- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) - The Muskegon Heights Academy Tigers will host Kalamazoo Lakeside in what’s being called a “unity game” as people in both cities deal with recent shootings.

But Wednesday night’s opponent is a last-minute replacement for the Tigers’ final home basketball game of the season.

Shelby High School decided not to let its boys’ team make the trip to Muskegon Heights due to safety concerns after a Feb. 9 shooting outside the western Michigan school, MLive.com reported (https://bit.ly/21G8jzN ).

Two Muskegon Heights students were among three people wounded following the game between Muskegon Heights Academy and Grand Rapids’ Ottawa Hills High School. A 21-year-old Grand Rapids man was wounded by a sheriff’s deputy and charged in the shootings.

“When Shelby Public Schools refused to play our scheduled game together, it presented us with an opportunity,” Muskegon Heights Superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross said during a Monday news conference. “Muskegon Heights and Kalamazoo have an opportunity to come together on the basketball court to show a sign of unity, to show a sign of strength, to show great sportsmanship.”



On Feb. 20, a gunman fatally shot six people and wounded two others in three random incidents in the Kalamazoo area. A 45-year-old Kalamazoo-area man has been charged in those attacks.

Last month, Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson emailed his contacts, county employees and elected officials asking them to attend Wednesday’s game, the newspaper said.

“I’ll be spending my anniversary here,” Muskegon County Board of Commissioners Chairman Terry Sabo said.

Security will be at the school before, during and after the game, according Zachery-Ross.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press:MLive.com, https://www.mlive.com

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