In the interest of the quadratic formula, Pythagorean theorem and logarithms, a nationally known comedy basketball team will soon tickle the funny bone of Rim country hoop fans. Proceeds from the basketball circus benefit the high school math club.
The Harlem Crowns will take to the Wilson Dome court at 7 p.m. March 4 against a group of basketball talent assembled by Payson High School principal Phil Gille.
Among those Gille lured into playing on the Rim team are former Payson mayor Craig Swartwood, PHS wrestling coach Dough Eckhardt, former school board member Jimmy Connolly, Longhorn football player Sean Pickle, Lady Longhorn basketball standout Brandi Waugh and PHS student body president Jeremy Greenberg.
Other members of the Payson team include John Carpino, Shelly Creighton, Trevor Creighton, Krystal Garvin, Ellie Hardt, LeeAnn Owens, Roy Sandoval, Reed Watson and the Roundup's over-the-hill sports writer.
Payson Police officer Donny Garvin and PHS boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser will officiate.
Former math teacher turned school counselor Judy Michel will call upon her considerable algebraic and geometric skills to operate the game clock.
The contest, Gille promises, will be fantastic, hilarious and funny.
For those unfamiliar with the Harlem Crowns, the team began in the mid-'50s when former Harlem Globetrotter Chico Burrell assembled a group of highly talented players to travel the world performing. After years of success with the Crowns, Burrell retired and sold the team to a group of Northern California businessmen.
According to team officials, members of the Crowns are chosen for showmanship as well as their ability to play basketball. At the beginning of each season, a training camp is held in California where prospective players are selected for the team.
Among those who will participate during the Crowns' Rim country visit are Carlo Williams, Leon Thompson, Marc Jamison and Herbert Scaife.
Williams, from Claremont College, stands 6-feet, 11-inches and is known for his crowd-pleasing dunks. From Southwestern Oregon College, Thompson is 6 feet 7 inches. Jamison played at the University of San Francisco and is in his 10th year on the team.
As the manager and scoring star on the team, Scaife has played for the Crowns for 22 seasons.
Crown team officials say the team has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Tokyo, Singapore, Manila and Mexico.
During their visits, the team is sponsored by various groups that include lettermen clubs, student body organizations, police departments and FFA groups.
The Crowns play a regulation four-quarter game against an opposing team furnished by the sponsors.
The games are highlighted by the Crowns' zany acts and comedy routines.
Tickets are $5 if purchased before March 4. At the door, they are $6. Children under six-years-of-age are admitted free. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce, high school book store, from members of the math club or at each of the elementary schools and Rim Country Middle School.
For more information, call Gille at 474-2233.