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July 12. 2013 8:35PM

Surprise visit

Sandler rocked by blast from Central past


Adam Sandler, wearing a Central basketball jersey, poses with Katie Couric and his old Central physical education teacher, Don Tibbetts (second from left) after their appearance on Couric's daytime talk show. The show aired Friday. (DISNEY/ABC)

Comedian and actor Adam Sandler appeared on Katie Couric's daytime talk show "Katie" Friday, where he got a surprise visit from former Manchester High School Central gym teacher Don Tibbetts, who rose from his seat in the audience with a blast from his referee's whistle.

"That's a foul!" the retired physical education teacher yelled to Sandler, seated on the stage with Couric and other cast members of "Grown Ups 2," which was released Friday.

"That's my old gym teacher!" a delighted Sandler said. The two hadn't seen each other in years.

"Glad to see you, my boy," Sandler said when Tibbetts joined him on stage.

Having Tibbetts for a teacher was "like having a friend in school," Sandler said.

Tibbetts, for his part, said Sandler was "like a little gnat as a freshman....He'd be everywhere."

The former gym teacher also paid tribute to Sandler for his improved basketball game by giving him an official Central High School basketball jersey with the number 33.

Sandler was joined on stage by Kevin James, David Spade, Salma Hayek and Shaquille O'Neil, who also starred in the sequel comedy, "Grown Ups 2." The movie opened Friday. It features a set recreation of the exterior of the Red Arrow Diner, a Manchester landmark.

kmarchocki@unionleader.com


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