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'You can do things that are impactful'

Zoe Greszler • Mar 24, 2019 at 6:00 PM

The Norwalk Elementary PTO will host a fundraiser basketball game between the Harlem Wizards and a team made up of Norwalk City Schools teachers and principals, as well as community members.

The game is slated for 7 p.m. Monday, April 1 at Norwalk High School. Tickets can be purchased online at harlemwizards.com. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets will be available at the game.

Norwalk team members include Tyler Smith, Jen Swartz, Scott Spettle, Gary Swartz, Adam Kreischer, Chris Jackson, Tom King, Frank Van Dresser, Kari Smith, Dave Daniels, Mindy Colwell-Denman, Jon Kijowski, Luke McCoy, Nick Lee, Stefanie Lee, Wes Sellers and Kyle Smith.

Harlem Wizards player Dwayne “Swoop” Simpson told the Reflector the game is more than a fundraiser, although he said that’s an important part of it as well.

“The impact of these games is great,” Simpson said. “It’s a community event; it brings everyone together. The impact, that’s what’s most rewarding about it. The gratitude on their face — I love being a part of that.”

The entertaining show of tricks and fun holds more weight, also teaching kids life lessons he said. 

“You get to impact kids and the community in a positive way every day,” he said of his “wonderful” job. “And kids are the most genuine people. We get to go to schools and talk to them about setting goals, achieving them and really we’re just affirming what their parents and teachers all tell them, but for some reason when you say it, they get it.”

One of the lessons “Swoop” teaches children is one he tried to apply himself: “You can’t do things perfectly, but you can do things that are impactful.”

Cindy Frankart, president of the Norwalk Elementary PTO, said the organization chose the Harlem Wizards event because it was something they didn’t think had been done locally and was one that the whole family could enjoy. 

“It’s a great way to raise money to support the wonderful teachers and staff at our schools,” she said. “This program has some of our wonderful community leaders playing against some amazing basketball players. Plus it’s just a nice night out.”

There will be a free autograph session with the Wizards after the game. Students grades in kindergarten through sixth grade must be accompanied by an adult. There will also a 50/50 raffle.

The Harlem Wizards basketball team was created in 1962. The Harlem Wizards are not primarily focused on winning games. Instead, their aim is to entertain the crowd using a variety of basketball tricks and alley oops. They perform fundraisers at local schools for students and the rest of the community, displaying their fancy trickery through dribbling, passing, shooting and dunking.

The audience is not only there to watch the Wizards, but also to participate in the show. The Wizards get the crowd involved, often bringing children out onto the floor to be part of a basketball trick or a comedy act.

For more information, email [email protected]

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