WED 1/12
Sure, the Suns are the hottest commodity in the basketball world these days, except perhaps for the Argentine Olympic team. But wouldn't it be refreshing to watch some other really talented Phoenix hoopsters who actually pay for the pleasure of diving for loose balls and taking a hard charge in the lane? Tip-off for the YMCA All Star Game at the downtown Y, 350 North First Avenue, is 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 12. We're not talking the kid down the block who can't chew gum and dribble at the same time; we're talking players who got game! Former Sun Dan Majerle has played in the past, which gives you an idea of the talent level involved. Best of all, the game is free, and festivities include the requisite slam-dunk contest, as well as three-point and free-throw shooting contests. Call 623-377-4966. - -Douglas Towne

Kicks Aren't for Kids

Round the bases with World Adult Kickball

1/6 - 1/13
Who decides which of the games we play as kids follow us into adulthood? We do, that's who, and if we want to play kickball, then dammit, we're going to play kickball! Embrace your inner child when the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) kicks off winter division play with free co-ed pickup games on Thursday, January 6, and January 13, at Kiwanis Park, 6111 South All-America Way in Tempe. Games begin at 6:30 p.m. For details or to register for the Arizona Fire Winter League (an official WAKA league based in Tempe), visit -- Craig Wallach

Bands on the Run

Marathon rocks Phoenix

SUN 1/9
It's safe to say that over the course of 26 miles, a runner can begin feeling a little short on energy. If only there were something to perk them up, say, 50 or so rock bands turned up to 11 and littering the course at every turn. Though the marathon remains the most grueling of all sporting events, at least you can dance to it at the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon, Sunday, January 9, beginning at 7:40 a.m. in downtown Phoenix. The race begins near the state Capitol building and ends in downtown Tempe with a Fabulous Finish Line Party, and an evening concert at Tempe Beach Park featuring Jason Mraz. For registration and details, visit Craig Wallach

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Douglas Towne
Craig Wallach