Laura Wiens, The Triplicate

Offshoot of Globetrotters will face varsity and faculty players

Comedy on the court will be the name of the game next Wednesday at Del Norte High School when the Harlem Crowns basketball team plays at a fundraiser for graduating seniors.

Monies raised will go toward the annual Safe and Sober event, an all-night celebration for graduating seniors in June that provides a fun drug- and alcohol-free venue.

The Harlem Crowns, an offshoot of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, will play against the school's varsity team members and faculty beginning at 7 p.m.

A scrimmage between 8th-grade boys from Crescent Elk and Smith River will precede the Crowns game at 5:45 p.m.

Tickets are $9 presale and are available at Del Norte Office Supply, or $10 at the door.

The Harlem Crowns basketball team was organized in the late 1950s by Charles Smith, a member of the Harlem Globetrotters for 12 years. After many years of success he sold his franchise to a group of Northern California businessmen. The Crowns will play a total of 150 games this year in the United States, Canada and Asia.

The Crowns are masters at both the sport of basketball and comedic ad libbing.

"We call it 'Clownball,'" said manager Herb Scaife.

According to the team's website, "Probably no other word better describes the type of basketball played by the Harlem Crowns. They go through set gags and regular comic routines, but every game is different. They keep a running line of chatter going through a game and if the fans listen as well as watch, there's many a verbal rib tickler."

For more information about the local event, call Eva Lopez at 954-6738. For general information, visit the Crowns' website atharlemcrownsbasket

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