At 6 p.m. on Feb. 22, the Conway Noon Lions Club will be sponsoring the Harlem Ambassadors Basketball Show at Hendrix College’s Wellness and Athletic Center.
The Ambassadors will be playing the Toad Suck Lions, a team of local all-stars who will be coached by Arkansas basketball legends Don Dyer, Cliff Garrison, and Marvin Delph.
The Harlem Ambassadors, a talented group of college-educated athletes, provide an entertaining evening of basketball with lots of skilled ballhandling, high-flying slam dunks, hilarious comedy routines, and crowd interaction. Their show, designed to be fun for all, is professional in all respects and the Ambassadors, besides providing wholesome family entertainment, are good citizens, willing role models for youth and promote staying in school, staying off drugs and racial harmony.
Some of the Ambassadors were profiled in a previous article. Here are some more:
Oliver Burbage, one of the team’s point guards, is 6-foot-0 and has a degree in sports management from Salem International University. A native of South Philadelphia, he was named Most Improved Player in high school, was drafted 21st overall in a Philadelphia semipro league and was voted as an all-star at Salem International.
While at Salem International, Burbage was on the dean’s list for three consecutive semesters. He notes that his mother raised him as a single parent and "showed me how to be strong and survive in life." He says that the biggest factor that has made him who he is today is "giving my life to Christ Jesus and never giving up on what I wanted to become in life." He shares that the best advice he has received was the statement by his mother that "If you fail to prepare, then you’re preparing to fail."
Marquette Knight, one of the team’s dunkers, stands 6-4 and is from Nashville, Tenn. He has a degree in sports management from Virginia International College. He was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week during the 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012 seasons.
He says that the biggest factor that has made him who he is today is: "wanting better things in life, being successful, and helping people along the way." His advice to young people is that they should strive to "grow up to be a productive citizen of society."
Chanice Smith, from Corpus Christi, Texas, is one of the team’s understudy show performers. She is 5-7 and majored in Finance and Banking at Sam Houston State University.
While at Sam Houston State, she helped lead the school to its first conference title and was the 14th Bearkat to score 1,000 points during her collegiate career. Her parents are her role models because "they have taught me how to love God and myself." Her advice to young people is for them to "resist being peer-pressured into being less than you are."
The Conway Noon Lions Club is an all-volunteer organization and no Lion earns a penny for his community service, just the satisfaction that comes from helping others.
Tickets for the game can be purchased in advance at all Faulkner County First Security Bank, Simmons First National Bank, and Summit Bank branches. Tickets are also available at Gary Cox, CPA (811 Parkway); the Log Cabin Democrat; and at the Faulkner County Library. Advance tickets for students are $1, seniors (55 and over) are $3, and adult tickets are $5. Children, 4 and under will be admitted free. Tickets will cost $1 more on game night.
This event is one of the club’s fundraisers and proceeds from the game will be used by the Conway Noon Lions Club to assist blind and visually-impaired citizens of Conway and Faulkner County who cannot afford eye care.
Further information about the Lions Club and the event can be obtained from Jim Davidson at 450-7743.