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When doctors take on lawyers in Columbus hoops game, people who need help will win

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Students of the G.W. Carver High School boys and girls basketball teams dominated this past season. Even the most formidable opponents had to make way for both teams to become 4A State Champions! These star athletes are enjoying some well-deserved rest as MCSD spring break winds down, but next Saturday their gym will be hosting another high-profile game. The athletic prowess may not be as fierce, but the rosters are top-notch.

At noon April 6, the 4th annual Doctors v. Lawyers Charity Basketball Game will take place in the Carver gymnasium. That’s right — area physicians and attorneys face off in a fun and competitive basketball game that is open to the public. Team members include my husband, Pete Temesgen, president of the Fountain City Bar, Dr. Richard Allen, OB-GYN with Piedmont Columbus Regional, and for the first time, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton of the Georgia Supreme Court. Justice Melton, who just happens to be the highest ranking jurist in our state, loves to play the game of basketball.

Bring the kids with you — it’s a great family outing. Michael Soul of Foxie 105 will keep the energy high and music bouncing, and there are exciting halftime games and activities. One of those is a shooting stars challenge between members of the Carver boys and girls teams! There is no doubt the excitement will be palpable with these top athletes on the floor. Oh, and you might even go into the second half of the game with some new headphones — just take your chance at making a half-court shot during halftime.

This basketball game is an annual initiative of the Fountain City Bar Association, a historically African-American legal association in the Columbus area. Proceeds from the game will benefit Georgia Legal Services, a statewide nonprofit that provides legal services to impoverished individuals, as well as the G.W. Carver Athletic Foundation. Nothing beats the chance to give back to the community while getting a great experience in return.

I’ll give you a final bit of inside info: the doctors are getting smarter after a couple of years playing a younger and more athletic lawyer roster. They’ve started recruiting younger and fiercer players and last year’s game they finally overtook the lawyers. A look at the bench next Saturday will tell us a lot about what to expect. But if anyone knows how to outthink an opponent, it’s a trial attorney. With Barry Debrow, Esq., coaching the lawyers team this year, the doctors may need to play in triage mode. (It’s obvious where my allegiance lies.)

Hope to see you there, reader!

Natalia Naman Temesgen is a playwright and professor of creative writing at Columbus State University in Columbus.

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