It was a night of dazzling dunks and slippery swooshes as Old Rochester Regional played host to the famous Harlem Wizards basketball team in a charity game organized by the Village PTA of East Wareham.
The Wizards, known for their ball-handling magic tricks, were matched up against the Wareham Warriors, made up of current and former Wareham students and coaches, including ORR basketball coach Steve Carvalho and ORRJHS principal Kevin Brogioli.
“Anytime I can play for a local charity, I’m glad to do it,” said Carvalho before the game. Win or lose, he was there to have fun playing ball with some talented athletes. “These guys are out to entertain and I know I’ll be part of it one way or another,” he said.
Proceeds of the event will go to fund the Village PTA activities, including field trips and enrichment programs for their local students.
“We got a mailer about how this can be a potential fundraiser,” said organizer Jennifer Weisberg. “I did a presentation on it for the PTA and they approved it.”
As part of the program, members of the Wizards visited Wareham students on Monday and made a stop over at Sippican School in Marion. The players met with students to excite them for the evening’s game, which was played in front of a standing room-only crowd at the ORR gym.
For four quarters, the Wizards wowed the crowd with their skills, which ranged from ball juggling to gymnastics. One Wizard even spun the ball on his forefinger above his head while his teammate ran from behind him, jumped over his head while lifting the ball from his finger and dunked for an “alley-oop.”
At half-time, the players invited members of the audience to participate in the show. Marion’s very own Michelle Ouellette was selected for a blindfolded treasure hunt around the court. The Wizards ended half-time with a half-court shot contest.
“I love it. Every time we can bring our brand of entertainment to a community, no matter what your problems, you can put it at ease and enjoy some family entertainment,” said David “DP” Paul of the Wizards. “That’s why I do it. I love making that difference in people’s lives.”
By Eric Tripoli