Harlem Wizards coming to Buckeye Local this month

CONNORVILLE – A famous basketball team from Harlem, N.Y. is coming to Buckeye Local High School.

Not, maybe the most famous team that travels around the world performing for basketball fans far and wide, but a famous team, nonetheless.

As a fundraiser for the Panther Roundball Club, the Harlem Wizards will bring their high-flying, entertaining brand of basketball to the Ohio Valley on Nov. 22 to face a team comprised of Buckeye Local teachers, coaches and administrators.

“We wanted to do something within our communities to bring everyone together to enjoy a fun night with their families,” Buckeye Local head basketball coach Greg Haberfield said. “I conducted some research and talked to some other coaches and we thought that this would tie right into the start of basketball season.”

Tickets for the event are currently on sale at Buckeye Local High School, North Elementary, South Elementary and West Elementary Schools for the game, which will tip off at 7 p.m. The cost of the tickets does go up if not purchased in advance.

“We’re hoping that everyone will come out and support our student-athletes and have a little fun in the process,” Haberfield said. “Creating a positive community atmosphere can really go a long way in improving everyone’s outlook and morale.”

The Wizards played a full schedules of shows. This year’s season is being called, the “Fanomenal Fandemonium” tour.

While there’s an actual game that’s held, it’s not a highly competitive game. The premise of the Wizards’ shows, which started in 1962, is using basketball as a vehicle for entertainment.

According to a press release, Wizards Team President Todd Davis said, “We have an innovative and wildly creative group of players and staff who thrive on the challenge of giving the fans something never seen before.”

Haberfield, who is embarking on his first season as head coach, began working on bringing this show to the Ohio Valley in the middle of the summer.

“We were limited in dates due to the team’s travel schedule, but I believe that it will work out for the best to kick start basketball season,” Haberfield said.

The Wizards have helped raise funds for schools and other non-profit organizations in 350 communities in the United States, according to the release. All told, they’ve helped raise more than $1.5 million.

On top of the game, Haberfield also indicated that Wizards’ players will spend the day in the area and visit all of the Buckeye Local Elementary Schools.

“They’ll go around to the schools and conduct an assembly, which I feel is very important for our students to experience,” Haberfield said.

It’s hard to predict what group of Wizards players will be at Buckeye Local because the team is booked for at least two other shows that same evening.

Haberfield is still working to finalize the Buckeye Local roster, but he’d like a mix of members of the entire staff.

“As far as team members, we are still compiling a list of teachers, principals, etc. We are continuing to get all the people we can to be involved in this fundraiser.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact (740) 391-4063.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com