The Harlem Wizards Compete Against M-W Faculty and Staff


Dillon Huang, Writer

The Harlem Wizards basketball team competed against Monroe-Woodbury’s faculty and staff in a game on April 14. This event was organized by INTERACT, a club that focuses on volunteer work. 

The Harlem Wizards organization is made up of four different teams; Broadway, King Arthur, Swoop, and Assembly & Special Events. This past game with the Harlem Wizards was against the Swoop unit, which included; Deuce, Fresh Prince, Glitch, Dime, Big J, and Swoop. There was also an appearance of DP from the Assembly & Special Events. 

The M-W staff team was composed of many teachers within the district. The only school that was unfortunately not able to participate was North Main. 

“We tried to have representation from all of the schools,” said Ms. Puopolo, the adviser of INTERACT. “The only school that didn’t have a player was North Main, and that was just due to scheduling.” 

Below are the staff members that participated in the Harlem Wizards vs. M-W staff basketball game. 

Sapphire Elementary Nancy Peifer
Smith Clove Elementary Eileen Moschetti and Kimi Kodilanen
Central Valley 


Matt Midtbo, Michelle Schuler, Christine Arlt, Robert Bonney, David Santos, and Randy Bauernfiend
Pine Tree 


Vinny Vespa, Carolyn Berkowitz, Lisa Strysko, and Dan Steiler

Middle School

Anthony Holland, Matthew Stenson, Chuck McCafferty, and Kerry McHugh

High School

Kerri Marino, Lauren Capul, Kaitlin Rosenfeld, and David Santos
Groundskeeper Salvatore Barbetto

There were overall 1,000 attendees for the basketball game. Most were students from the lower grades.

Ms. Puopolo said, “It definitely caters to more of the elementary levels. I felt like there was a mix of middle school and high school kids there who had a ton of fun anyways.” 

“We had four amazing singers, who sang the national anthem from the Voice Ensemble,” said Isabella Rogozinski, President of INTERACT.

The crowd was enthusiastic during the entire event, but was especially excited for the crazy stunts and plays the Wizards performed throughout the game. 

“At the beginning of the game, there was a swarm of over a hundred kids wearing Wiz Kid jerseys, running out onto the courts and all around the guys. It was just super adorable. It really was nice to see these kids jumping around and having so much fun and dancing to the music,” said Ms. Puopolo. 

There were four types of ticket admissions that could have been purchased; General Admission, VIP, Court Size Plus, and Benchwarmers. Each ticket allowed the user to experience the game closer, earn some extra Harlem Wizard merchandise, and even a chance to sit next to one of the Wizards. 

According to Isabella Rogozinski, the INTERACT club was able to sell out of all VIP, Court Size Plus, and Benchwarmer seats,  “While we were out with tickets, I had about 100 people coming in asking, ‘Is there a way we can upgrade to VIP?’” said Rogozinski.

This is the first year of Ms. Puopolo being the INTERACT adviser, and first time organizing such an event. Ever since COVID, the INTERACT club hasn’t put on an event of this scale. Ms. Puopolo has not stated whether or not the club will definitely be hosting another event like this, but the Harlem Wizards have already emailed about pre-signing up for a future date. 

Although this was a family event, a score was kept throughout the game. The Harlem Wizards had an unsurprising lead in the game, but the M-W staff was able to keep up and play fairly well. Periodically throughout the game the score had to be bumped up a few points for a “more fair game”. At the end, there was no definitive winner or loser.