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NBA AllStar Connects Entertainment With A Commitment To Social Impact

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NBA AllStar Connects Entertainment With A Commitment To Social Impact

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NBA AllStar Connects Entertainment With A Commitment To Social Impact
NBA AllStar Connects Entertainment With A Commitment To Social Impact

The 2023 Jordan Rising Stars are participating in NBA Day of Care as part of the NBA's commitment to social impact during All-Star Game weekend.

30 years have passed since the NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City. A lot has changed since 1993, from the city where this year's celebrations will take place, to the game itself and the footballers who will be in the spotlight this weekend.

In fact, of the 27 All-Stars this year. The 24 were chosen by fans, media, players and coaches, along with three replacements for NBA commissioner Adam Silver, only eight were alive when Utah last hosted the midday celebration. -NBA season. a game

The return of the NBA All-Star Game to Salt Lake City not only brings the world's best basketball players to Utah's capital, but also demonstrates the NBA's commitment to uniting communities through service, philanthropy and basketball -ball. In addition to showcasing the game with exciting draws and various contests, this weekend will also impact the host city long after the 72nd NBA All-Star Game concludes on Sunday.

NBA All-Star social impact efforts will focus on youth, education, food insecurity and economic inclusion, while the league will continue efforts to create more opportunities for college students and historically black universities (HBCUs). In total, the NBA and the National Basketball Association will donate more than $3 million to the Utah and HBCU communities.


Youth and education

In fact, the work began long before this year's All-Stars left for Salt Lake City. As part of the NBA Legacy Project, the NBA partnered with State Farm to renovate STEM education space and upgrade the gymnasium at Lincoln Elementary School in South Salt Lake City. It was completed and inaugurated on Thursday, February 16. The STEM space features new technology and children's books, while gym upgrades include new basketball hoops, equipment, lighting and flooring.

"When you talk about a legacy, that's what it's all about, leaving a plan and it will impact future generations," said Milton Collins, principal of Lincoln Elementary School. "And as long as the school remains open, it will have a positive impact through improvements to the STEM lab and of course the gymnasium."

A focus on empowering local kids through basketball is central to the NBA All-Star effort. Friday is Day 6 of the Jr. NBA Junior. The NBA will host 1,500 local youth in six school districts where members of the NBA family, including former NBA and WNBA players, will participate in learning-based basketball workshops. the fundamentals and values ​​of the game.

The NBA maintains an ongoing partnership with Make-A-Wish America to grant five wishes for NBA All-Star families in the Utah community.

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At Make-A-Wish, we depend on our partners like the NBA to directly fulfill our mission, and we want kids to be some of basketball's biggest fans, because when I had the opportunity to make a wish, I asked. Right there at the All-Star Game,” said Shayna Reeser, director of entertainment and sports relations for Make A Wish.

“What we do know is that desire can be very powerful in many ways for children with serious illnesses. It can give them the strength they need to fight, it can give them hope and a future that they really want, that they know they have something to fight for, to improve, to grow. And the NBA family's dream trip truly gives them a piece of their childhood. And every child deserves a childhood."

Reeser recalled a Make-A-Wish success story when a kid named Austin wanted to play his saxophone at the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix. In addition to playing on the "Lovely Day" All-Star, he recovered from his illness and now leads a healthy and successful life as a professional saxophonist.


Food insecurity

Friday also marks the 15th NBA All-Star Day, a tradition that began in New Orleans in 2008 as the city was rebuilding after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Utah Day of Service focuses on food security as the NBA teams up with the Utah Food Bank, Volunteers of America and the Bishop Central Pantry to help provide essential resources to those in need in the community of Utah. More than 500 volunteers, including current and former players, business partners and guests, will participate in fundraising programs to sort and repackage food donations for distribution to those in need, as well as support students and low income families.

"The two most important tools we have to fight hunger are education and awareness," said Janet Bott, president and CEO of the Utah Food Bank.

"Because we have the experience and professionalism of the NBA with us, we know people will see behind the scenes, this is an organization that is there to help. The focus will be on the NBA and those who will be there to enjoy the weekend. But for a short time we will have the opportunity to be in front of people and hopefully give them a chance to stop and reflect on the mission. Think about this we're doing. And remember, we'll continue to do that here after this unique weekend is over."

Each of the NBA All-Star Day Service Partners supports their community in different ways. Bott discusses the Utah Food Bank's focus on the "food side of hunger" and how they distribute healthy food to families in need, especially those with young children.

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More attention is being given to the homeless, said Dan Benshoff, director of development for Volunteers of America in Utah. “We have three streams: homeless, addictions services, and mental or behavioral health services,” she said. "Our mission is to serve people in our community who face one or all of these conditions."

The Bishop's Central Warehouse is a large warehouse that helps The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints support as many families as possible in Salt Lake City and most of Utah.

"The church works with different community organizations, food banks, to help people, to help families eat healthy foods, regardless of status," says Sharon Eubank, director of philanthropy for the Church of Jesus. -Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Holy Days “So this project is really exciting. It benefits everyone in the community who can give and take, and ask the NBA to support it, which means lots of fun and excitement.


Diversity and Inclusion

On Wednesday, February 15, members of the NBA family, former NBA player and LGBTQ+ guard Jason Collins and former WNBA player and senior vice president of NBA player development Jamiella Wideman, returned visit to youth at Encircle and Utah Pride Center: As a result of the league's commitment to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

"I think it's monumental to have an NBA partner on board," said Jordan Sgro, interim CEO of Encircle. "First of all because it shows that we are at the service of young LGBTQ people and that the NBA is on their side as well. And it sends a very powerful and useful message that there are big and powerful companies like the NBA that say, "Hey, we see you, you're worthy, you're enough, and we've got your back. That's really a big deal. And the NBA provides Encircle with a microphone to share our work, so that more and more people know who we are and what we do. I mean, it's a big deal for us."

In addition to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, the NBA continues its ongoing commitment to advancing the timeshare business through several local events during All-Star week.

A highlight of this effort is the NBA Foundation pitch competition on Thursday, February 16, when the Foundation, in partnership with the National Black MBA Association, will host a live competition highlighting Black entrepreneurs in the Salt Lake community. City and beyond. These eight entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to receive feedback and network with influential business leaders from the NBA family and compete for funding for their businesses.


HBCU support

Grambling won by a final score of 69-64.

The NBA also continued to support the HBCUs this All-Star weekend, as evidenced by the second annual NBA HBCU Classic on Saturday, February 18. Grambling State University and Southern University men's basketball teams met in a televised game. on TNT, ESPN2 and NBA TV and won 69-64 at Grambling State.

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NBA greats Willis Reed (played at Gramblings from 1960-1964) and Bob Love (played at South from 1961-1965) are honorary captains for this year's NBA HBCU Classic.

“The rivalry between Grambling State and Southern State runs deep and gets more attention during the annual Bayou Classic football season, but the rivalry is just as intense during basketball season,” Reed said. "As a graduate of Grambling State University, I'm confident the Tigers will win because that's what we do. I can't wait to play our rival Southern University and I can't wait to show off Bob Love after the match. ".

Reed and Love were thrilled to have today's players and their alma mater participate in NBA All-Star Weekend and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“The NBA is a great platform, and the exposure both universities get is very beneficial to both institutions,” Reid said. "Student-athletes have the opportunity to showcase their skills on the court and learn about career opportunities in the league."

“It is very important, it will give all the young players the opportunity to be noticed by all the managers and coaches in the country and they will meet all the stars and learn what it takes to be a star,” said said Love. "It's a great experience for all the players. I would like to visit this experience. I would like":

In addition to the NBA HBCU Classic returning for a second year, the NBA All-Star HBCU Event internship program is also returning for a second year, with 13 HBCU students interning at the NBA event over the weekend. Students will gain valuable hands-on experience and behind-the-scenes insight into the NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, filling various roles in league offices as they work together to make this incredible event happen.


All-Star Game Charities

The highlight of the NBA All-Star Game weekend is the showdown between LeBron and Tim Giannis.

The weekend will conclude with the 72nd NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, where Team LeBron will face Tim Giannis. In addition to the appearance, each team will represent a local youth and family organization with a $750,000 contribution that will determine the results of each quarter and the winner of the game.

Janice now plays with Raise the Future, a group that strives to give foster children a loving home and provide resources to foster families. LeBron's team plays for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, which strives to create positive mentoring relationships for local youth. You can read more about the efforts of these two organizations here.

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