Teachers to play against Harlem Wizards

Teachers from William Paca Middle School and John Hobart Elementary School will face off Friday in a community basketball game against the world-famous Harlem Wizards. The event is a fundraiser coordinated by the Paca and Hobart Parent-Teacher Organizations.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” said Sara Guesaldi, president of the Paca PTO.

The Wizards’ specialty is performance basketball, similar to the Harlem Globetrotters. The team will practice unique moves and special feats as they play against the hometown heroes. Started in 1962 by New York sports promoter Howie Davis and now celebrating 56 years of wizardry, he envisioned a show and organization that would put a different spin on show basketball. The Wizards are a show basketball entity delivering fundraiser events for schools and nonprofits, last season playing in over 400 communities across the country and raising over $2 million.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Friday and the game will begin at 7 p.m. About 30 teachers have signed up to play. Guesaldi and Barbara Mehmel, president of the Hobart PTO, reached out to the principals of each school, who were on board with their idea, and received many volunteers to represent the community. Councilman Dan Panico will also join the team to play the Wizards. Announcers for the game will be Superintendent Kevin Coster and board of education president Bob Vecchio. The game will be at the William Floyd High School gymnasium.

There are general admission tickets, reserved seating, and courtside-plus seating available. Tickets are available now through the Harlem Wizards website or at the door. Ticket prices are $12 in advance for students or $15 at the door and $15 for adults in advance or $18 at the door. Reserved seating tickets are $20, which includes close reserve seats and a free poster voucher. Courtside-plus tickets are $30 and include courtside reserve seating, an exclusive 10-minute meet and greet with some of the Wizards, a free team poster and $10 discount and Wizards replica jerseys. Reserved seating is very limited.

Students had the chance to see an advanced display of the game in an assembly recently, where the Wizards gave a preview with some participating teachers.

Caption: Students and teachers got a special visit from the Harlem Wizards ahead of the April 12 matchup.

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