Wizards bringing variety of talent, size to Ironton

Published 3:32 am Wednesday, April 15, 2009

These Wizards come in all sizes.

The Harlem Wizards basketball roster is a collection of talent regardless of whether they are short or tall.

Not only are they good basketball players, they are magicians with the ball itself as they put on a show for crowds of all ages.

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And the Wizards will do just that when they put on a show at 8 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the Ironton Sports Center.

Heading the list is 5-foot-6 Arnold “A-Train” Bernard of Southwest Missouri State who spent seven years with the Harlem Globetrotters.

“Rocket” Roshaan Barner, who stands just 6-foot tall, has a 50-inch vertical jump. He was a first team All-American at William Patterson University.

Another leaper is Ron “Skycam” Ferguson Jr. who has a 40-inch vertical leap.

Veteran Claude “Tojo” Henderson is 6-7 on the court, but he stood taller as a member of the United State armed forces. Henderson was given the Purple Heart during his stint in the Vietnam War.

There is 6-10 Mike Mathews who is fourth on the all-time blocked shot list at Florida State. A member of the All-ACC Rookie Team, Mathews is known as “Big Mike M&M.”

Another giant is 7-foot Gordon “G-Wiz” Malone out of West Virginia who was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves before playing overseas.

There may be some familiar faces as well if you’re a fan of NIKE ads.

The 6-foot-4 Corey “Hi-C” Goodall, who played at Long Island University, has been in NIKE posters.

Appearing in 12 NIKE ads is Luis Da Silva Jr., who is 5-11 and is known as “Cross Magic.” Da Silva played at legendary St. Patrick’s High School in New York.

“Jump Man” Laquan Castro won seven New York City slam dunk contests despite being only 5-11. He has appeared in NIKE Air commercials.

Also on the roster is 6-4 “Dazzle” Donnie Seale who played at N.C. State and helped the Wolfpack beat North Carolina during its NCAA championship season of 2005.

Other roster members include 6-2 Eric “Broadway” Jones of Urbana University, “Mighty” Mike Simmel of Purchase College, 6-6 David “DP” Paul of Staten Island College, 6-9 Eric “ET” Thompson of St. Francis College, Man-I-AC Jermaine Wright of Panolay Thomas College, 6-7 Swoop Simpson of So. Connecticut State, 6-7 Kenyon “The Gift” Jones of Glenville State, and 5-5 Aswan “Sparkplug” Morris of West Virginia Wesleyan.

Along with the game against a team comprised of local celebrities, the Wizards will conduct a free autograph session after the game.

Cost is $8 at the door. For further information, contact Ironton basketball coach Mark LaFon at (740) 532-3911.