Harlem Globetrotter alum Sterling “Smooth” Forbes returns
After a 15-year hiatus, Sterling “Smooth” Forbes, a Harlem Globetrotter alumnus, returned to Catalina Island July 16-20 to resurrect his basketball Hoop Camp.
The city of Avalon Recreation Department partnered with AHS basketball coach Steve Hall to co-host the week-long event at the Avalon School Gymnasium, which had 30 participants, ages 6-14 years. Campers worked all week long on ball handling, shooting, defense, and more through drills and games, making for a week of fun for all in attendance.
Forbes’ family members facilitated the camp and included his wife Sasha and children Marcus, Max, Mason and MaKenzie.
The basketball camp was made possible through generous donations from island community, including The Santa Catalina Island Company and Atwater Hotel, Catalina Express, Armstrong’s Seafood, Ristorante Villa Portofino, Olaf’s Ice Cream, Casino Dock Café, Seaport Village Inn, El Terado Terrace, Avalon Plaza Café, and Lobster Trap.
A highlight of the week was the infamous “Celebrity Game,” held Thursday, July 19. Forbes brought over three slam-dunking buddies, Aaron Perry, Donald Smith, and Craig Martin to put on a show with him and his son Marcus. Also playing for the Globetrotter & Friends was local Karl Karstens, whose father Bob Karstens was the first Caucasian player to be under contract with the Harlem Globetrotters. The team was pitted against a motley local crew, dubbed the “Avalon All-Stars,” which consisted of Coach Steve Hall, Coach David Hart, City Manager Steve Hoefs, Mayor Bob Kennedy, Sheriff Lt. Doug Fetteroll, LA County Fire Captain Black, Avalon Fire Dept. Captain Michael Alegria, CIVR’s Kevin Strege, former Conservancy Chief Operating Officer Mel Dinkel, Santa Catalina Island Company’s Paul DeMyer, former Hoop Camp participant John Eric Hernandez, Men’s Basketball Summer League coaches Joe Montano and Joe Hernandez, Avalon High School basketball players Edgar Alvarez, Marcos Gallegos, Daniel Jimenez, Joanna Chavoya, and Laura Amezcua.
The referee, in rare form, was John Macktal, and on the microphone as commentator was Denny Honsey.
Highlights included the old cup of water splashed on to the crowd routine, the free-throw t-shirt switcheroo number, and a spontaneous dance party with a member of the audience.
Over 300 people were in attendance to fill the stands and laugh their socks off at the comedy on court, and after costs more that $1,500 was raised for the AHS Boy’s Basketball team.
Monies raised will be used for a team trip to the mainland to participate in a basketball tournament held at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif.
The Recreation Department and Avalon Schools Boy’s Basketball Program were very pleased with both the Celebrity Game and the Hoop Camp, and everyone involved agrees they cannot wait to hold the event next summer.