Sharp Shooters take aim at Harlem All Stars

Wilson alum faces off against Globetrotter legends
by: Submitted Photo Justin Walters, center, and his son pose with Harlem Globetrotters legend Meadowlark
Lemon. Walters will be taking on Lemon on the court for the second time April 10 in a fundraising game for Portland Parks and Recreation and Showtime Athletics.

SOUTHWEST - One of Hillsdale's own will take to the court against some comedic sports greats when Meadowlark Lemon's Harlem All Stars team plays at Portland State University April 10 to help fundraise for Portland Parks and Recreation and Showtime Athletics.

The team, an off set of the world-famed Harlem Globetrotters, tours internationally presenting 'show basketball' exhibitions featuring a repertoire of signature moves and four-point shots.

In each city, they face a team comprising a variety of opponents - from former college players to pastors involved with the charity benefiting from the event.

On April 10, the team will face off against the Portland Sharp Shooters, a team of coaches from PP and R and Showtime Athletics.

Justin Walters, a 1995 Wilson High School graduate and owner of Action Fast Photo in Multnomah, is in charge of marketing for the event and helps facilitate the routine the team will follow during the game. He is also a member of the Sharp Shooters lineup.

A former high school and adult league basketball player, Walters described himself as an avid basketball player and fan.

Having played against the Harlem All Stars in a fundraiser for Westview High School last fall, Walters said the experience is an honor he's looking forward to repeating.

'For me, it was cool playing against Meadowlark Lemon and the other guys,' he said. 'It reminded me of high school with 2,000 people watching your game.'

Meadowlark Lemon - the 'clown prince' of the Globetrotters - played 7,500 games over 24 seasons for the team. In total, he's racked up 16,000 game appearances and in 2003 was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

'They never disclose his age, but he's between 60 and 100, and he still plays and participates,' Walters said.

Other standouts on the Harlem All Stars team include Les 'Pee Wee' Harrison and Tyrone 'Hollywood' Brown.

These three players play in every match, while three additional rotating teams fill up the remaining roster slots.

Walters said Harrison is a Portland local and that he's had the opportunity to practice will him several times in preparation for the April 10 game.

The All Stars' appearance will benefit both Portland Parks and Recreation's and Showtime Athletics' efforts to leave no child behind when it comes to youth sports.

'It's the same ideal for the basketball world,' Walters said. 'The money that's raised will go back to the kids that can't afford to play and help off set some of the costs of the league.'

PP and R facilitates youth basketball league play, and whichever team sells the most tickets to the game will earn a scholarship to play for free during next year's season.

'It's good family fun, and it's a way - for an inexpensive amount of money - for a family to come out there and put money (into) associations that will bring money back into the community,' Walters said of the April 10 event.

He said it's also a chance to see Meadowlark Lemon up close and personal.

'It's honor for him to be around and honor for me to play against him,' Walters said.

Tickets for the game can be purchased at Action Fast Photo, 9889 S.W. Barbur Blvd., 503-245-9898; at Beach Elementary School in North Portland; or at the door. General admission is $10; preferred admission is $25; and VIP entrance runs for $50.

The game will be held at the Peter W. Stott Center at Portland State University, 930 S.W. Hall St., at 2 p.m.