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4/29/2014 11:15:00 AM
Harlem Ambassadors basketball team returns to Williams May 4
A Harlem Ambassadors team member interacts with a community team member. The Ambassadors will take on a team of Williams residents May 4 in the Williams High School gymnasium. Photos/Courtesy of Harlem Ambassadors
A Harlem Ambassadors team member interacts with a community team member. The Ambassadors will take on a team of Williams residents May 4 in the Williams High School gymnasium. Photos/Courtesy of Harlem Ambassadors
A Harlem Ambassadors team member interacts with audience members. The Ambassadors will take on a team of Williams residents May 4 in the Williams High School gymnasium. Photos/Courtesy of Harlem Ambassadors
A Harlem Ambassadors team member interacts with audience members. The Ambassadors will take on a team of Williams residents May 4 in the Williams High School gymnasium. Photos/Courtesy of Harlem Ambassadors
Williams-Grand Canyon News


WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Athleticism and comedy will come together on the basketball court on May 4 when the Harlem Ambassadors visit Williams.

The team will play a game at 6 p.m. at the Williams High School (WHS) gymnasium.

The Ambassadors play Harlem-style basketball featuring slam-dunks, ball handling tricks and comedy routines. The coed team members are college educated and drug free, said Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator Darlene Bitter.

"They have a really good message that they try to get out to the kids while they're doing the basketball game," Bitter said.

The Ambassadors will take on a team of Williams community members, including WHS Principal Tristan Heisley (coach), Williams-Elementary Middle School Principal Bryan Lords, Williams Unified School District (WUSD) Athletic Director Phillip Echeverria, WUSD art teacher and WHS boys basketball coach Rico Dunn, WHS math teacher and girls basketball coach Jet Feliciano, third grade teacher and middle school boys basketball coach Deniz Chavez (scorekeeper), WUSD School Resource Officer Jeff Brownlee, baseball coach Johnny Hatcher, Williams resident Troy Mortensen, softball coach Travis Grantham, Councilmen Lee Payne and Craig Fritsinger, Magistrate Rob Krombeen, Williams Volunteer Fire Chief Chase Pearson, Reitz Restoration owner Jay Reitz, Route 66 Catering employee Melvin Berry (referee) and QC Office employee Christopher Keeler.

The Harlem Ambassadors visited Williams once before in 2011. Just like the 2011 event, the proceeds from this year's game will go toward a good cause.

"We knew that the gym bleachers at the high school are from the 1950s, and they're looking at replacing them," Bitter said. "So we decided to do the fundraiser to actually help raise money for that."

Bitter said the event is geared toward all ages, but will be especially beneficial to students.

"(The Ambassadors are) a really positive adult influence for kids," she said. "Sometimes kids don't listen to parents, and it's a really good influence for them when they see somebody being successful and a good influence for them to want to continue staying in school, staying off drugs and do well."

People can pre-purchase tickets to the basketball game at the Williams and Forest Service Visitor Center, the Williams Recreation Center or Pine Country Restaurant. Pre-purchase ticket prices are $4 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Tickets will also be available at the door for $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students. Children ages 5 and younger get in for free.

Besides the basketball game, the Ambassadors will also put on a "Stay in School, Stay off Drugs" assembly for students in grades 6-12 tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the WHS gym.

According to their flyer about the assembly, "The Ambassadors encourage kids to work hard in school, respect themselves and their peers, listen to adult authority figures, believe in themselves, set goals, and focus on their education so they can achieve their goals."

More information about the events is available from the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce at (928) 635-0273.


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