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March Madness for Members

Dems, GOP Suit Up for Basketball Game Tonight at Gallaudet

The NCAA tournament may be the premier basketball contest in March, but it’s not the only one.

Tonight at the Gallaudet University Field House, Democratic and GOP rivals will face off against one another in a no-holds-barred basketball game that should be as contentious as debate on the Senate and House floors.

The 2004 Gallaudet Biennial Congressional Basketball Classic will be the 11th time the Dunkin’ Donkeys and the Fighting Elephants have taken to the court to work out any pent-up frustrations generated by the legislative process.

The Democrats, who have lost the past five classics, are looking to win this year for the first time since 1991 behind 2002 Classic MVP Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.), who is now the team’s captain.

“We have a strong class of new recruits this year and a lot of new talent,” Kind said. “All things considered, I

think it will be one of the most competitive matchups in the classic’s history, but when the buzzer sounds I’m confident that the donkeys will come out on top and walk away with the W this year.”

Suiting up to play for the Democrats will be Kind and Reps. Joe Baca (Calif.), Chris Bell (Texas), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Gene Green (Texas), Jay Inslee (Wash.), Rick Larsen (Wash.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Brad Miller (N.C.), Tim Ryan (Ohio) and Bart Stupak (Mich.).

The GOP team includes team captain Rep. Mike Oxley (Ohio), as well as Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) and Reps. Mike Ferguson (N.J.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Kenny Hulshof (Mo.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Devin Nunes (Calif.), Doug Ose (Calif.), John Shimkus (Ill.), Cliff Stearns (Fla.), Todd Tiahrt (Kan.) and Jim Walsh (N.Y.).

Last Thursday, Gallaudet hosted an appreciation luncheon with special guests WNBA All-Star and Washington Mystics player Chamique Holdsclaw and Michael Adams, the new head coach for the Washington Mystics.

According to Stephanie Lundberg, Kind’s press secretary, GOP captain Oxley popped into the luncheon between debates on the floor to direct some friendly jabs at the Democratic team’s record during the past decade.

“There was apparently some quips exchanged,” said Lundberg.

This year Bob Lanier and Mike Glenn, both NBA legends and Hall of Famers, will serve as the celebrity coaches.

Republicans lead the overall series 6-4, drubbing the Democrats 59-35 in 2002 and 54-23 in 2000 to take the lead.

The event helps raise awareness about Gallaudet, which provides deaf and hard-of-hearing students with a total college experience.

Admission is free. For more information about the classic, contact Carol Yeh of Gallaudet University’s President’s Office at (202) 651-5996.

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