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Basketball Legends Help Bring Fame Back to Fonde Rec. Center

Fonde Hall of Fame Games to Feature Top High School Talent while Honoring Basketball Greats 

A Houston landmark for basketball legends is opening its doors to the next generation of basketball greats when high school students hit the court for the Fonde Hall of Fame Games on January 3-4, 2014.

The Fonde Hall of Fame Games feature teams from Texas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The two-day tournament will be played at the famed Fonde Recreation Center where basketball greats like Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy and Otto Moore honed their skills during their college and professional careers.

The tournament starts on Friday, January 3rd with the “Otto Moore Legends Game” with SOYL Academy and Westbury Christian High School at 1:30pm. Episcopal High School and Trent International High School will play at 3:30pm in the “Major Jones Legends Game.” The “Purvis Short Legends Game” puts Bellaire High School against Kinkaid High School at 6:30pm. The “Rickie Winslow Legends Game” ends the day with St. John’s High School facing Rufus King High School at 8:30pm.

Day-two tips off at 1:30pm with the “Dave Lattin Legends Game” where Trent International High School will face Bellaire High School. SOYL Academy squares off with Episcopal High School in the “Elvin Hayes Legends Game” at 3:30pm. The “Calvin Murphy Legends Game” with Trinity High School and St. John’s High Schools at 6:30pm will be carried LIVE on Comcast SportsNet Houston. The finale will be the “Moses Malone Legends Game” where Rufus King High School will face Yates High School at 8:30pm LIVE on Comcast SportsNet Houston.

The namesake of each legends game will be present when their team hits the hardwood, and will make a special presentation to the players at halftime.

Former National Basketball Association (NBA) star, head coach and national grassroots basketball leader John Lucas is the creator of the Fonde Hall of Fame Games. The event is a fundraiser for his passion, a youth basketball league for Houston kids called “From the Parks to the Pros.” He started the project last year in partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. They reached 1500 4th grade through high school kids at three Houston parks and recreation centers (Fonde, Tidwell and Alief) in 2013. “We are using basketball to mold our children on and off the court,” Lucas said. “They are learning life skills like conflict resolution, respect for themselves and others, self-discipline and responsibility. These character traits will help them be successful in life.”

The kids also get instructional basketball training twice a week. Lucas is expanding his youth league to include Moody and Townwood parks and community centers this year. The program runs from March through May and he expects to reach 3000 kids in 2014. “This is not about going to the NBA; it’s about keeping kids out of trouble,” Lucas said. There will also be a special match-up between the 5th and 6th grader teams from John Lucas’ youth league during the Fonde Hall of Fame Games.

Lucas has put together an exciting array of talent from the Houston area and two other states for the Fonde Hall of Fame Games. The lineup includes St. John’s High School, Yates High School, Bellaire High School, Westbury Christian High School, Kinkaid High School, Episcopal High School, Trent International High School of Sugar Land, Trinity High School of Euless, Rufus King High School out of Milwaukee and Save Our Youth Leadership Academy (SOYL) from Tulsa.

These high schools include some of the top players in the state and the nation. The marquee players include JC Washington (Yates HS), Melvin Swift (Yates HS), Jeff Roberson (Kinkaid HS), Christian James (Bellaire), Jamal Williams (Episcopal HS), Ricky Doc Nelson (Episcopal HS), Ibrahim Dumbia (Trent International HS), Malik Starks (Trent International HS) and Galen Robinson (Westbury Christian HS). Myles Turner from Trinity and St. John’s Justise Winslow are both nationally ranked by ESPN. Turner is second in the nation while Winslow holds the 14th spot. The top players from SOYL Academy include Mamadou Kamara and Quemah Gibson along with Chris Howell who is a standout for Rufus King.

Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at the door or online at www.johnlucasenterprises.com.

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