Harlem Wizards dazzle audience at Helena High School

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–High-flying dunks, tricks, dancing, music and lots of laughs was the scene at Helena High School on Tuesday, Feb. 21, as the Harlem Wizards paid a visit to the school for a fun fundraiser to benefit the Helena High School band.

The Harlem Wizards organization was established in 1962 and since that time has helped organize fundraisers that includes a high-flying interactive show on the basketball court.

Last year, the Harlem Wizards visited more than 400 communities across the United States, while raising more than $2 million, according to the organization’s website.

Kids of all ages and parents packed the Helena High School gym to witness the Harlem Wizards take on the Helena High School “Band-Its” celebrity all-star team consisting of faculty members from Helena schools and other city officials.

The night consisted of the actual basketball game with plenty of laughs added in including skits, dances, funny nicknames, autograph sessions and more.

The Wizards may have won the actual basketball game but in the end, everyone came away a winner as the game helped raise needed funds for the Helena High School band program.

Fourth grader Cohen Register and second grader Amzey Register both attended the Harlem Wizards game and enjoyed everything the night had to offer.

“My favorite part is the game and Broadway is my favorite player,” Cohen said while waiting in line to get a Wizard’s autograph.

Amzey added that her favorite part of the event was the tricks the Wizards display.

Arnold Bernard, known as A-Train on the court, is one of the Harlem Wizards starters who has been with the organization for the last 15 years, said he enjoys putting smiles on kids faces.

“Wherever there is a fundraiser needed we will show up and perform to the best of our abilities,” Bernard, the Bronx, New York native said. “I think just being able to associate with the little kids and putting a smile on their face is the best part. I think they kind of relate to me because I’m almost the same height as some of them not being one of the tall guys on the team.”

Kids who attended the event left with lots of autographs, souvenirs and memories of neat tricks and high-flying dunks they won’t soon forget.

For more information on the Harlem Wizards organization, visit Harlemwizards.com.