Players prepare for upcoming basketball game

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tim Parsons prepares to shot a free-throw as team members applaud. -- FRANK A. DAVIS | TIDEWATER NEWS

Tim Parsons prepares to shot a free-throw as team members applaud. — FRANK A. DAVIS | TIDEWATER NEWS

Frank A. Davis

FRANKLIN—College basketball teams are preparing for the upcoming NCAA basketball tournaments that will be held in various cities though out the United States.

Preparations are also taking place right here in Franklin for the area’s own version of the Big Dance. Or you could say the “Big Laugh.”

A nationally known basketball team, The Harlem Ambassadors, is headed for Southampton County High School Gym on Saturday, March 22, to play in an exhibition basketball game or should you say show. The Ambassadors are a professional team that provides a show basketball game that is a fresh, family-friendly community fundraiser perfect for these tough economic times. Formed in 1998, the team has played games in all 50 states and in 20 foreign countries.

Frank Rickman, president of Franklin United Way, has been charged with the responsibility to form a team to play against this team. He has scouted the entire Franklin area and personally assembled an all-star basketball team that will compete against this nationally recognized team.

“The United Way is suffering from lack of donations,” Rickman said. “All charitable giving is down for everyone. It is our hope that this game will help our agency, whereas we will be able to continue full funding to our 25 local agencies.”

Playing on the United Way Heroes team are Greg Scott, Cover 3; Rob Rickman, Rickman Painting; Danny Dillon, The Rock Church: Robby Cutchins, Bobby’s Tire & Auto Care; Kenny Kindred, International Paper; Dave Lease, Franklin Public Schools; Randy Martin, City of Franklin; Nancy DeLeanardo, Councill Financial; Karen Powell, Opportunity Inc.; Tim Parsons, Franklin Automotive; Jim Foreman, Sedley Baptist Church; and Phil Wright, Southampton Memorial Hospital.

“We hope that the community will come out and support this fundraiser whereas so we will continue to be able to help our local agencies,” said Rickman, who will also coach the team.

The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. and concession items will be on sale. Ticket prices are for adults are $10 advance and $12 at the door. School students are asked to pay $8 advance and $10 at the door. Children 4 and under are admitted free of cost. Tickets are on sale at Fred’s Restaurant, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Simply Divine and the Franklin YMCA. Tickets are also available at the United Way office in downtown Franklin. Anyone with questions or who would like to be a sponsor of the event are encouraged to call 569-8929.