Game On! Harbin Classic 2016

charles-harbin-clasiic-roswell-high-schoolThe Harbin Classic is the annual Teacher-Student basketball game that marks school letting out for Spring Break at Roswell High school. Named for the late Charles Harbin III, a teacher who uniquely engaged students towards their potentials, this years game was as exciting for the school spirit as it was for the action.

Seeing students playing as Guest and teachers as Home set the stage. After falling behind to the students early in the game, teachers rallied and the score was tied 41-41 midway thru second period. The board teeter-tottered up to 53-53 as both sides battled valiantly, with spills and falls on both sides (but no injuries). But toward the end youthful energy and enthusiasm continued while at least one teacher literally crawled off the court.

So despite the halftime cheer by a little girl leading teacher Schultzy that had the crowd roaring, the final score was 55-66. To judge by the sea of students taking selfies as they mugged with the talisman of a great teacher, bragging rights to the Harbin classic trophy appeared to be a major motivator at game’s end.

Much thought was put by players into their nickname, highlighting their academic as well as athletic strengths. The highly energetic MC3 was serious about taking Einstein to another level. Other eye-catching monikers included Globetrotter, Nemo, Vanilla Gorilla and White Mamba. But my favorite was the student named Keynes, and the teacher named Hayek, who I later found out were mother and son apparently bringing their dinner table discussions to the court (if you’re not familiar with the battle between the icons of Economics, “Hayek vs. Keynes -Fear the Boom and Bust” is the popular rap video Econ primer in Charles’ spirit of unconventional but effective education- )

Charles Harbin’s daughters, Kate and Molly, along with his parents, Cheryl and Bill North, and sister Renee also attended. After the game, Kate and Molly posed with the winning team and trophy, which will be proudly displayed until next year for school visitors to see the enduring legacy of teachers connecting with students, and students with teachers.

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