Basketball show coming to town

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Moffat County High School basketball coach Mike LeWarne is honing his hoops skills.

Freshman basketball player Kendel Fawcett is selling tickets faster than she can get them.

Athletic Director Jim Loughran is making his list and checking it twice.

All three are preparing for the Harlem Ambassadors to come to Craig at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 14, at Moffat County High School for a brand of basketball that claims "it's better than your grandfather's basketball show."

The Ambassadors are similar to that other team from Harlem that "trots" around the globe, but they are based out of Fort Collins and they aim to put on a younger, fresher and livelier basketball show. According to the Web site www.harlemambassadors.com spectators can expect to see "high flying slam dunks, dazzling ballhandling and comedy routines led by a woman player."

If LeWarne has anything to do with it, the only high-flying dazzling the crowd is going to see will be from the team of Craig greats.

"The crowd is going to get to see some of the best basketball players they've ever seen," he said. "Oh yeah and the Ambassadors are going to be there, too."

While he wished to keep the line up a surprise until Tuesday night, LeWarne did give some clues about his All-Star team.

"We've got a big man in the middle, and I mean BIG," he said. "We've got a lights-out shooter who hasn't missed since Clinton was in office and we've got a guard who is the quickest and best conditioned player this side of the Mississippi.

"As for the rest of us ... all the extra weight we carry around makes us stronger."

Fawcett, who along with the other MoCo winter athletes, is selling tickets for the event. The freshman had to stop by Loughran's office Wednesday to request more tickets two days after receiving her first batch.

"Something like this doesn't come to Craig very often," Fawcett said. "So my family and people at my parents' work were pretty excited about it and I had to ask for more tickets."

Loughran found out about the Ambassadors through a flyer in the mail and he thought it would be a good chance to bring something unique to the community as well as raise some additional funds for the athletic department.

"A big part of having this is that it's a community-oriented event and will give people who might not come to the high school for events a reason to come," he said. "All of the proceeds from the tickets will go toward a new weight room."

There are 600 tickets available for the event and they are available at Brass Key Realty, the Bargain Barn, from MCHS winter athletes and at the activities office in the high school. They are $6 for students and $8 for adults before the event. Ticket prices increase $2 at the door.

"We've talked about getting a new weight room for a while now and its time to take action and get it done," Loughran said. "When this building was built in '89, a weight room was a second thought and our current facility is almost too small to be safe for those using it."

If all goes well, Loughran hopes to raise more than $4,000 from the Harlem Ambassadors game to get the funding started.

"It would be nice to have a newer weight room," Fawcett said. "It gets really crowded with just 10 of us in there."

As far as the game itself, it will be two quarters of "fun" basketball and two quarters of competitive basketball. At halftime the Ambassadors will interact with the crowd and their purposes and goals.

"I really think this will be an entertaining event for anybody in the community," Loughran said. "They might even get to see me break out the old hook shoot."

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