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Harlem Wizards Shoot for a Cause


The crowd is waiting patiently for the game to start. The D158 Shooting Stars run out with enthusiasm as the announcer calls out their names: Martin “March Madness” Manning, Chris “Coach Max” Maxedon, “Passing” Patrick Odarczenko, and Renae “Slam Dunk” St. Clair, “Jump Ball” Jack Towne, the teachers from Huntley High School. Then enters the Harlem Wizards. The crowd is silent, the Wizards’ DJ hollers for the world-famous players to come out and show their stuff. Smoke is filling the gym as the Wizards run out with their basketballs giving high fives to the crowd. The audience goes wild as they show off their world-renowned tricks and dunks. And the game begins. Harlem Wizards slam dunk in the Huntley High School Gym (I. Anikamadu).

The Harlem Wizards celebrate 50 amazing years of “Basketball Wizardry Worldwide.”  The team included: Dwayne “Swoop” Simpson, Arthur “King Arthur” Lewis, TJ “Tomohawk” Stukes, Leon “Space Jam” Sewell, and Lloyd “Loonatik” Clinton. At the game, the audience saw astonishing basketball talent combined with comedy, tricks, and impressive teamwork and ball-handling. Their spontaneous humor appealed to fans of all ages and made everyone laugh out loud.

“The best part was the crowd interaction and participation,” said senior Anthonia Moore. “It wasn’t just watching the game; they got the crowd involved and actually went into the crowd a lot.”

They had small children come up and shoot some hoops for the audience, and one of them was jokingly called Swoop’s son. Swoop also took a woman’s purse and the some of the teammates received a kiss on the cheek from her. Another crowd pleaser was when four men were taken out of the crowd and made into a human tabletop.

Music and dancing was also a big aspect in the performance. The Wizards would be on the sidelines dancing and making goofy faces at the audience to keep them engaged. Songs that played included: “Call Me Maybe”, “Gangnam Style”, “Don’t Stop the Music”, “Mercy”, and much more.

The D158 Shooting Stars were no match for the Wizards. They were teased, tricked, and dunked on numerous times. D158’s teachers were getting beat so badly that Moore had no comment to sum up the final moments of the game. The team was allowed ten points for every shot and they still could not defeat the remarkable Wizards.

At the end of the performance, confetti exploded into the air and all of the kids ran in the middle to join the excitement. The postgame interaction consisted of the Wizards not leaving until every autograph was signed and every picture taken.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the D158 Education Foundation which makes resources available to enhance learning for all students in the district. The Education Foundation wants to thank all who attended the event, and a special thanks to the D158 Shooting Stars, Cheerleaders, and the event sponsors.

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