Canal Winchester teachers, staff and students are getting ready for the big game, but it is not the Final Four.
Canal Winchester faculty and staff members hope to pack the gym at the high school at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, for their big basketball game against the Harlem Wizards, sponsored by the Canal Winchester Rotary Club.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Rotary-sponsored school programs, including the purchase of dictionaries for third-grade students, a leadership award program for selected high school juniors, and a Feed Our Future program that helps children in need of food.
Brent Foley, a past president of the Rotary Club and one of the coordinators for the game, said he hopes the club will raise about $8,000 from the basketball game.
Eventually, the Rotary Club, according to Foley, would like to use money from its fundraisers to add a scholarship component for graduating high school seniors to the list of community service projects it supports.
Canal Winchester schools Superintendent Jim Sotlar is coaching the 20-plus member team, which includes school board members, district staff members and some community officials.
Sotlar said the team's strategy is simple: "Slow the game down, turn it into a half-court game.
"I don't think we can run with them," he added.
Currently, the Harlem Wizards, known for their tricks and slam dunks, have more than 2,800 wins, according to the team website.
However, Sotlar is not ready to throw in the towel. In fact, the community coach is not only ready for the action, he said the Wizards need to be prepared for Team Canal Winchester.
"Yes, they (Harlem Wizards) should be worried. We may have a ringer or two playing for us -- can't give that away just yet," Sotlar said.
While Sotlar was a bit reluctant to announce the talent on his roster, Foley said a couple former Ohio State University women's basketball players may make it on the court for the home team.
Tickets for the game cost $8 for students and $10 for adults if purchased in advance at HarlemWizards.com, the Insurance Circle at 44 S. High St., Canal Winchester, or by calling Theresa Reade at 614-837-5558 or Amy York, York Law Firm, at 614-312-5860.
At the door, tickets will cost $10 for students and $12 for adults.