MADISON, NJ – Although it appeared to be an impossible task, Madison’s teachers took on the Harlem Wizards at Fairleigh Dickinson University on Friday night, in a collection of basketball games of showmanship and fun.
The Harlem Wizards are theatrical and comedic basketball show team that displays a combination of individual athleticism, teamwork and entertainment for fundraisers.
The Madison High School PTO produced the event for the benefit of the annual Graduation Gala, which is now in its 26th year. The parents of the Class of 2011 and donations from local community businesses and organizations underwrite the drug and alcohol-free celebration.
The Wizards event was expected to raise upwards of $4,000 according to PTO Mom organizer Diane Fastiggi. “Look at this,” Fastiggi said as the event was coming to a close. “Children of all ages love this.”
While the gala is a lot of fun for high school seniors, the Harlem Wizards event was a festival for all ages, with tens of children as little as three and four, running about the gym dribbling basketballs.
Despite the active scene, the Madison school teachers were able to score points from time to time.
“We take a beating but we have a good time,” said Madison high school principal Greg Robinson. “It’s been a fun event and it’s a big community event.”
The Madison teachers, known as The Professors of Phunk, each got four minutes of playing time. Most of the night was designed for fun with a lot of fancy dribbling, dunk shots and ball passing tricks.
“I liked all of it,” said seven-year-old Julia Lawson as she waited in line for Big Mike M&M (Mike Matthews) to autograph her basketball.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Big Mike M&M said.