There will very likely never be a better opportunity to see your teachers get dunked on, kids of North Hall.
If you didn’t know there was a Parent Teacher Organization Expo, you do now. And it’s thanks to that expo that Gainesville will get the chance to see the Harlem Wizards perform at North Hall High School.
The Wizards, similar to but not associated with the Harlem Globetrotters, will play against a team of Mount Vernon Exploratory School teachers at 7 p.m. on March 5. General admission tickets are $12 and students are $10. You can get special reserved seating close to the court, along with a free team poster, for $20.
“We know that North Hall loves basketball,” said Meredith West, PTO president at Mount Vernon.
The game will serve as a fundraiser for the school and West is hoping it appeals not just to North Hall, but the entire county. They’ve tried to raise funds for the PTO fund through events like a sock hop and bingo, but haven’t had as much success as they’d hoped.
“We thought this would kind of jazz up our fundraising as well as bring the North Hall community and really the whole community together,” West said.
That’s exactly what Eric “Broadway” Jones said the Harlem Wizards will do. Jones is a player coach for the Wizards and said everyone in Gainesville, young and old, is in for a treat
“It's all about families, entertaining, interaction and bringing a unique twist on basketball,” Jones said. “The avid basketball fan or even the novice can enjoy something about the show. You don't have to have an in-depth understanding of the game to know this is a fun deal.”
They’ll be doing dunks and trick shots throughout the entire game against faculty and staff from Mount Vernon. And West said there will be a few special appearances from North Hall High.
“The entertainment value is the same as the Globetrotters, but the biggest difference is this is a more intimate show,” Jones said. “It's right there in the community, at a high school, where the kids can actually reach out and touch the players who they look up to, idolize and want to be like. You're not up in the top row. You're right there. Every seat is a good seat in the show.”
When West was at the PTO expo, that’s exactly what she saw. She knew the show would be exciting and bring something different to the school.
She was tired of the same fundraisers every year selling gift wrap or candles, so she thought having the Wizards come to town would draw more people to help benefit Mount Vernon.
The money raised will go into a fund that goes 100% back to the school.
The funds could help purchase supplies and other items needed for the classroom, or help do something for the grade level as a whole.
“I know a ton comes out of the teacher’s pocket no matter what we do, because they love their kids dearly and it shows,” West said. “But we like to at least try and curb some of that.”
The money goes to other things, too — big and small. Last year, the PTO was able to purchase a new piece of playground equipment and even some Chromebooks. But they also keep the tea stocked up in the teacher’s lounge.
So whether you’re there to support the school or just enjoy the show, West is hoping it’s enjoyed by everybody.
“We try really hard to use our funds wisely and it all goes back to the school of course,” West said. “We’re excited to see this show and how it can help the school.”