Slam Dunk for Charity

Citizens Voice Newspaper –

NANTICOKE – The modest gym at Greater Nanticoke Area High School produced some thunderous ovations Saturday evening, with high-flying dunks, three-point shooting displays and kids scampering around the gymnasium in search of autographs.

The third annual Clifton R. Lewis Good Life Foundation Celebrity Basketball Game, dunk contest and three-point shootout brought together a slew of special guests.

Lewis, a 1999 Greater Nanticoke Area graduate, was diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy in 2006 and established the foundation in 2010. He spends about six months every year organizing the event, procuring sponsors and inviting professional athletes to appear.

“It’s a great cause,” said Pittsburgh Steelers fullback Will Johnson, one of the slam dunk contest’s celebrity judges. “It is all for charity. It’s all going to a great cause and it’s something that I’d like to put my name with and be a part of.”

The festivities began with an intrasquad game featuring members of the Greater Nanticoke Area boys varsity basketball team. The juniors toppled the seniors, 28-24. Junior Tyler Myers followed that up with a victory in the three-point shootout. The hometown favorite, Myers sunk the last ball in the final round to take home the trophy.

“I’m very honored to be elected to play in this and I just got a little lucky, I guess,” Myers said.

The in-air acrobatics of the slam dunk contest followed. Porter Mayberry, the world’s shortest professional dunker at 5 feet 5 inches tall, wowed the crowd when he jumped over 6-foot-10 John Clark. Pro dunker Sir Isaac White jumped over three people while doing a between-the-legs slam. Ball Up Streetball’s Gary Smith, who went on to win the contest, was tackled by a group of youngsters after a reverse double-pump dunk.

“Overall, it was a great contest,” Johnson said. “I was kind of weak there with my judging, giving 10s to everybody. But it was just a fun time.”

Lewis lives in Phoenix with his wife, Renee. But when it comes to his charity’s signature event, there’s no place like home.

“If it wasn’t for the school letting us use the gym and the teachers and the school board and all of our friends and family here … they just want to pitch in as much as they can,” Lewis said. “It wouldn’t be possible in any other city besides Nanticoke.”

ekorn@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2054 http://citizensvoice.com/news/slam-dunk-for-charity-1.1480578

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