Rotary member set to take on Harlem Ambassadors

Katie Smardo

Katie Smardoy

By Mark Ambrogi

It’s all in the name of fun and fundraising so Katie Smardo agreed to participate in the Carmel Rotary’s basketball game against the Harlem Ambassadors against her better judgment.

“I do not play basketball so that should give the folks something to see,” Smardo said. “I was asked and I’m not very good at saying no. I can not play ball but I can cheer with the best of them.”

The game is set for 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Clay Middle School.

Smardo, a Carmel High School graduate who  lives in Noblesville, said she might have to ask for basketball tips from her husband, Frank.

“I think I can play defense pretty hard and maybe I can steal the ball,” she said.

Smardo, a Rotary member for nearly 12 years and a Carmel member for three years, is a district governor nominee. She will serve in 2016-17. 

“It’s a great opportunity to raise money for a great cause and bring awareness to the Carmel Rotary Club,” said Smardo, who works as a commercial banking officer at Lake City Bank, 100 W. 96th St., Indianapolis. “It’s a great opportunity to engage people outside of Rotary. Hopefully, it’s a big success. We’ve been working hard at it for several months.”

The Harlem Ambassadors, who were founded in 1998, are made up of former male and female college basketball players. They feature high-flying dunks and comedic routines.

The tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Children under 4 are admitted free.

“We have a nice representation of folks from not-for-profits, local corporations, teachers and volunteers playing,” Smardo said.

Others tentatively scheduled to play for the Rotary squad: Joe Lazzara (Joe’s Butcher Shop); Glenn Bill (Century 21 Pealtor); Toby Stark (Chaucie’s Place); Matt Hunter (assistant principal, Woodbrook Elementary); Brian McGuckin (teacher, Clay Middle School); Tom Lewis (Indycornrows, writer, Indiana Pacers); Tim Horoho (ExactTarget); Erin Craig (ExactTarget); Corey Cox (basketball player); Brant Stockhalm (basketball player); Ashley Huston (basketball player); Danielle Viera Shepherd; Kevin Wright (commercial lender, Star Financial Bank); Scott Tillet (Rotarian) and Tim McAshlan (Rotarian).

The coaches will be Vance McQueen ( and Dan Payntor (Rotarian).

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