Wizards return for an ‘All-Stars’ rematch at Big Walnut


By Lenny C. Lepola - For The Gazette



 Just to show there would be no hard feelings during the basketball game, just before tip-off last year, members of the Wizards team hugged Big Walnut High School head football coach Joe Weaver, left, and Big Walnut Intermediate School language arts teacher and high school girls track and field coach Joe Evener.

Just to show there would be no hard feelings during the basketball game, just before tip-off last year, members of the Wizards team hugged Big Walnut High School head football coach Joe Weaver, left, and Big Walnut Intermediate School language arts teacher and high school girls track and field coach Joe Evener.


Lenny C. Lepola | For The Gazette

Thanks to the Sunbury-Galena Rotary Club, the Harlem Wizards, who played an exhibition game against the “Big Walnut All-Stars” last year, will return to Big Walnut High School on Wednesday, March 2, for a rematch.

The Harlem Wizards is a family-owned, for-profit company that works strictly for nonprofit organizations, putting on exhibition basketball events against local teams as a local fundraiser.

Sunbury-Galena Rotary member Jim Irwin said last year’s Wizard game against the Big Walnut All-Stars was a sellout.

“The Big Walnut High School gymnasium has a capacity of 1,200 and we sold 1,168 tickets, so it was definitely a full house,” Irwin said. “We got a lot of great reviews from the kids, from the teachers, and from everyone who attended; and we were able to give money back to the school district for each school building’s principal fund.”

Irwin said the Rotary made enough money last year to donate money to Design Outreach, an organization that sends well-drilling equipment to Africa, and also donated funds to Delaware County Friends of the Trail to help pave the Galena brick trail.

“We were also able to increase the amount of money we give to graduating Big Walnut seniors for scholarships, plus we added a scholarship for graduating seniors at the Delaware Area Career Center,” Irwin said. “We considered last year’s Wizards game to be a huge success and the school district is excited about the Wizards coming back this year. We think it’s a great project.”

The Big Walnut All-Stars said they are anxious to get some court time in with the Harlem Wizards. They said it’s payback time. The Wizards defeated the All-Stars last year, 75 to 69.

Members of this year’s Big Walnut All-Stars squad are already in the gym getting in condition under the guidance of head coach Angie Pollock. They are: Mendi Priestas and Mark Adams from Harrison Street Elementary, Brett Bartlett and Doug Eckelbarger from Big Walnut Middle School, Joe Weaver and Kristin Kovak from Big Walnut High School, Joe Evener and Rachel Middleman from Big Walnut Intermediate School, AJ Hoffman and Awny Kingsley from Hylen Souders Elementary, Josh Patterson and Lisa Shaw from General Rosecrans Elementary, and Charlie Brodhead and Mika George from Big Walnut Elementary.

“The Wizards have a new routine this year, so it will be a fun evening even for fans who attended last year’s game,” Irwin said. “And best of all, other than helping support well-drilling in Africa, the proceeds stay local to buy children’s books for Community Library, swim lessons for younger children, and scholarships for graduating seniors. The lion’s share of the money raised stays here in our community.”

Irwin said tickets are $10 and $12 if purchased before the event. On the night of the event, all tickets are $15.

Tickets are available at the Big Walnut High School athletic director’s office and at Subway of Sunbury, 747 W. Cherry St. Irwin said folks who purchase a ticket at Subway would receive a coupon for half a sub sandwich at half price.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the game starts at 6:30.

For more information about the Harlem Wizards, go to harlemwizards.com.

Just to show there would be no hard feelings during the basketball game, just before tip-off last year, members of the Wizards team hugged Big Walnut High School head football coach Joe Weaver, left, and Big Walnut Intermediate School language arts teacher and high school girls track and field coach Joe Evener.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2016/02/web1_Wizards.2015.a.jpg Just to show there would be no hard feelings during the basketball game, just before tip-off last year, members of the Wizards team hugged Big Walnut High School head football coach Joe Weaver, left, and Big Walnut Intermediate School language arts teacher and high school girls track and field coach Joe Evener. Lenny C. Lepola | For The Gazette

By Lenny C. Lepola

For The Gazette

Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093. Email: newsguy@ee.net.

Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093. Email: newsguy@ee.net.