ALMONY-ALI

Bubba Almony, far right, takes a picture with personal trainer Easa Taha, Dr. Khalilah Camacho-Ali and Muhammed Ali, Jr. Camacho-Ali is slated to speak before Bubba’s Celebrity Basketball Game on Saturday. The charity event focused on raising funds for bullying and mental health awareness as well as cancer tips off at the Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The star-studded Bubba’s Charity Basketball Game will tip off Saturday from the Worcester County Recreation Center with a veritable list of who’s who in attendance.

The festivities are set to kick off with a fan fest at noon, followed by the game at 5 p.m.

Bubba Almony, the event organizer and its namesake, said the event will feature Dr. Khalilah Camacho-Ali — legendary boxer Muhammed Ali’s second wife — former NFL stars Terrell Owens, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jacoby Jones, and a slew of other figures.

“I’m so thankful for the recreation center,” Almony said. “They have been so helpful in planning this. They’ve been very helpful. It’s nice to work with people like that. They don’t give you a hard time and they see the blessing that’s going to come out to the shore.”

The event is both indoors and outdoors. Masks are strongly recommended for the indoor component of the event.

Local and state officials, as well as representatives from every branch of the military, are also expected to attend the charity fundraiser that’s focused on bullying, mental health and cancer.

Multiple commendations are set to be handed out for those who have made a charitable impact on the Worcester County area.

Snow Hill Mayor Dr. Jennifer Jewell is expected to proclaim Aug. 28 as “Bubba Almony Day” in the town.

Almony called Camacho-Ali’s address one of the event’s most important features. He said he became acquainted with Ali’s second wife and her son Muhammed Ali Jr., through his bodyguard work.

Camacho-Ali said events like these are crucial to hammer home messages that everyone should hear.

“For someone who has a platform to come to a small town or area in which a lot of the children need to be united and to get some kind of inspiration, it’s important,” she said. “As a little girl when I was around leaders and officials, meeting great leaders back in the day — Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, James Bowen — people of that era were so important. When I heard them, I was excited. I was excited to meet Cassius Marcellus Clay (Muhammed Ali) at that time. I was inspired to see people take their time and come and say something, deliver a message. That was the most exciting thing for me.”

The Chicago native said the issue of bullying is close to her, as it’s an experience she grew up with.

“I was bullied a little bit as a kid and, most importantly for those who don’t understand bullying, (we’ll be) telling them what it means and teaching them that they are valuable assets to the world themselves,” Camacho-Ali said. “I’ll try to give them the most highlighted points of what it means to be alive, to be kind, what is the reward for being kind, things like that. We want to open doors for them and give them direction, show them how to get guidance.”

If Muhammed Ali were alive today, Camacho-Ali said he would have loved this event.

“I’ve seen the shine on his face when he sees young people being in a place where they get excited and the adrenaline starts kicking up,” she said. “Even to see him, seeing people look at him, they just shine. He would enjoy the fact that I’ve continued this legacy because when everybody is inspired by Muhammed Ali, you have to understand he was inspired by me as a young girl. That sent him on a train to success. He patterned himself around me to be excited.”

Tickets for the event cost $10 and can be purchased by calling 443-462-0696. For more information, visit https://bubbaalmony.com

This story appears in the printed version of the Ocean City Today on Aug. 27, 2021.

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