MOUNT VERNON — It isn’t your grandfather’s brand of basketball.
The Harlem Ambassadors arrived at Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Monday night to entertain with their unique blend of hoops, music and fun.
Hundreds packed the gym to watch the Ambassadors play members of the Mount Vernon Rotary Club. The game itself was pretty one-sided — the final score was 84-37 in favor of the Ambassadors — but the competition took a back seat to trick plays and dunks.
“We bring a fun, clean game of ball,” said Ambassadors coach and performer Sandie Prophete, who goes by the nickname Lade Majic. “I love what I do. We are quality people who love to play basketball.”
The Ambassadors spent most of the game dunking on the Rotary players. The rest of the time, they “confused” their opponents with hijinks, such as doing a line dance, switching the basketball out for a football or tackling one of the Rotary players, delivering an elbow drop and pinning him for a three-count. There were also games with kids between periods.
Monday’s show was a result of nearly six months of planning by the Rotary Club. After first contact was made in April, the club spent months gathering sponsors.
Then the tickets went on sale. One thousand tickets were available. Only 40 were left by showtime.
“We were so afraid that nobody was going to show up,” said Mount Vernon Rotary Club president Clyde Conley. “We were so relieved to see people here.”
The community has done its part to chip in. Holiday Inn Express donated the rooms for the Ambassadors. And MVNU donated the use of its gym free of charge.
“That was very, very, very gracious,” said former Rotary Club president Vickie Sant.
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