• October 21, 2014

Harlem Ambassadors hoop it up

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Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:00 pm

By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

Picture this, five women, all average height, taking on five basketball players, five, male basketball players, and fun was the only way everyone could describe it.

The Harlem Ambassadors took on the Cove Hot Shots Tuesday night. The Cove Hot Shots were a team made up of 19 players sponsored Copperas Cove area businesses.

And for the first time in three years, a fourth of the Cove Hot Shots team was made up of women basketball players.

The five represented the team well scoring the first six points of the game.

Dora Rojas, Wal-Mart's Community Involvement Coordinator, enjoyed her first basketball experience.

"All these strangers. We all got together and are like a family and are having fun," Rojas said.

"It's fun. It's a lot of fun," was all Chamber of Commerce Vice President Betty Price could say while she watched the game from the bench.

Other woman players included Dorothy Brown from Wal-Mart and Michele Williams from Precision Tune Auto Care.

Tuesday night's event proved to be entertaining and enjoyable for everyone who attended.

Brian Cranley, seminary intern for Holy Family Catholic Church, had his fan club at the game.

"The biggest, baddest crowd here," Cranley said jokingly.

One of the funnier moments of the game happened in the fourth quarter.

Gina Hill, Greg Hill's wife, made sure she had her camcorder on record after Ashley Wilson of the Ambassadors pulled his shorts up to his chest, rolled up the legs of his shorts and had him doing a funny dance to help him make his free throw.

After Hill missed three free throws, the Ambassador's announcer James Graham threatened Hill with the prospect of getting a wedgie if he missed another one.

Cove Hot Shots team captain and veteran Kenny Essemburg played for the game for its third year, but was the captain for the first time Tuesday night.

Essemburg said it was difficult at first because he had to delegate responsibilities and make sure everyone had a chance to play, but would be captain again.

Local celebrities and officials for the event were Copperas Cove Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Rose Cameron, Williams/Ledger Elementary School Principal Kevin Cameron and CCISD's Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Student Service's Gail Milligan.

Milligan said she knew absolutely nothing about basketball and studied the "Dummies Guide to Basketball Officiating" before the game.

The Harlem Ambassadors are a pro basketball team who disseminates the positive message of staying drug free and in school.

Alex Coulter, first-year ambassador and Oklahoma native said, "We try to stay positive for the kids, make sure they have positive role models in their life."

"Our message is staying drug free and get your education. If you can't dribble the basketball anymore, you're going to have your education to fall back on. When we're done with the Harlem Ambassadors, playing-wise, we're going to be able to fall back on our careers," Wilson said.

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