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MARBLE FALLS — Austin Rhythm, a semi-professional basketball team based in the Marble Falls area, is playing South Texas Spirit in a game Jan. 5 that benefits the Del Children’s Medical Center.

The contest is 8 p.m. at the Clay Madsen Recreational Center, 1600 Gattis School Road in Round Rock.Two of the Rhythm players are Dennis Porter, a 2008 graduate of Llano High School, and Tylor Williamson, who lives in Burnet.

The Rhythm, a member of the United Basketball League, is coached by Porter’s father, Dennis O. Porter. The team practices at First United Methodist Church in Marble Falls.

Coach Porter said the reason he started the team was to give athletes an opportunity to keep playing in the hopes of playing professional basketball, mostly overseas.

“That’s all it is,” he said. “It’s a chance to get an opportunity.”

Former player Jonathan Maxwell, who played in Mexico last year, is looking at a chance to play in China, Porter said.

The Rhythm is in its second season in the UBL after posting a 6-4 record last year.

The UBL added more teams this season, so the Rhythm have 15 games scheduled with conference play starting in March and the playoffs beginning in June.

Until then, Porter said his squad will play in exhibition games and are available to help with fundraisers.

In addition to giving back to the community, the coach said he hopes to get more Rhythm fans.

“We want to develop a good following,” he said. “Hopefully, hundreds of people – that’s my goal.”

For more, go to www.austin-rhythm-basketball.com or call Porter at (830) 220-2417.

jfierro@thepicayune.com