Harlem Triksterz play for success and unity

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan The Harlem Triksterz performed in Dorchester County middle schools on Friday, bringing lively entertainment and a positive message to students. The group was sponsored by local law enforcement agencies in cooperation with the Board of Education. From left are Board President Glenn Bramble, “Bam Bam” of the Triksterz, Sheriff James Phillips, Cambridge Police Department Chief Mark Lewis, State’s Attorney Bill Jones, and Kevin “Showboat” Jackson.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
The Harlem Triksterz performed in Dorchester County middle schools on Friday, bringing lively entertainment and a positive message to students. The group was sponsored by local law enforcement agencies in cooperation with the Board of Education. From left are Board President Glenn Bramble, “Bam Bam” of the Triksterz, Sheriff James Phillips, Cambridge Police Department Chief Mark Lewis, State’s Attorney Bill Jones, and Kevin “Showboat” Jackson.

CAMBRIDGE — Want to get the attention of — let’s be honest here — some easily distracted middle schoolers?
Just do what the Harlem Triksterz do.

Well, that’s pretty hard. So, it’s probably best to invite the real deal.

A three-man crew from the Triksterz, led by Kevin “Showboat” Jackson, visited the county’s three middle schools on Friday, bringing their message of encouragement and hope to students, along with comedy, stunts, games and music.

Mr. Jackson paused for a few minutes during set up at Mace’s Lane Middle School to explain his team’s mission.

“We try to bring something unique,” he said. “We bring positive messages.”

One of those messages is “Unity in the community.” To foster togetherness, the Triksterz urge students to be respectful, to avoid drugs and alcohol, gangs and bullying, and to stay in school, whatever their career goals.

“It’s ok to be a basketball player,” Mr. Jackson told the standing-room-only crowd in the gym. “But we are educated basketball players.”

The Harlem Triksterz are based in West Hartford, Conn. They have a number of squads that travel the country, performing their Globetrotter-style routines.

The men visited not only Mace’s Lane, but also South Dorchester K-8 and North Dorchester Middle School on Friday, bringing an hour-long performance to each. Mr. Jackson said they hope to return in the fall, to perform their full, two-hour shows for students and parents.

The event was sponsored by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, the Cambridge Police Department (CPD), Hurlock Police Department, and the Dorchester County Local Management Board, in cooperation with the Board of Education.

Sheriff James Phillips was present, along with other law enforcement officers, including CPD Chief Mark Lewis and State’s Attorney Bill Jones.
“The interaction with the kids is incredible,” Sheriff Phillips said. “It’s just a really good message.”

That message came through loud and clear. Maybe it was the booming music, or the games, or basketball skills.

Or maybe, advice from a kind, friendly man who happens to be 6’ 8” just grabs a kid’s attention. Whatever it was, the students were all ears during the presentation and had a ball the rest of the time.

“It was amazing,” eighth-grade student Sam Shifler said. “It was a good time to come out together.”

To contact the Harlem Triksterz, call 845-546-1090, or email showboat@harlemtriksterz.com,

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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