Local team takes on Arizona Cardinals in charity basketball game - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

Local team takes on Arizona Cardinals in charity basketball game

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Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 6:00 pm | Updated: 12:11 pm, Thu May 26, 2011.

It doesn't have the same history as the Lakers-Celtics rivalry, but two teams competing this weekend are looking forward to the coming rematch on Sunday.

A group comprised of Arizona Cardinals players and others will square off with a local team sponsored by Loco Patron as a follow-up to a double-overtime thriller that took place in February.

The event will be at US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Robert Tate Dyslexia Foundation and Haitian Disaster Relief of Arizona.

In the previous matchup, the Ahwatukee Foothills Loco Patron-sponsored team that practices at Pecos Park squeaked out the victory against a team that included Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Steve Breaston, Tim Hightower, Marchel Shipp and Robert Tate.

"I think of it like an NBA All-Star game in that in the first half, you have fun and joke around," Tate said. "The second half you play a little more serious because you want to win."

The local team had won its league a few years in a row and was picked for a charity game against the Cardinal players. For Sunday's game, the Cardinals had their choice of teams from across Phoenix to play, but ultimately chose the local Loco Patron team.

"They said almost automatically, ‘We want to play the team that beat us, the team from Ahwatukee Foothills,'" Loco Patron owner Bill Duffy said. "Hightower called the store and demanded a rematch."

Players from other teams including the Phoenix Mercury and Dallas Cowboys will also participate. Tate has organized dozens of charity games like this in the past that support his foundation and others.

"I've been doing this on-and-off since I've been playing but now that I am retired, I am going to focus a lot more time on games like this," said Tate, who recently retired from the Cardinals. "We just feel that we are going to put on a good show for the fans and we know it's going to be a good game."

One Loco Patron player attributed their win to team chemistry and being craftier than the Cardinal players.

"We're older and not as athletic but we know all the ins and outs of each other and we know how to stay within our limits," said Joseph Brown, an attorney at Hastings and Hastings. "I think we're going to beat them. It's going to be a tight game, but I think we will pull out a win."

Tickets to the event are $25 and the game begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 1.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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