Harlem Wizards work their magic in West Milford

Paradise Knoll School fundraiser entertains community

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  • The full house crowd marveled at the Wizards and their tricks, not to mention their athleticism.

  • One of the lucky ids chosen from the stands to have some fun with the Wizards.

  • You won't get wet!! The Wizards bucket of confetti fools the fans every time...

  • A signed ball! From the Wizards!

  • Photos by Patricia Keller Kids and adults lined up for autographs with the Wizards players. Even after they perform, the Wizards crack up the fans.

The Harlem Wizards Basketball Team showed off their “Tricks-Hoops and Alley-Oops” in an entertaining exhibition game and show, playing the West Milford Warriors team comprised of teachers and administrators from all eight of the district’s schools. The event, a fundraiser sponsored by the Paradise Knoll PTA to fund school enrichment programs, support the district’s technology initiative at the school, and fund cultural arts programs at the school, was a great success, not only in raising funds for the PTA, but also in bringing together the entire community for a fun-filled family event. The West Milford High School gym, where the event was held, was filled to capacity.

Teachers and administrators play ball!

Teachers and administrators on the West Milford Warriors included:

From Paradise Knoll School:

Brian “Live Wire” Leslie- Head Coach

Leighann “Mighty” Misiano

Kim “Miss Slam Dunk” Volz

Katie “The Bonforcer” Bonforte

Karey “Eagle-Eye” Ellard

Sharon “Jump Start” Jensen

Jill “Crunch Time” Cullen

Brittany “B. Bizzle” Bright

Shannon “Slick Ric” Ricker

Shannon Foster

Paul Chiesa

Other team members included:

Stephanie “Pasta Primavera” Primavera-Apshawa

Lindsay “Mrs. Dammers” Dammers-Apshawa

Jaclyn Becker-Apshawa

Dan Novak-Upper Greenwood Lake

Dan Brophy-UGL

Chris ”Dr. Dunk” Jones-Westbrook

Bill “The Truth” Kane-Maple Road

Karyn Reinhold-Marshall Hill

John Finke-Macopin

Andrea “Jonsey” Jones-Macopin

Gary “The Microwave” Stoll-West Milford High School

Paul Gorski-Marshall Hill

In addition to the West Milford school district staff playing in the game, the PKPTA held a “Pay 2 Play” drawing for a member of the community to win a chance to join the West Milford Warriors Team as a player. The winner was Mike Ramaglia.

Tremendous all-district support and participation

In addition to the team members, other staff were on hand as the cheer squad.

“I was happy to see the amount of teachers and administrators that were participating in the game itself and also in the audience," said Interim Superintendent of schools Anthony Riscica. "It certainly brings together the community of our schools. Very good job.”

What fun... and farewellThe Harlem Wizards are no strangers to West Milford, and the joy they bring is undeniable. Kids and adults laugh at their antics and marvel at their athletic talent. This year the Wizards are bidding farewell to their icon Claude "Tojo" Henderson. This will be Tojo's final season on the road with the Wizards. he's called it home for 50 years, having played in more than 5,000 basketball game shows throughout the United States, Canada and South America.

"He is beloved as the gentle giant, with the booming baritone voice. Tojo has inspired the next generation of Wizards teammates with his dedication to entertaining families across the globe," according to the Wizards.

About the Harlem Wizards “Since 1962, the Harlem Wizards have been making history with the happiness, fun, goodwill and excitement they bring. The Harlem Wizards perform for schools, charities, colleges, corporations, communities and private events. Millions of dollars have been raised for non-profit community organizations and charities, while providing amazing high flying and hilarious basketball entertainment for fans of all ages to enjoy," according to www.harlemwizards.com.

It certainly did in West Milford.

For more photos from the event, go to westmilfordmessenger.com.

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