An exhibition basketball game featuring former Cincinnati Bengals players and a team of Wapakoneta All-Stars will be the highlight of the Wapakoneta Athletic Boosters’ fundraiser Friday in the Wapakoneta High School gymnasium.
The preliminary Bengals roster made available for this story includes Eric Ball, Dequin Evans, Jojuan Armour, Rodney Heath, Keith Rucker and Jimmy Turner.
The Bengals team will be coached by Denny Gallagher of Buckeye Flooring.
Doug Selvey, the Wapakoneta High School varsity boys basketball coach, will be the player-coach for the Wapakoneta All-Stars.
The rest of the team includes Jake Buzzard, Tyler Hone, Dustin Dobie, Jackson Hayzlett, Slade Oen, Zane Oen, Alex Greve, Mike Clune, Keaton Fetter, Kailey Schneider, Dawn West and Adam Johns.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. Friday. The game will start at 7 p.m.
The game ball used for the tip-off at the start of the game will be auctioned along with an autographed Bengals jersey.
An autograph session will be held at halftime.
“People can bring in their own memorabilia,” said Dave Acheson, who is the Wapakoneta Athletic Boosters’ president. “We’ll also have some paper with the Bengals logo on it they can use at the game. It’s a heavier-duty paper. They can also use the programs (which have designated pages for autographs).”
A 50/50 drawing will be held.
Two large rocks — Cincinnati Bengals and Wapakoneta Redskins — and other small rocks from Wapak Monuments will be auctioned.
Other silent auction prizes include a Bengals helmet, a Columbus Crew package (including an autographed ball and tickets to a game) and a Coach purse.
Mike Miller, Kaleb Miller and Austin Scott will handle public address announcing.
The game officials will be Mike Sparks, Chris Ewald and Mark Moss.
Tickets are available for $7 in advance of Friday’s event. Tickets at the door that evening will cost $9.
All proceeds will benefit the Wapakoneta Athletic Boosters.
Friday will be one of the many fundraising events the Boosters hold throughout the year.
“Our organization is considering a number of projects for the near future including new lighting at the football field, a wrestling room at the high school and a new concession/restroom facility at the football field,” Acheson wrote in the program for Friday’s game.
Here is some biographical information for the list of Bengals players.
—Ball is an Ohio native, went to UCLA and was drafted by the Bengals.
The Bengals’ team website lists Ball as the franchise’s director of player relations.
—Evans was released from the team this past November.
—Armour is a graduate of Central Catholic High School in Toledo, went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and played for the Bengals from 1999-2002.
Armour won the 2008 Grey Cup with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders.
He is now the defensive coordinator for the Toledo Start High School football team.
—Heath was born in Cincinnati, went to the University of Minnesota and played three seasons for the Bengals.
—Rucker, a defensive tackle, played two seasons with the Bengals in the mid-1990s.
He attended Eastern Michigan University and Ohio Wesleyan University, where he is now the special teams coordinator.
—Turner also went to UCLA and was drafted by the Bengals in 1983.