The Harlem Wizards slam dunked an appearance Tuesday night on the Amherst Steele hardwood.
Basketball stars Road Runner, Sarge, Kasper, Swoop, Sky-Walker, and Miles High made the impossible look easy in a PTO fundraiser exhibition.
They slid across the court on their rump-shakers. They broke out in dance. They dribbled circles around their green-and-gold-clad opponents in what was more an eye-popping comedy juggling act than a ball game.
And they looked about nine feet tall next to the Amherst crew.
Lining up for the Comets were a host of local celebrities, among them assistant fire chief Brandon Dimacchia, coach Pat Bray, city councilman and alumnus Joe Miller, teachers such as Emily Marty and Brad Thompson, Steele secretary Jackie Doehr, alumna Olivia Sliman, and Comets basketball players.
Getting into the game, Doehr delivered a hard foul that knocked Swoop on his butt. He was carried off the court in spasms but bounced back, a few minutes later making a surprise proposal to second grade teacher Nadine Wearsch, who suddenly found herself wearing a veil and carrying flowers.
Later, Swoop decided to start offering fashion advice. He pulled Thompson aside, convinced him to hike up his shorts up to his belly button, and smacked him on the bottom. Thompson did his part to get the crowd roaring, doing the worm in front of the bleachers.
“It’s awesome, what a good time! I only wish they’d turn the air conditioning on,” said, Dimacchia, panting and sweating at halftime as Harlem led 51-45.
The visiting hoopsters would end up winning 87-57.
While it may have seemed like an Amherst loss, the night was very much an Amherst win.
Money from the game will go toward playground enhancements at the new Powers Elementary School under construction on South Lake Street. The school is slated to open in August 2019.
No fundraising total was available by the end of the game but the crowds were packed with roughly 850 people and the concession stand was busy, making Powers PTO president Darcie Parsons smile. “It turned out so well,” she said. “The Wizards put on an awesome show.”
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.