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Show basketball coming to Greene County for a good causePosted Friday, June 10, 2011, at 12:31 PM
The Harlem Ambassadors and the Open Arms Family and Educational Services have teamed up to bring show basketball to Greene County. The game between the Ambassadors and the Second Chance Warriors will take place on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at White River Valley. A member of the Ambassadors pose with a fan. (Photo courtesy Harlem Ambassadors)
Who are the Harlem Ambassadors and why are they coming you ask? Well, it's a traveling troupe of show basketball players in the same mold as the Harlem Globetrotters and the Harlem Wizards.
Led by Lade Majic the Ambassadors bring humor, high-flying skills and showmanship to the games they play.
The organization's main goal is to bring a positive message to the audience, more specifically, the kids in the audience.
They make their first appearance in the area to benefit Open Arms Family and Educational Services and the Merriam Home.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Open Arms, they're an all-around social services agency for girls.
Tracy Lady, event coordinator, tells me the organization has been around for 30 years and gears their services toward helping at-risk girls from ages six to 21. And that the Merriam Home, which is a residential facility, will be the primary benefactor of the game.
"We're using this to help cover the expenses of all the girls at Merriam Home," Lady said. "And we'll use it to help continue running that program."
According to the Ambassadors website harlemambassadors.com the team, preparing for it's 14th season of cross country barnstorming, offers a unique brand of Harlem-style basketball featuring high-flying slam dunks, dazzling ballhandling tricks and hilarious comedy routines.
There's a video clip featuring the Ambassadors available at the Open Arms website, openarmschristian.com as well.
The Ambassadors also try to incorporate as many children into the show as possible.
"At our shows we want the kids to know that they're part of our team too," Lade Majic said in a press release. "We invite as many kids as we can to come sit on the bench, have a front row seat during the show and get involved in all of the fun stuff we do."
As a part of the event, members of the Ambassadors will make a visit to WRV the day before the event. They will address middle school students about living a positive life and doing the right thing.
Lady said the opportunity will be available for students from other schools to take part in the 45 minute to an hour long program.
Speaking of the game, it will take place on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at the White River Valley High School gym.
The Ambassadors will take on the "Second Chance Warriors" which is the moniker Lady has given the players who will take part on behalf of Open Arms.
"If we're successful we're thinking about doing this every year," Lady said. "It's going to be a very fun evening."
Players are still needed to fill out the roster of the Warriors according to Lady. There are just a few limitations however.
They must be at least 19 years of age, not eligible for any scholarships or currently be playing college or high school basketball.
"We don't want to mess up anybody's eligibility," Lady said. "So we've put those restrictions on who can play."
As a part of the fundraising aspect, players have to be sponsored for $220.
Lady told me they've already secured sponsorships in different forms from several area organizations including UDWI-REMC Bloomfield, Walmart, the Park Inn of Linton and the Bloomfield Choral group.
But Open Arms is still looking for more sponsors for the game. The sponsorship benefits can include things such as courtside seats, a player in the game and free tickets to the event.
Lady also said that corporate sponsors for the event will have an opportunity for a meet and greet meal with the Ambassadors and opposing team following the contest.
While nothing specific has been set, she reported that the meal would likely take place at the Merriam Home.
She said they would like to secure at least 20 players by the end of June or mid-July at the latest. She also told me they hope to have an area high school coach agree to coach the Warriors.
Tickets for the event will be $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Students (elementary through high school) tickets will be $5. Children under four will be admitted free with a paid adult.
If you would like more information on the game or to sponsor a player or become a corporate sponsor contact Tracy Lady at (800) 659-2914 weekdays or (812) 659-2235.
Rick is a sportswriter with the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487. He can be reach by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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