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Team Haiti hosts tournament

Before the Final Four Saturday night Selma citizens and officials had the chance to participate in a basketball tournament of their own at Wallace Community College.

This one was to benefit the destruction of Haiti from the earthquake that hit the county on January 12. 2010 and killed more than 200,000 people.

“In the wake of the recent devastation in Haiti there was some citizens that came together in the city and county,” said Councilwoman Angela Benjamin. “They were wondering ‘What can we do?’ They wanted it to be fun and to raise money for Haiti.”

According to Benjamin the planning for the event began around the time of the earthquake, but it took time to get everyone to sign-up for Team Haiti.

“Everybody that is helping out with this is volunteering,” said officer Dorothy Cowan, a coordinator for the Team Haiti basketball tournament. “This is a city wide, Dallas County event.”

Many of the leaders of the community were out at Wallace Community College to take part in the Team Haiti.

The Selma Police Department, Selma Fire Department, Mayor George Evans, and other elected officials and those running for election spots were on hand to donate and give time to Team Haiti.

“This area is no stranger to natural catastrophes,” said Police Chief William Riley, who was on hand to play himself. “It is important to try to do what you can to help. Our goal is to give back not only to Selma and Dallas County community but what we call the world community.”

City officials and candidates also had the chance to donate a little more money during the tournament to take a shot from half court before giving a little bit about themselves to the crowd in the “take a shot, write a check” section.

The basketball tournament also gave some of the younger participants a chance to interact with the older leaders of the community in a fun environment.

“It’s a great opportunity for the older leaders to bond with these young guys and ladies out here,” said Chief Riley. “It kind of breaks down those barriers. It creates a dialogue and a friendly dialogue.”