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House, Senate will play ball

SANTA FE – New Mexico lawmakers are gearing up for what some say is among the most contentious match-ups of the legislative session.

But this bout won’t be played out in the committee rooms or chamber floors of the Roundhouse.

The annual House-Senate basketball scramble tips off at 7 p.m. Friday at Santa Fe’s Capital High School gymnasium.

Known as “Hoops 4 Hope,” the game has been played by lawmakers as a fundraiser for the University of New Mexico Cancer Center for more than 15 years.

The House took the Senate to the cleaners last year. The 2013 showdown raised about $26,000 for the Cancer Center, according to UNM.

This year’s House team, representing the New Mexico State University Aggies, may again have an advantage with retired NMSU basketball coach Lou Henson directing the Aggie effort.

The Senate team, representing the University of New Mexico Lobos, will have UNM baseball head coach Ray Birmingham at the helm.

“We are deeply grateful to New Mexico’s legislators for their unwavering commitment to fighting cancer in our state,” said Dr. Cheryl Willman, director of the UNM Cancer Center. ” ‘Hoops 4 Hope’ is just one facet of that commitment.”

Tickets to the game are $5 and available at the door.