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Prince William, Kate Middleton Enthrall Crowds At Nets Game

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, wrapped up the first day of their visit to the U.S. on Monday by sitting courtside at a Nets game in Brooklyn.

As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched the Nets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center.

Across the court sat Brooklyn's own royalty – Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The two got up at one point to introduce themselves to William and Kate.

The night was also filled with an appearance on the Jumbotron, where William and Kate waved to the crowd. They later snacked on popcorn, and like proper royals do, even shared it with people around them.

Many fans were thrilled to pieces.

"I bought the tickets last week, and I'm just so excited to see them," said Christine Guarini.

The "them" to whom Guarini referred were not the Nets, as was evident by her "I want to be like Kate" sweater.

"Her whole persona, the class she has, the way she dresses, how she carries herself -- I think she's such a good role model for younger girls," Guarini said.

"She's such a good person to look up to, so it's just an honor to be in the same building as her," added Rosalie Mumford of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

William and Kate met and posed for photos with LeBron James at the game.

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Attend Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pose with LeBron James (R) backstage as they attend the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center on December 8, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

The Nets lost to the Cavaliers 110-88.

Protesters angry about the Eric Garner grand jury decision were also present as William and Kate arrived at the stadium.

Demonstrators staged a die-in in front of the stadium in Brooklyn before the game began. Some of them wore T-shirts reading, "I Can't Breathe," referring to Garner's words after he was taken down in an apparent chokehold on Staten Island on July 17.

The royal couple attended the game to help launch a new collaboration between the Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife and the NBA, CBS2's Carrasco reported.

The stop at the Nets game was just one of many on the royal visit. Earlier Monday night, William and Kate met with former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea.

During the earlier part of the day, the royal couple spent the day apart. Prince William met with President Barack Obama, while Middleton toured a child development center in Harlem and met New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray.

Kate was greeted with cheers from a crowd of several dozen spectators standing behind police barricades across the street.

PHOTOS: Royal Couple Visits NYC

"We're so excited that we have royalty here, which is really cool for the neighborhood," Harlem resident Lyndsay Kliot told CBS2's Diane Macedo.

"I'm a huge Kate fan," said Lauren Nichols, who came to see Kate from Ohio with her sister. "I'm a mini Middleton."

Staffers said upon arriving the duchess cracked a joke.

"She just said 'good morning' and 'is this what a typical morning is like here?'" Jennifer Hogan told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond. "And we all laughed because obviously this is not a typical morning at the Northside Center."

"She really made a point to say hello to everyone and make eye contact," added Jacqueline, a social worker. "It was lovely, and the kids really enjoyed it."

Royal Couple Visits NYC
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray greet guests at Northside Center for Child Development on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Kate spent about an hour at the center, wrapping presents and interacting with the children, 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported.

"There are many places she could have picked in New York, and we're very proud she visited us,'' clinical intake coordinator Jennifer Hogan said.

The duchess looked like anyone else wrapping presents, except for that famous sapphire engagement ring that once belonged to Princess Diana, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported.

A member of the center's advisory board said she was very warm and welcoming during her visit and asked great questions before speaking with some of the kids in classrooms.

The center provides educational and mental health services to about 3,300 children and families each year.

"It's just amazing. We feel honored, we feel privileged," said Executive Director Thelma Dye. "Her royal highness feels very passionate about mental health, children's mental health, global mental health, and that is absolutely what we care about."

Kate Middleton Tours Harlem Child Development Center As Prince William Hits DC

The duchess and the first lady also exchanged handshakes with several mothers and leaned down to shake hands with children, who gathered outside as the two left.

Meanwhile, Prince William went to Washington to meet with Obama at the Oval Office and for a speech on wildlife trafficking at the World Bank.

The two men sat side by side in the Oval Office and exchanged pleasantries before a crush of journalists, but made no statements.

William arrived early for his meeting with the president and was given a tour of the White House. He also met briefly with Vice President Joe Biden.

Royal Couple Visits NYC
President Barack Obama meets with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in the Oval Office of the White House December 8, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

While in Washington, William also spoke on a cause close to his heart, Gainer reported.

"In my view one of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today is the illegal wildlife trade," William said.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived Sunday to a throng of media and shrieking admirers when they pulled up in front of the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side.

William and Kate stopped only for a moment to take photos before disappearing into the hotel, but for some who waited hours outside to secure a prime viewing spot, it was worth every hour of lost sleep.

Kate Middleton Tours Harlem Child Development Center As Prince William Hits DC

"We just want to see them, even if it's just a glimpse," said Valerie Carpenter, of Philadelphia. "We just want to see them."

"Their lifestyle is like a fairytale. It's so intriguing," said Elizabeth Escott, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Some were hoping to get a glimpse of the duchess, described by one fan as "pretty and divine."

"She follows the trends, but she makes them more conservative, in a good way," the fan told WCBS 880's Paul Murnane.

William and Kate, who are expecting their second child in April, have a full schedule during their first official visit to the U.S. and their first taste of the Big Apple.

The royal couple was also to visit the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum.

Full Slate Of Events Set For Royal Couple During NYC Visit

William and Kate were are due to join Tom Hanks, opera singer Renee Fleming and others at a black-tie, up-to-$10,000-per-seat scholarship fundraiser for the University of St. Andrews, the Scottish institution where the royal couple met and earned degrees.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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