Harlem Wizards Took On 'Newtown Strong'

Wearing green T-shirts members of "Newtown Strong," an assembled basketball team of people associated with the Newtown school district and town, made their way into the gymnasium at Newtown High School on Saturday, January 19, to the sound of applause.

The team, coached by Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Gejda, played the Harlem Wizards during the evening event that First Selectman Pat Llodra said provided great energy.

The Harlem Wizards trick basketball game was coordinated by NHS counselor Bret Nichols, with the support of Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson.

All tickets for the event were complimentary and Sandy Hook families were offered the opportunity to reserve tickets early.

More than just a basketball game, the event is a comedic take on a regular basketball game, with lots of slam dunks, athletic tricks, and humor for the entire family.

The Harlem Wizards are a professional entertainment basketball team. They have toured the world with a team comprising players with illustrious collegiate and professional basketball careers. Each player brings unique talent and humor to the court.

Mr Nichols welcomed all in attendance at the start of the event, and thanked and welcomed the Harlem Wizards to Newtown.

Before long, after each team was introduced, Dr Gejda was asked to pick her starting players, and both teams took to the court.

Mrs Llodra was charged with throwing the ball in the air at the start of the game, and grandsons Jack and Nick helped.

The Newtown Strong team was made up of teachers, a principal, a police officer, and others associated with the district.

Board of Education member Cody McCubbin was one of the people who donned a green shirt for the Newtown Strong team.

"I think it was great for the kids," said Mr McCubbin, after the event.

The evening, which included many laughs from the audience and game participants, went well, he said

"I'm just glad everyone had fun," Mr McCubbin said.

Despite some generous scoring help for the Newtown Strong team, the Harlem Wizards won by the end of the evening.

Photo: Eliza Hallabeck

Members of the assembled Newtown Strong team faced off with the Harlem Wizards basketball team in Newtown High School's gymnasium.

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