Police, preachers take to court

ALBANY, Ga. -- The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat will echo through the Darton College gym at 7 p.m. Friday night.

Well, maybe there will be more laughter than agony, but there will be plenty of thrills as three law-enforcement teams and a team of preachers meet each other on the basketball court.

The games between the law enforcement community and the ministers have been planned to raise money for youth activities and the local Stop the Violence Movement.

"We are asking for a $5 donation to attend the games, but no one will be turned away," said Bishop Frederick Williams Sr. of Gethsemane Worship Center. "It is a fundraiser to help buy uniforms for the City of Champions Hoopfest in April and to support the Stop the Violence Movement programs."

The team from the Albany Police Department has been practicing for almost four weeks. Its about 16 members are ready to take on all comers.

The team went through its free throw, layup and practice game under the eye of police Capt. Mack Green, the team coach, Wednesday at the Robert Cross Middle School gym.

"This is all good fun and about raising money for the kids," said. "We have some real talent. We have been practicing and we'll be ready."

The APD team includes a former Darton women's basketball team player, Tangela Henry.

"I've played basketball my entire life," Henry said. "I work with them. We are already a team."

The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office team is also ready, said Demetrious Kendrick, a team member.

"It is all for a good cause," Kendrick said. "We're excited about the games. We've played together a long time and are ready to go with the flow."

That might be good because rumor has it that the ministers' team has been gunning for the sheriff's team. And no one is selling the District Attorney's team short either.

"We have really been getting our enthusiasm and energy together," said Albany police Sgt. Gregory Elder. "It is about helping the kids."