WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Williams Middle School and High School students learned about the importance of staying in school and off drugs on May 1 at an assembly put on by the Harlem Ambassadors basketball team.
The Ambassadors play Harlem-style basketball featuring slam-dunks, ball handling tricks and comedy routines. The coed team members are college educated and drug free.
"Your talent will take you so far, the education that you receive will last you a lifetime," said coach Lade Majic about the requirements to be on the team. "It will last longer than your athletic skills."
Each team member gave a brief anecdote about their life that taught the students a lesson. Marquette Knight emphasized the importance of being around positive people, Robert Smith talked about not giving up, Nicholas "Spin" Simpson discussed setting goals, Reggie Robinson talked about listening and following directions, Ajay Rutledge emphasized the importance of homework, Alvin Washington Jr. discussed making sacrifices, and coach Lade Majic talked about not making excuses.
"Messing up is a part of life," Majic said. "Everyone fails at something. You're going to fail a million times before you succeed. You're only a loser if you quit. You're only a loser if you don't give 100 percent effort."
Then on May 4, the Harlem Ambassadors took on the Williams Warriors in a basketball game to raise money for new bleachers for the high school gym.
Team members included WHS Principal Tristan Heisley (coach), Williams-Elementary Middle School Principal Bryan Lords, Williams Unified School District (WUSD) Athletic Director Phillip Echeverria, WUSD art teacher and WHS boys basketball coach Rico Dunn, WHS math teacher and girls basketball coach Jet Feliciano, third grade teacher and middle school boys basketball coach Deniz Chavez (scorekeeper), WUSD School Resource Officer Jeff Brownlee, baseball coach Johnny Hatcher, Williams resident Troy Mortensen, softball coach Travis Grantham, Councilmen Lee Payne and Craig Fritsinger, Magistrate Rob Krombeen, Williams Volunteer Fire Chief Chase Pearson, Reitz Restoration owner Jay Reitz, Route 66 Catering employee Melvin Berry (referee) and QC Office employee Christopher Keeler.