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All stars team up to dunk, dribble, dive for charity

The Harlem Comedy All-Stars provide the template and support for fund-raising groups
by: Jennifer Clampet, A SLAM DUNK — Les “Pee Wee” Harrison sits in the Tualatin Haggen Food & Pharmacy store Saturday to drum up buzz about the Harlem Comedy All-Stars exhibition game.

TUALATIN - By the time Les 'Pee Wee' Harrison was in the fifth grade, he knew he wanted to be a Harlem Globetrotter. Harrison was like many other children who grew up watching the talented comedy team play games on television and star in their own cartoon series. Their antics and life looked like fun.

Combining the athleticism of a basketball game with the laughs of comedy drew big crowds and left a legacy of good times. Harrison has been performing with exhibition comedy teams for the last 22 years starting with George 'Meadowlark' Lemon's Harlem All Stars team.

Today, Pee Wee Harrison's own Harlem Comedy All-Stars plays on the legacy of the Globetrotters and uses the power of attracting large crowds to raise money for worthy causes. In the last year, the Harlem Comedy All-Stars have performed 20 fund-raising events.

On Saturday, April 12, the team will play an exhibition game at Tualatin High School. Tickets are $10 and proceeds from the game will benefit Tualatin High graduate Isaac Wilcott, who for the last two years has been battling a brain tumor.

The goal for Saturday's event is to attract about 1,500 people. Each time the team does a benefit game, they provide the foundation or nonprofit organization with a roadmap of how to raise awareness for the game.

'We provide the template and the support,' Harrison said. Harrison described his team as benefit-driven, playing games and raising money for various causes.

On Saturday, Harrison and teammate Sonny Watson passed the time at the Tualatin Haggen Food and Pharmacy showing young kids how easy it is to spin a regulation-size basketball on the tip of their fingers.

After 22 years in the business of entertaining with basketballs, Harrison admitted that being a part of a comedy sports team is every bit as fun as he thought it would be.

Watching the greats like Meadowlark Lemon perform in front of crowds and carry on amazing stunts and then to see Lemon continue on his own tradition in Harrison's comedy team has cemented the team's own legacy. Lemon will be performing at Saturday's game in Tualatin.

'We're exactly like the Globetrotters,' Harrison said. 'But we're much better.'

For more information on the Harlem Comedy All-Stars visit www.3guysandaball.com or call 503-781-6963.

At a Glance

What: Harlem Comedy All-Stars

When: Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m.

Where: Tualatin High School, 22300 S.W. Boones Ferry Road

Tickets are $10 at the door. VIP tickets are $25 and get ticket holders in early. For more information, call 503-692-5765.