Spectators can expect to see 50 high-flying slam dunks during a Harlem Ambassadors game. The Ambassadors will take on the Sartell Slamdunkers, a team of local challengers, in a comedy basketball game hosted by the Sartell Lions Club Saturday, Sept. 29 at Sartell High School.”
by Dennis Dalman
A team of local challengers, including Sartell Mayor Joe Perske, will take on the Harlem Ambassadors when they perform a comedic basketball game at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 at Sartell High School.
Other celebrity challengers, members of the Sartell Slamdunkers, will include police officers Dan Whitson and Adam VandeVrede. Both officers have worked extensively with Sartell youth, including drug-and-alcohol prevention programs – a topic dear to the hearts of the Harlem Ambassadors, who emphasize the importance of avoiding addictions and staying in school.
Other Sartell “celebrities,” including teachers, coaches and athletes, have promised to join the team but have not formerly signed up yet. State Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell) is another celebrity guests who will be at the show.
Based in Fort Collins, Colo., the Ambassadors are going to perform in Sartell as a fundraiser for the Sartell Lions Club. Its teams are comprised of ex-professional basketball players and college players who – besides entertaining big crowds – bring positive messages for youth.
Through its two upcoming fundraisers (see related story), the Sartell Lions Club is raising money for a shelter in Sartell Lions Community Park and for other good causes in the city – many of them school-related.
“They (Harlem Ambassadors) contacted me, and we (Sartell Lions) thought it would be a good show, with good exposure for the Lions and lots of fun for families, especially the children,” said Tania Domeier, events coordinator for the Sartell Lions Club.
Advance tickets may be purchased at all area Coborn’s and Cash Wise grocery stores, at the Blue Line Bar and Grill in Sartell or at the door the day of the performance for $1 more per price of each ticket.
The Harlem Ambassadors were formed in 1998 and now consist of two teams that have performed hundreds of games for non-profit organizations in 50 states and 20 foreign countries. The teams are famous for their high-flying slam dunks, as well as all manner of loony high-jinx and visual surprises during the games, which combine superb athletic skills with slapstick comic routines. Its players come from colleges such as Tuskegee University, the University of Phoenix, Vermont Tech and the Southwest Assembly of God University. The inception for the Harlem Ambassadors came from a sports marketer in Fort Collins, Colo. named Dale Moss.
Last year, the two teams performed at 219 events, in addition to 115 events for youth where the players brought their messages of not doing drugs, staying in school and refraining from bullying other students.
The Ambassadors have also performed extensively – at least 300 shows – at military bases in places as far away as Kosovo, Japan, Iceland and Germany.