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'Dinner of Champions' to honor Collins Hill girls

The 2006-07 Collins Hill girls basketball team accomplished more than any squad in Gwinnett history.

Or state history for that

matter.

So why not give them a celebration unlike any other as well?

This Friday night at 7 p.m., at North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, the Collins Hill Tip-Off Club is hosting "Dinner with Champions," a special event designed to honor the three-time state champions and the 2007 USA Today national champions.

Superstar senior Maya Moore also will have her jersey retired during the event.

"I'm excited because I know a lot of work has been done to pull this thing off," Collins Hill head coach Tracey Tipton said. "It's going to be really special for the kids and everybody that's involved.

"And there's a lot to celebrate."

No kidding.

Not only did the Eagles win their third consecutive Class AAAAA state championship, but they won two national tournaments and were ranked the No. 1 team in the nation for the entire year.

They also happened to have unquestionably one of the top high school girls players of all time in Moore, who seemingly won every possible individual honor this past season - from her third straight Daily Post Player of the Year Award to her second consecutive Naismith National Player of the Year Award and everything in between.

So it was with all this in mind that Collins Hill Tip-Off Club member Mary Ann Coskery had a thought: Instead of just having a season-ending banquet for the varsity team like every other school in the state does, why not have a celebration that the entire community can attend?

"This is an opportunity for the community and fans and students who weren't a part of the varsity banquet to come celebrate the success with them," Coskery said. "And the team worked so hard, this is just a great way to crown their achievement."

The event itself, which was organized by Coskery and the Tip-Off Club, will also raise money for the Collins Hill program.

General tickets for the event are $10 and include a full Italian dinner and a team photograph.

Reserved tables (for up to eight people) can be bought from anywhere from $150 to $350.

And if you would like to be a sponsor in the event, the prices range from $350 to $2,000

Coskery said most of the sponsor tables have been sold, but a few are still available.

For $350, you can purchase a "National Champs Player Table," which is good for seven tickets at a table, with one seat reserved for a Collins Hill

player.

The $1,000 "Maya Moore Table," which was good for six tickets and two reserved seats for Maya and her mother Kathryn, has already been purchased.

And then for $2,000, you can get eight tickets to the T-Mobile Table, which features priority seating and also reserves a personal appearance by Moore at an event or place of business.

"Our hope is it makes good money for the program," Coskery said. "But our bigger hope is that it gives them a chance for the community to come celebrate their success with them.

".... and we have kids that will be there from around the state of Georgia that are coming to meet their idols."

Coskery also said that there will be a silent auction during the event with autographed items being sold. Each player also will have a pen handy to sign autographs during the event as well.

"I have never been affiliated with anything like it before," Tipton said, "and the thing just kind of snowballed. And the Dinner with Champions was also a chance for us incorporate the retirement of Maya's jersey and number.

"Everybody knows what Maya's meant to Collins Hill, so that's turned a special night into something even greater."

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Coskery at 925-895-3000. Tickets also can be purchased today and Thursday at the Collins Hill commons area, from 10:40 a.m. to 1:10 p.m.

Tickets will not be available at the door.