Harlem Wizards to Play Local Educators in Fundraising Basketball Game

September 26, 2012
Dwayne Page
Harlem Wizards to Play Local Educators in Fundraising Basketball Game
Suzette Barnes

Trick-hoops and alley-oops are coming to DeKalb County High School Thursday night, October 11 at 7:00 p.m.

The Harlem Wizards, a show basketball team, will play local educators and business people to raise funds for the DeKalb County High School basketball programs. "This is an exhibition basketball team, similar to the Harlem Globetrotters," said Suzette Barnes. "This event is hosted by DeKalb County High School basketball boosters and all proceeds will go to the DeKalb County High School basketball programs," she said.

Advance tickets are $8.00 for students and $10.00 for adults and may be purchased at Kilgore's Restaurant, Liberty State Bank, or at the DeKalb County Complex. Tickets may be purchased at the door the night of the event at $10.00 for students and $12.00 for adults.

"We're going to put on a show like basketball on Broadway, baby. You get to see a little bit of everything," said Arthur Lewis Jr., who is known as King Arthur on the court.

The team's mix of comedy and athleticism inspires as well as entertains, according to Lewis.

"We inspire a lot of people," Lewis said. Not just to play basketball, but to pursue bigger and better lives."Dream. A lot of kids don't dream anymore," Lewis said. "It's about more than the sport. It's about using the sport to get an education."

Lewis has played basketball all his life, falling in love with the sport at a young age. He played through high school and then at Bowie State University in Maryland where he was named an Academic All-American. Lewis has also played with the American Basketball Association and was a two-time all-star in the International Basketball League.

The local team taking on the Wizards will be made up of educators from all five schools according to Barnes. "From DeKalb West is Audrey Russell and Sabrina Farler. From DeKalb Middle School we'll have Randy Jennings, Amanda Dakas, Josh Agee, Justin Nokes, and Karen Pelham. From DCHS, is Coach K, Kathy Bryant, Jenny Norris, and Patrick Cripps will be the coach. From Northside Elementary, we'll have Jerry Foster and Gayle Redman will be our water girl. From Smithville Elementary, we have Karen Knowles and Julie Vincent. From the Central Office we will have Director Mark Willoughby and Danielle Collins," she said.

Local business people will also be participating. "We'll have Jason Murphy from Optimus Pest Solutions, Jonathon Norris from Southern Landscape Supply, Matt Lawrence from DeKalb Tire and Service, Tim Tobbit from Good Health Family Clinic and many others. Its going to be a good night for educators and community business people to come together for a good night of basketball," said Barnes.

"We will play four quarters of basketball and have a half time show. At the end of the game we'll have an autograph session. Souvenirs will be on sale and anyone who purchases souvenirs can stay after the game and get those signed by the Harlem Wizard players. We will also have a full concession stand operating that night," she added.

"Its serving as a fundraiser for our high school basketball programs. This year, we are going to play in a Christmas tournament December 26-29 in Florida. It is our hope that we can raise enough money from this to help offset some of the costs for that trip," said Barnes.

"Everyone should (come out). It's for your own school, it's for your own kids," said Lewis. "You'll really enjoy yourself," Lewis said. "For one night, everyone in the community can come together," he added.

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