Teachers, staff and alumni from the Affton School District are gearing up to take on the Harlem Wizards basketball show team Friday night.
Patch interviewed an Affton administrator, a principal and a counselor about the big game. Here’s what they had to say:
Dr. Christine Powers, Mesnier Primary School Principal
Powers said she is ready to dust off her basketball skills from her days playing forward at St. Bonaventure University in New York and coaching teams at the University of Indianapolis and Eastern Illinois University.
“It should be a fun community evening, so I definitely wanted to be part of it,” Powers said. “I’m sure (the Harlem Wizards) will be teasing us a little bit. It should be interesting.”
Powers said she joined the team to support the Mothers’ Club, which helps bring extra materials and supplies to Mesnier. At the school, teachers are getting students excited for the game by showing them a promotional video of the Harlem Wizards playing basketball.
“We are trying to talk it up to the kids,” she said. “We have a good team from Mesnier, a good mix.”
Mike Fitzgerald, Rogers Middle School Counselor
As a coach and former athlete at Affton High School, Fitzgerald was given a big task: setting the line up.
“I just tried to have a representative from each building in each quarter” so students and parents will always have someone they know in the game he said.
There is a little strategy involved. For the first, second and fourth quarters, the Harlem Wizards will be doing tricks and having fun with their opponents. But during the third quarter, the team buckles down and plays some real basketball.
“I just took all the best players and put them in the third quarter,” Fitzgerald said.
The rest of the game, the goal will be to just have fun.
“The kids seem really excited, of course, because theya re going to see all their teachers get dunked on and get embarrassed,” Fitzgerald said. “It should be a fun night.”
Fitzgerald said he offered to organize the team as a way of saying “Thank you” to the Affton School Mother’s Club, the event’s organizer, for supporting his team. The club bought the basketball program at Affton High School a Shoot Away, an expensive piece of equipment that makes Fitzgerald’s practices faster and more efficient.
“Without them I wouldn’t be able to get it,” he said. “Anything to help them out, I was more than willing.”
Dr. Travis Bracht, Assistant Superintendent
Meet your coach and Affton’s newest administrator, Travis Bracht.
Bracht has coached track and cross country and played basketball as a middle and high school student, so he said he hopes to draw on those experiences to lead Affton’s team.
Bracht said he has two goals: “Make sure that everybody has a good time…and that everybody is injury-free and can make it back to work on Monday.”
This is Bracht’s first year with the district, and he said he was “excited” by the level of participation he’s seen in the mother’s club and from his staff.
“Here is a parent organization trying to do something productive for the school, and I think the teachers appreciate that and want to help,” Bracht said. “Every time you step into a new organization, the sooner you can attend things like this and get involved and show folks you are willing to support their efforts, it goes a long way to building relationships.”
Find out more!
The game starts at 7 p.m. on September 21 at Affton High School.
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