Although the throngs of village youngsters didn't get to see their teachers play the world-famous Harlem Wizards in the annual charity basketball game, few if any seemed to notice.
Administrators and parents took the place of the teachers (who elected not to play due to a contract dispute with the district) on Friday night. The Wizards combined high-flying, acrobatic dunks and silky-smooth passing with a humorous performance with a focus on bringing the crowd into the game.
Audience members were summoned to the center court to perform impromptu dance numbers, some youth were swung around by the players, and others extend their arms for big high-fives.
The money raised will go to a joint effort between the school district, Federated HSA and village to promote school safety.
The Ridgewood Education Association (REA) donated $500 to the Federated HSA in lieu of playing the game, lead contract negotiator Laura Grasso said weeks before the event.
(Grasso, however, did participate in the event. She was selected to dance with her husband at center court by a Wizard.)