On Saturday, April 9, at the gymnasium, the Harlem Ambassadors took on the Rotary Spokes, a select All-Star team put together by the Rotary Club of Westborough. The charity game was played before a crowd of about 750.
The proceeds from the game help fund the Rotary Club of Westborough scholarships and local grants that they give out annually. More information on these may be found on the group’s website.
The Ambassadors were formed in 1997 and have toured all 50 states and 19 different countries. Their rollicking show family entertainment wrapped around some fantastic basketball. They also send a message to the kids in the audience to stay in school, stay off drugs and foster racial harmony.
The Ambassadors were fronted by diminutive 4’6" guard Tiffara Steward, who kept the crowd entertained with a non-stop, good natured banter. She was “miked up” for the contest and provided a constant and funny monologue.
Rotary members Jessica Thomas and Paul McGrath recruited some of the best basketball talent in town. Among the stars was Westborough Patch’s own , who was inducted into Methuen High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame twice. The team was coached by Jack Donovan, who himself played basketball for the University of Miami and was a player and coach in the Marine Corps.
The game was a fun, spirited affair. The Ambassadors are there for laughs as well as buckets, and there was always time for the occasional and time honored skits such as the “WWE Takedown” of Pastor John Taylor who was playfully mugged up by both Steward and Crystal Jackson. Then, as he was shooting a foul shot, he had his shorts pulled up to almost his chin! Ouch….great focus, John!
The Ambassadors put on quite a show with their basketball talents, draining 3 point shots as well as dunking the ball with authority. Both LaMarvon Jackson and Leon Sewell, the celebrated dunkers of the team, put on a display to the delight of the fans. In fact, one dunk by Sewell was done with such force, it knocked one of the supports for the basket down, leaving it hanging in front of the net and forcing the game remainder into a half court affair.
As for the rest of the game, after trailing at halftime 44-25, the Rotary Spokes made a run and closed the gap to 58-50. It did not last long, as the Ambassadors pulled away down the stretch securing a 75-60 win.
After the game, the Ambassadors signed autographs and posed for pictures with the kids.