Basketball magic coming to town

By Rick Palsgrove

Eastside Editor

A Wizard player interacting with kids at last year's event.
A Wizard player interacting with kids at last year’s event.

Reynoldsburg and Pickerington community all-star teams will face off against the Harlem Wizards in two basketball games that blend athleticism with comedy, coupled with an interactive halftime show and post-show activities.

“It’s great family fun,” said Craig Maxey of Target Business Services. “The Wizards have amazing basketball skills and they are also genuine comedians.”

According to the Wizards’ website, “…fans see amazing basketball talent combined with hilarious comedy. The athleticism, tricks, fancy teamwork and ball-handling wizardry, plus wild dunks not even seen in NBA games, engages and wows the most avid hoops fans.”

Maxey said the two local community all-star teams that will face the Wizards will be comprised of principals, teachers and administrators from the Reynoldsburg and Pickerington school districts respectively as well as local youth group leaders.

The first game will be played April 8 at the Reynoldsburg High School Summit Campus, 8579 Summit Road. The second game will be April 9 at Pickerington North High School, 7800 Refugee Road. Doors open both days at 5:30 p.m. and the games begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets in advance are $8 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased at the local elementary schools or by calling Target Business Services at 866-4065 or Cotner Funeral Home at 866-6318. Tickets at the door are $10 for students and $12 for adults.

Maxey said this is the fourth year the Wizards have come to town to play games to raise funds for the Reynoldsburg-Pickerington Rotary Club.

“It just gets better and better each year,” said Maxey. “We had a sellout crowd in Pickerington last year and a large crowd in Reynoldsburg. The two games last year raised a total of between $12,000 to $15,000.”

He said kids enjoy the Wizards’ performance and are thrilled when the Wizards players invite them on to the court at halftime to dance and enjoy themselves.

“It’s great to see the kids having so much fun,” said Maxey. “Plus, the kids like watching their principals and teachers play in the games. It’s a popular event. After the games people say they can’t wait for next year.”

Maxey said the money raised at the games allows the Rotary to help fund various community programs, which include: dictionaries for each second grader in the local school districts, high school scholarships, the Homework Help Center, the Leader and Me program, After Prom, art programs, food pantries, Leadership Camp for kids as well as other local and international programs.

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