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District 54 faculty will try to overcome Harlem Wizards’ hoops magic

Published: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Morris Elementary School District 54 employees will face off against the Harlem Wizards on Monday in a basketball game open to the community to watch.

The District 54 PTO has brought the trickster basketball team to Morris as its fundraiser this year to raise money for school needs, PTO Treasurer Jill Mills said.

“We thought it was a great way to raise money for the school and still have a family night,” she said.

The “Harlem Wizards Trick Hoopz & Alley Oops” will play the District 54 staff at 7 p.m. Monday at Morris Community High School. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $10 or can be bought for $12 at the door. Everyone is invited.

During the school day Monday, pep rallies will be held at White Oak Elementary School, Shabbona Middle School and Saratoga School.

Superintendent Teri Shaw will be one of the staff playing against the Harlem Wizards and said her 13-year-old son, Conner, has been advising her against it.

“This morning he said, ‘Mom, don’t play,’ ” Shaw said with a laugh.

Shaw said he may be a bit fearful she might embarrass herself and him while playing against the famous Wizards.

“We’re excited to have this community event,” Shaw said. “We hope we have support community wide. We encourage everyone to come, not just 54 families, but the high school and Saratoga families, too.”

According to the Wizards’ website, harlemwizards.com, the team was started in 1962 by New York Sports promoter Howie Davis. He envisioned a show that put a different spin on basketball.

More than 50 years later the Wizards are an institution, creating awe-inspiring fundraiser events for schools and nonprofits.

“Whereas an NBA team’s success is measured in wins and losses, the Wizards’ victories lie in the millions of smiles they are responsible for and the millions of dollars raised for charitable organizations, schools and foundations across the world,” according to the website.

To purchase a ticket in advance, visit Shabbona or White Oak offices, call 815-942-0056, or purchase a ticket at DJ’s BP gas stations or Westside Liquors in Morris.

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