Slamtastic wizardry: The Harlem Wizards dazzle PHS crowd

PELHAM – The Harlem Wizards performed for an excited crowd in the Pelham High School gymnasium on Friday night, March 9, as they took on the Pelham Dream Team in a fun-filled game.

The Dream Team, made up of 15 city leaders, teachers and school administrators, played four eight-minute quarters against the Harlem Wizards. The Harlem Wizards began in 1962 and now travel around the world entertaining audiences for schools and nonprofits, which has resulted in millions being raised for fundraisers.

The Harlem Wizards is a team that incorporates fun tricks and interaction with the crowd into their games.

At various points throughout the game, the ball playing stopped members of the audience played games for chances to win Harlem Wizards merchandise. Impromptu dance sessions and skits throughout the game made the event fun for everyone.

The is the band’s second year hosting the fundraiser. PHS band director Justin Ward said about 400 people attended the event, which was pretty close to last year’s turnout.

“We’re experiencing a lot of growth in the program from the middle to the high school program,” Ward said. “We need new instruments and new uniforms to keep up with the growth.”

Ward said purchasing new instruments will cost $30,000 and new uniforms will cost $75,000.

“We’re trying to do as many fundraisers as possible to raise the money,” he said. “The event has been very successful for us. Large events like this are better than selling stuff or doing small fundraisers.”

Ward said one of the coolest things about the event is that students get to see their teachers and city leaders in a different atmosphere than what they’re used to.

“We hope to start having more community events like this,” Ward said. ‘We’re looking to do about four per year to help the band and to strengthen the community around our schools. This is just the start of what we’re trying to do with the band and the community.”

To see more photos from this event, go to Shelbycountyphotos.com.