many people about it at the time, because he didn’t want the other kids he mentors to feel badly about it. Apparently, there are a good number of them.

Harris, 23, a graduate of Half Hollow Hills West, did plenty of charitable work when he was back home, and the move to Orlando in 2013 hasn’t slowed him.

He mentors a group of elementary school students and another group of middle school students once or twice a month. He held a turkey drive a little while ago, he said, and was a recipient of the “NBA Cares” award last March.

He looks at his kids as his little brothers, he said. “I have fun going to them” and talking to them . . . but not riding the rides with them, apparently.

“We had a game the next night,” he said, cracking a smile. “As far as all the rides, I let them do that.”

Bargnani’s minutes down

Andrea Bargnani’s minutes have taken a nosedive since Dec. 23, going from an average of about 20 after he returned from injury on Dec. 10 to a little less than nine in the six games leading up to Friday night’s game. He did not play at all against the Magic.

Bargnani often had been the Nets’ first big man off the bench, but Lionel Hollins is mum on the reason. “I just decided to make a change,” he said before the game.

New York Sports