The basketball season is a few months away yet but the balls will be bouncing and the runners will be screeching on the floor Friday night at the Alberni Athletic Hall.
The event will see a celebrity basketball game, honouring of two great Alberni hoops teams of the past, and the unveiling of an after-school program.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun, I promise you that,” Jericho Road Church youth pastor Harold ‘Lefty’ Williams said.
“We’re going to honour the past and do something for the youth, who are our future.”
The long awaited Unity Celebrity Game tips off at 6 p.m.
The game will pit a team of professional athletes and entertainers against a team of Port Alberni all stars from the RCMP, school and local media.
Actors Paige Hurd and Sam Sarpon, pro football player Frank Murphy, former Washington General Kashon Cooke, and NBA development player Bryson McKenzie are just some of the names who will be in town to participate in the event.
“It’s going to be a great game, and we’re going to have a bit of ‘Globetrotter’ fun too,” Williams said. “The Port Alberni team is going to use muscles they haven’t used in 20 years.”
Two Port Alberni basketball teams that won national men’s championships in 1955 and 1965 will be honoured as well, Williams said.
There has been a resurgence in Alberni basketball but it’s important to acknowledge the Valley’s hoops past, Williams said.
“You can’t have a future without a past,” he said.
Ticket sales have been brisk, Williams said. All proceeds from the event will be donated to KidSport and ADSS athletics, Williams said.
Surplus funds will be doled out by a special board, he added.