CRESTVIEW — In a few months, Arianna Simms will trade her Crestview High School colors for the University of West Florida, where she will begin her college basketball career.
But the soon-to-be-high school graduate couldn't resist the opportunity to put on a Bulldog uniform one last time Saturday night when the Crestview All-Stars faced the Harlem Wizards in a fundraiser game.
Simms believes her last appearance as a Bulldog will help her as she joins the Argonauts.
"I kept on getting ripped (the ball stolen from her)," she said. "It will be pretty good (help for her college career) because they are longer than I am and I had to dribble better."
Simms was just one of several Bulldog players — some alumni but most students — who participated in the game.
Shykeem Jackson, a 2011 Crestview graduate now at the University of Montevallo in Alabama, was glad to return home to help the worthy cause.
"It was fun," he said. "It means a lot (to help his old program) ... I've been away from this place for a year now. It was nice to come back and do this."
The Wizards, who won the game 96-89 after spotting the All-Stars 20 points in the second half, put on a show that was equally high-flying basketball and well-honed pranks and routines with the fans.
For the Wizards, it was just another gratifying night at their traveling office.
"It means everything just for the families and kids to enjoy some fun, and they get to see some positive role models like myself," John "Big J" Smith said.
"I'm from a community similar to this. Kids are kids to us, and we are performing doing something positive."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.