City, county set for basketball showdown

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Employees of the City of Wilmington and employees of New Hanover County will face off on the hardwood Thursday night at Roland Grise Middle School as they compete in a charity basketball game.

Some familiar public faces will be featured on the two teams. According to city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert, Deputy City Manager Richard King will be playing, and Deputy City Manager Tony Caudle has signed on as a player/coach.

On the county side, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Jonathan Barfield Jr. will be playing and County Manager Chris Coudriet will be coaching on the sidelines. Register of Deeds Tammy Beasley will be assisting the team, and New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon will be one of the referees.

Some local teens will also be at the game working as referees and scoreboard operators. They have been trained through a joint program with the City of Wilmington and the Wilmington Family YMCA. The program, which is run out of the MLK Center and is part of an initiative to reduce youth gang violence, teaches at-risk teens life skills as well as basketball rules and officiating.

According to the county, this is the first time to their knowledge that the two local government entities have competed in a basketball game, but they have previously faced off on the golf course (the city edged out the county at the last event).

“This is a good way for us to get together and do something for charity,” said county spokeswoman Jessica Loeper. “It should be a lot of fun to see them [officials and employees] out there on the court.”

Like the golf tournament, the basketball game will benefit the United Way of the Cape Fear Area, which brings many organizations together to help address the most pressing needs of the local community and improve the quality of life for all citizens in the area.

Tickets are $5. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7 p.m. Roland Grise Middle School is located at 4412 Lake Ave. in Wilmington.

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