The Aces have played in some high-profile venues in the past few years, but Friday night takes the cake. The team will take the floor of the Wachovia Center as part of an NBA/high school double-header with a decidedly Lower Merion flavor. First up is a contest between Kobe Bryant's LA Lakers and the Sixers, followed by the Aces v. Marple Newtown. Bryant's return to the area helped prompt the event. Usually, the Aces alumnus makes a visit to school; this time, due to a tight travel schedule for the Lakers, the LM community will make a visit to see their favorite son. More than 600 LM fans have already purchased tickets for the game.
"The kids all wanted to see Kobe play and since we had a game scheduled that night, we figured why not explore the option [of playing at the Wachovia Center]," said assistant coach Doug Young, a friend and former Lower Merion teammate of Bryant. "Kobe is always so generous with our kids, and we're fortunate that we had an opportunity to make this happen for our community and our friends at Marple."
The Sixers helped facilitate the event, opening an online ticket portal for fans at both high schools (with discounted ticket prices) and providing access to the court. A limited number of tickets are still available online, by clicking here and entering promotion code "LMHS." Tickets may also be purchased via phone by calling (215) 952-7310.
"I'm really excited for Friday night," said Aces guard Oliver Cohen, "I can't believe we are playing at the Wachovia Center. It's a dream come true."
Game Notes: An NBA court presents some logistical issues for a high school game, namely the three-point line. Special court tape will be used to approximate the high school three-point arc... The Sixers basketball staff includes a pair of Marple grads - the Zanin brothers - who played against Kobe (and with him on summer league teams) in high school. Frank serves as an assistant coach and T.J. is an advance scout... Friday night's high school game will be webcast live on aceshoops.com... A preview of the Aces/Marple contest at the Wachovia Center is available in Marple's hometown paper, the Delco Times. To read a preview of the Lakers' current road trip, which includes their stop in Philadelphia, click here. For complete Kobe coverage, visit www.kb24.com.