Slam Dunk on Cancer: Police take to the courts for a good cause

April 5, 2010 10:28:00 AM

Allen Baswell - [email protected]


During the weekend of April 9-10, members of the Columbus Police Department and other basketball junkies are going to hit the courts, not just to show off their roundball skills, but to help a good cause. 


Members of the department, along with other teams plan to do a Slam Dunk on Cancer. The event is sponsored by the Columbus Police Department and will be held at gyms 1 and 2 at Columbus High School. The games are scheduled to start each night at 6 p.m. 


CPD Community Relations Officer Rhonda Sanders said registration for the event continues through April 5, but teams interested in participating can still sign up after the deadline. 


"Those still interested in playing who haven''t already signed up can still register. So far, we have had eleven teams to sign up to play, seven men''s teams and four women''s teams. We would like to have at least 25 teams signed up to play," she said. 


The entry fee per team, both men''s and women''s, is $150, Sanders said, adding that this is the first year for this event, which is being played in memory of former CPD officers Tommy King and Ralph Hall, both of whom died of cancer. 


"Officer King was a four-year auxiliary police officer who died of colon cancer, and Officer Hall retired from the military and served two years as an auxiliary officer. He died of prostate cancer," Sanders said, adding that many of King''s family and friends plan to attend the games. 


"They are from out of town, and I would like to see family and friends of Ralph Hall come, too," she said. 


After serving as an auxiliary officer, King worked for about three years as a full-time officer with the CPD.  


The tournament will be a double-elimination tournament, and will be played according to high school basketball rules and regulations. 


"Referees will control the game, not the coaches. Game management will make all decisions when there is a problem and their decision will be final," Sanders said. 


All proceeds from the games will go to benefit the American Cancer Society''s Relay for Life. 


Sanders said volunteers are needed to assist in operating the concession stands and the clock and to prepare tournament brackets. 


One of the games scheduled for the tournament will be between the police department and the fire department. 


"This will be more of a fun game, like the Harlem Globetrotters. This will be like a rivalry game between the two departments," she said. 


For more information, contact Sanders at 662-251-7355 or e-mail her at [email protected]  


CPD Investigator Natashea Coleman-Brown can also be contacted for information. She can be reached at 662-364-1855, or [email protected]

Allen Baswell is a former staff reporter for The Dispatch