ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
The Harlem Wizards encourage the kids to come onto the court before the game to shoot baskets, spin balls, and enjoy their tricks.

By Anne Eickstadt


The Belvidere High School gymnasium was the site of a fundraiser for the BHS Renaissance Club, which works to improve the school climate from the student’s perspective. They plan initiatives to recognize students, faculty, and staff; help students feel welcome; and improve the overall feeling in the building.

This is their second year as a club so they decided to host the Harlem Wizards to raise money to fund different projects that the club feels is important.

The Harlem Wizards is a basketball team created in 1962. The Harlem Wizards are not primarily focused on winning games unlike most basketball teams. Instead, their aim is to entertain the crowd using a variety of basketball tricks and comedy bits. They perform fundraisers at local schools for the students and the community, displaying their fancy moves through dribbling, passing, shooting, and dunking.

Through these fundraisers, they have raised millions of dollars for charitable organizations, schools, and foundations across the world. The Wizards get the crowd involved, often bringing children (and adults) out onto the floor to be part of a basketball trick or a comedy act. Their hijinks are similar to those of the Harlem Globetrotters, who were created in 1926.

The Harlem Wizards Showtime Unit came to Belvidere for this event. Their team members were: Showtime, King Arthur, Smooth, Tomahawk, Hang Time, and Live Action. They brought their MC Big Show Joe.

Belvidere School District 100 fielded a brave group to support the Renaissance Club and play against the Harlem Wizards. The Belvidere Ballers team included: Jeremy Edwards, Jim Friesema, Liz Harris, Jon Kaplan, Dan McNames, Sam Peters, Allison Smith, Brian Swanson, and Josh Tatman of Belvidere High School; Kyle Carbone of Washington Academy; Renee Endress and Tom Chennell of Belvidere North High School; Megan Kaiser and Caitlin McLaughlin of Meehan Elementary School; Rachel Balk of Belvidere South Middle School; and Dr. Dan Woestman, District 100 Superintendent.

The Renaissance Club’s main focus for this fundraiser is to renovate one of the school’s courtyards. They plan to…

For complete article, pick up the May 2 Belvidere daily Republican.

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