Dribbling for the district

New fundraiser brings Harlem Wizards to Lake Zurich


Photo by Photo used with permission of D95

The Harlem wizards are dropping by LZ! This year, rather than the annual color run, District 95 decided to switch things up with a basketball game between the Wizards and the LZ staff.

Max Feldman, Business Manager & Spotlight Editor

Trick shots will dominate the field house next week, with the Harlem Wizards coming to Lake Zurich to face teachers and administrators on the court.

Rather than continuing the tradition of color run this fall, the district will raise money through a basketball game between faculty (the D95 Ankle Breakers), and the Harlem Wizards. To keep enthusiasm high, the district wanted to try something new, Erica Chianelli, executive director of the District 95 Foundation, says.

“We just want people to stay excited [with] this fun, family-friendly event. If anyone’s ever seen the Harlem Globetrotters, you know that it’s just really fun to see these players, most of which are former college [or] professional basketball players,” Chianelli said. “They put on a show, and you’re not going just to watch a basketball game. You get to see them up close and personal compared to going to Allstate Arena or something like that. It’s really unique.”

While getting to see the Wizards so up close is appealing, some students say they are more interested in seeing the teachers play. Seeing teachers and administrators “get demolished by the Wizards” will not only be funny but will improve student-teacher relationships, says Emilia Mangiardi, junior.

“I think a lot of students are a little bit scared to talk to teachers. But things like this fundraiser honestly pull kids and teachers closer together,” Mangiardi said. “Instead of being stuck inside of a classroom for 45 minutes learning stuff that they don’t want to learn, students actually get to see their teacher in a different environment.”

Putting teachers in a different environment will not only be fun to students, but also to the players themselves, according to Matt Aiello, dean of students and D95 ankle breaker. Aiello says he will try his best, but his skills should not the main takeaway of the game.

“If we were playing volleyball I would feel a lot better about my skills,” Aiello said. But the real point of the fundraiser is to support “an incredible organization that works so hard to help provide for the students and staff of District 95.”

The organization hopes to use funds from the event to provide that help to the district, Chianelli says. According to Chianelli, the foundation hopes to raise around $7,000, which will go towards various improvements around the district. 

“We generally want to provide resources to empower every learner to achieve excellence, and to power innovations. So this money will go to things like teacher innovation grants and district wide steam initiatives, like the LEGO League Film Festival and science fair,” Chianelli said. “We also partner with various organizations to provide high school internship opportunities, and support under resourced students in the district.” 

The event will be located in the field house on October 22nd, and tickets cost $12 dollars if purchased in advance. Doors open at 6pm, and the game will begin at 7pm.