Relay basketball game slam dunk

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Escambia County High School varsity basketball team put on a show last Thursday at the expense of the Cancer Crushers.

The Relay for Life charity basketball game, sponsored by The Atmore Advance, pitted the Blue Devils that advanced to the Regional Tournament at the Mitchell Center on the campus of the University of South Alabama in February against a group of “celebrities” from the community to raise money for cancer research. When it was all said and done, nearly $700 was raised for the great cause through ticket sales and concessions.

The event was a great opportunity for the student body at ECHS to witness community members teaming together for a good cause. It not only gave them a chance to get out of class and enjoy “free” time, but also proved to provide some laughs with a few Crushers stumbling and falling down the court and some getting dunked on by athletes nearly half their age.

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The Cancer Crushers team was comprised of ECHS coaches Andy Lambert, Andy Richey and Darryl Otwell; Alabama Wing House owner Ronnie Cloud; FNB&T’s Lance Blackburn; United Bank’s Dale Johnson; pastor Bernard Bishop; Atmore firefighter Eugene Edwards; Atmore Area YMCA manager Ross Terry, Advance sports editor Chandler Myers and myself.

This group of men took the charity basketball game idea and ran with it. Not a single one of them second guessed being apart of the event and put forth their best efforts in not only making sure funds were raised for the event, but putting on a good show for the student body. With some more practice time and some additional oxygen, the Cancer Crushers, which were upended by more than 30 points, would definitely give the Blue Devils a tougher fight.

In addition to the players, several businesses and individuals helped make the event a success. From planning and set up to game time work and clean up, the event would not have been possible without the help of many.

We at The Advance would first off like to thank Escambia County High School principal Zickeyous Byrd and assistant principals Dale Jones and Sarah Watkins, along with their entire staff, for use of the school’s gymnasium for the game, for allowing the student body some “free” time before Spring Break and offering any kind of assistance we may need before, during and after the event.

In addition, Tri-County Sporting Goods owner Allen Walston sponsored the Cancer Crushers’ team T-shirts, Pepsi Cola of Atmore donated soft drinks, Food World and Alabama Wing House donated chips and Fastlane gas station owner Ricky White donated drinks. Also, WPFL 105.1 FM host Lou Vickery served as the game’s announcer, ECHS coach Jayson Shadburn refereed the game, assistant basketball coach James Lee made sure the gymnasium was clean and ran the scoreboard during the game and the school’s Kappa League members assisted with collecting tickets at the door and helped The Advance’s office manager Allison Brown and advertising consultant Sandi Boone in the concession stand.

Without the support of all of the individuals involved in the event and the student body for buying tickets and purchasing concessions, the basketball game would not have been a success. For that, we thank you all.

Adam Prestridge is publisher of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.