Wizards dazzle Ramsey crowd
With the first high school basketball games around the corner, the North Harrison Athletic Booster Club kicked off the season by welcoming the Harlem Wizards to Ramsey for a fundraiser Friday.
The lower level seating at the North Harrison gymnasium was shoulder-to-shoulder as the Wizards entertained the crowd with rim-shaking dunks, comedy, ball-handing skills and trick shots.
Wizard Dwayne (Swoop) Simpson was miked for the game, drawing many laughs from the crowd. He not only engaged children with the game against the Harrison Hoopsters, but he also flirted with a few women. He even earned a kiss from one woman for returning her purse after it was snatched by a Wizard.
Swoop was not only a funny man, but also skilled with trick shots. He made a ‘free throw’ from mid-court while on his knees and his back to the basket. It one-upped his shot from under the basket in the first half. While sitting in a camping chair, Swoop spun a ball on one finger, then punched the ball in the air with his opposite hand, somehow putting the ball through the twine.
Audience participation was a big part of the event. At halftime, the court was filled with kids performing the Cha-Cha Slide, noted by Swoop as the halftime dance entertainment.
One of the most entertaining parts of the event was at halftime, when 15 contestants played a game of You Got Tricked. The object was simple: circle around Swoop and don’t drop the ball when he passed it to you. No look passes, spinning the ball on his fingers, dribbles between his legs, throwing passes toward the ceiling and even having Wizard teammates scare a participant while the ball was mid-flight doomed participants. Only one, Hudson Withers, the youngest participant, survived the competition.
The game featured plenty of giggles for adults and youths, along with magical basketball skills and high-flying action.
The final score? Wizards defeated the Hoopsters, comprised of Harrison County community members and basketball talent, 72-65. The Hoopsters capitalized on hockey-like power plays when they played 5-on-1 in the closing seconds of the third quarter and each bucket worth 20 points. They only made one, which wasn’t enough.