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Articles

Harlem Ambassadors Come To Ojai

By Logan Hall

Ojai’s Hometown Heroes took on the Harlem Ambassadors professional, traveling basketball team in a wild exhibition game at Nordhoff High School last weekend. According to event coordinators, more than 800 tickets were sold, filling the Nordhoff gym with shouting fans cheering on their Heroes and the Ambassadors alike.
Before the match began, the Ambassadors warmed up with jaw-dropping moves evoking oohs and ahs from the crowd, and the Heroes appeared to be ready to try to tackle the challenge of competing against world-class athletes.
“We’re pretty excited,” said event coordinator and Heroes player Aaron Fabian. “It’s not every day you get to play with pro ball players.”
Much like their more well-known counterpart, the Harlem Globe Trotters, the Ambassadors don’t just play basketball, they put on a show. Out of two hours of show time, there was little more than 20 minutes of basketball. The rest of the time the Ambassadors spent interacting with the crowd or running through rehearsed skits with each other and the Heroes.
In the few minutes of actual competition, the Ambassadors seemed to really showcase their professional basketball skills with towering athletes making the kind of shots that could be seen in a championship game on ESPN. Reverse dunks, behind-the-back passes, and the ever-popular ally-oop were some of the crowd-pleasing moves the Ambassadors displayed against the Heroes.
The Heroes fought valiantly, made some great plays and scored some good shots, but they were no match for the Ambassadors, who perform more than 220 shows a year all around the globe. By the end of the night, the Heroes had scored 25 points to the Ambassadors 88, although the Heroes were spotted 40 points leaving a final score of 65 to 88. The Heroes appeared to have a great time in the process and did manage to bring some fire to the match. “It feels like I was back in high school again,” said Heroes team member Greg Pena after the game. “I can barely move now, but it was a lot of fun.”
The theme of the game seemed to be that even though the odds were stacked against them, the Heroes were still able to put up a fight against professional athletes who make a living playing basketball.
“They were good competitors,” said Ambassadors No. 31 LaRon Bradley. “They didn’t lay down. It was pretty fun.”
The Ambassadors are all about sending positive messages to kids and adults alike. All throughout the show, the team’s guard and what the Ambassadors refer to as their “show player,” Lade Majic, had a wireless microphone system and would regularly make comments to the crowd about the importance of staying in school and saying no to drugs. “It’s an honor and a blessing to get to send out our message,” said Majic in between signing autographs for kids after the show. “The kids look up to us. I take being a role model, seriously, and I believe in what I say.”
Before their show at Nordhoff, the Ambassadors stopped at Matilija Junior High to perform a brief display, and send their message to both the seventh and eighth grade students. “It was a lot of fun for everyone,” said Matilija assistant principal John Schweller. “They had a really good message to send to the kids, and they just have a great energy. We really enjoyed it.”

Ojai’s Hometown Heroes took on the Harlem Ambassadors professional, traveling basketball team in a wild exhibition game at Nordhoff High School last weekend. According to event coordinators, more than 800 tickets were sold, filling the Nordhoff gym with shouting fans cheering on their Heroes and the Ambassadors alike. Before the match began, the Ambassadors warmed up with jaw-dropping moves evoking oohs and ahs from the crowd, and the Heroes appeared to be ready to try to tackle the challenge of competing against

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