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Basketball Wizards’ visit to Indian Creek will benefit band

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Looking for an entertaining game of basketball while supporting a good cause?

If so, you might want to be at Indian Creek High School on Saturday evening.

The Harlem Wizards, a national touring team of former college players, will face the Indian Creek All-Stars, a team of teachers, staff, administrators and students from the Indian Creek community.

The Wizards, often compared to the more famous Harlem Globetrotters, combine their high-level basketball skills with a brand of family entertainment featuring slapstick comedy.

The event benefits the band programs at Indian Creek schools.

Band director Amy Heavilin said the Wizards, who previously performed at Indian Creek, have proved to be a popular fundraising draw.

“They came here two years ago in the spring of 2012,” Heavilin said. “They came, and we made money and had a great night for the community. They have the whole thing down to a science as to how the game works and how to entertain people.”

Heavilin said the game itself will be a combination of basketball-themed comedy routines and at least a quarter of serious basketball. The Wizards’ roster consists of former college players, most of whom stand well over 6 feet tall and, judging by the team’s promotional video, are highly skilled.

The players on the touring team were selected in part for their ability in performing ball-handling tricks, long-distance shooting and highlight-reel dunks.

The Indian Creek All-Stars will include a few “ringers,” which is also part of the program.

“We’ll have about 22 players on the team to rotate in and out,” Heavilin said. “Plus, we’ll have some extra players we’ve recruited, which is good because some of us haven’t played legitimate basketball since we were high schools students, and we’re in our 30s and 40s now.”

Heavilin, in her seventh year as band director for the school system, said that the rapid growth of the student body at Indian Creek has taxed the resources available to the marching and concert bands at the high school and the concert band at the middle school.

“Since I’ve been here, the marching band size has tripled (to 75) and the concert band size has doubled (to 140 between the high school and middle school),” she said. “In this day and age there’s not a lot of extra money in a school’s budget. This is needed for the upkeep of instruments, and we have a lot of students who want to join but are not able to afford instruments. Plus, some of the instruments like tubas and percussion, the repair bills are hard to keep up with.

“It can make it hard to even buy sheet music. We want to make sure every kid who wants to play in the band has a chance.”

The game, which includes a halftime show, special deals at the concession stand, raffles and Wizards’ souvenirs, will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday in the high school gym. Tickets may be purchased in advance at First Merchants Bank in Trafalgar or online at harlemwizards.com. Prices are $8 for students and military, $10 general admission and $15 reserved seating. At the door, students and military can pay $10 while general admission is $12.

Heavilin said those attending are welcome to donate old instruments to the Indian Creek music program.

The game is being presented by Indian Creek Band Boosters and sponsored by McDonald’s of Trafalgar, First Merchants Bank of Trafalgar and Holiday Inn Express of Martinsville.

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