RANDOLPH, NJ - The Randolph High School Main Gym was rocking on Friday night as the Harlem Wizards made a pit stop in Randolph during their Slamtastic Tour. The Wizards are celebrating 52 years of trick shots and alley-oop dunks, while putting the “fun” in fundraising for organizations all across the country.
The night was filled with various acts of trickery, pranks, and silly dances that not only put smiles on the faces of the kids in attendance, but the adults as well. The star lineup of "Big J", "The Lunatic", "Swoop", "Sarge", and "Blizzard" took on the staff members of the Randolph School System in a friendly, circus like game of basketball.
With the consistent rim-rattling dunks, quick, crazy ball handling from the players and loud music playing throughout the gymnasium, the Wizards were able to get the crowd into it from the very first minute, all the way to the end of the game. The audience was fully engaged in the event, and often in shock and awe at what the Wizards were able to pull off in the exhibition.
A fourth grader from Ironia stated in amazement, “I can’t believe how high they can jump and the tricks they can do.” While his friend commented his favorite part was “When the Wizards got us to do the wave in the crowd.”
The event, organized and run by Gina Drake and Stacey Gellert, was wildly successful as it played out in front of a gym that was standing room only. Over $12,000 was raised for the RMS PTO. The funds will be used for a variety of initiatives at the middle school, including the RMS Children's Hallway Project, Outdoor Classroom Initiative, and the expansion of technology throughout the school.
On the success of the evening, Drake commented, "The RMS PTO is so excited to see such an amazing turnout from all the schools in the district. This is a committed and supportive community, where people really know how to enjoy themselves."
Many kids in the audience became unexpected participants in the game, as they were often selected for on-court games, dance sessions, and special prize giveaways.
The Wizards had the lead against the staff the entire game, which created space for their various acts of comedic pleasure that left the crowd laughing. One of those moments came right before tip-off where the referee was caught up in the Wizards' shenanigans, leading to a fast break dunk before anyone realized the game had started.
Shongum Principal Cliff Burns was on the receiving end of a humorous smack to his backside, and at one point a basketball spin-off of a football game broke out, ultimately leading to some kids from the audience coming onto the court for a dance party with "Swoop" and "Big J".
After the event, one fourth grader from Shongum commented “I thought it was really funny to see my principal and my gym teacher playing basketball against pros like the Wizards.”
In the end, the Harlem Wizards' performance was an overall success for Randolph as it brought laughter, humor, and awe to the sold out high school gymnasium, all in the name for a good cause.
With as much electricity in the air Friday night, it is sure that the Harlem Wizards should be coming back to Randolph again in the near future.