Hall County Hoopsters
vs. Harlem Wizards
When: 7 tonight
Where: Flowery Branch High School
Tickets: 3 and under, free; Students: $10 advanced purchase. $12 at the gate; Adults: $12 advanced purchase, $15 at the gate
On one bench sits guys named Broadway, A-Train and Trickz; on the other bench a slew of assistant coaches and faculty members that have never practiced as a team. Yep, this game should be entertaining.
On Saturday at Flowery Branch High, the Harlem Wizards will take on the newly-formed Hall County Hoopsters, a team made up of assistant basketball coaches, principals and teachers, who will play the role of the Washington Generals.
"We have a common goal to make it a family fun event," said Flowery Branch assistant coach Robert Alfonso, who will play in the game. "We’re not the headliners, we’re just extra bodies."
And how have those extra bodies prepared for the game? Not by practicing.
"I can vouch for some people that have practiced, but I haven’t," Alfonso said. "My practice is a chicken bisquit in the morning, lunch and a big dinner."
Despite the lack of practice, the Hoopsters will have some talent on their team. Gainesville assistant coach Jemele Hester, Chestatee assistant Danielle Cleveland and Alfonso all have experience playing competitive basketball, and the other players like Flowery Branch soccer coach Katie Scali and cross country coach Jimmy Sorrells are fit enough to stay on the court. They have the athletes, but head coach Duke Mullis will have his hands full trying to keep the score close, especially when you take in to consideration the team’s offensive and defensive philosophies.
"Whoever gets an open shot will shoot it," Alfonso said of the team’s game plan on offense.
And on defense?
"We’re gonna go with ‘get out of the way’ because you’re gonna get dunked on and you don’t want to get embarrased," Alfonso said.
Flowery Branch is just another stop on the Wizards’ tour of the country. They played at West Forsyth on Thursday and will play exhibition games in 13 different states this year.
While Alfonso doesn’t believe the game will be close, he knows it will be entertaining.
"I expect it to be pretty fun," he said. "We’re just fulfilling everybody’s thirst for basketball in this area.
"Since Hall County is a basketball-hungry area, we thought having this event was a no-brainer."