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Friday, February 20, 2009

Former Pacers center poised to join Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs lineup

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Former Indiana Pacers star Rik Smits will once again be at center court at the annual Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs charity basketball game at Mooresville High School April 17.

This marks the 23rd year St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has sponsored the event, which raises funds and educates youth about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation’s substance abuse awareness and prevention programs.

The action gets under way at 7 p.m. at the high school gymnasium, pitting St. Francis physicians against Mooresville High School faculty and staff, and both teams will get a major boost with Smits – the "Dunkin’ Dutchman." Pacers mascot Boomer also will be on hand prior to tipoff and throughout the game.

The 7-foot-4-inch center averaged nearly 15 points and more than six rebounds a game during his NBA career. Those attending the game also will have the opportunity to meet Smits and have their photo taken with him. He also will sign autographs before the game.

Half-time entertainment will include a free-throw shooting contest between Robert J. Brody, St. Francis president and CEO, and Mooresville Schools Superintendent Curt Freeman.

Tickets are $5 per person and are available at Mooresville High School and at the gym door the night of the event. Children 5 years old and younger are admitted free.

Mooresville High School is located at 550 N. Indiana St.

The annual game has visited high school courts all over south-central Indiana, raising students’ awareness of the dangers of drug use and abuse. The program has raised more than $100,000 since its inception.

Donald J. Kerner, M.D., retired chief medical director at St. Francis, is the driving force behind Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs. He was awarded the 2004 Hulman Award for founding the annual event.