NBA Notes: Kings, Pistons, Cavaliers and Bulls

There are several stories out of the NBA this week. The lead is a Kings video (to the right) featuring players spending time in the community. Pistons G Will Bynum took part in an autism walk, the Cavs kicked off their “Read to Achieve” program, and the Bulls continue donating tickets to the USO.

Kings Sacramento Kings players Kevin Martin, Sergio Rodriguez, Beno Udrih, Melvin Ely, and Kenny Thomas went around Sacramento area hot spots to meet fans. Their day was capture in video (Sacramento Kings).

Pistons: Detroit Pistons G Will Bynum showed up early for the October 11 Hawks game at The Palace of Auburn Hills to address 4,500 participants at the “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” event. The fundraiser generated $224,000 for Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy group, and also helped families affected by autism find support and educational resources.

“Participating in an event like this helps me stay grounded,” said Bynum. “As professional athletes, we are blessed to be here and to be able to give inspiration to people. Helping them move forward is what it’s all about.” [Read more…]

Special Olympics Southern CA Honors Lakers

Los_Angeles_Lakers-150The Los Angeles Lakers are being honored tonight at Special Olympics Southern California’s annual Pier del Sol event. Lakers legends Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy will be on hand to represent the team. This year’s Pier del Sole is an extra special event, as Special Olympics Southern California is taking the opportunity to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

“We are thrilled to be honored by an organization as important and meaningful as Special Olympics.  On behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want to congratulate Special Olympics and all its athletes on 40 wonderful years in the Southern California community.  We look forward to working together with Special Olympics and continuing its mission for years to come,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak (Special Olympics Southern California).

Paul’s Winston-Salem Weekend Continues to Grow

Chris Paul Weekend 275New Orleans Hornets G Chris Paul, a native of Winston-Salem, wrapped up his CP3 Foundation’s fourth annual Chris Paul’s Winston-Salem Weekend on Sunday. The weekend-long event included a Day of Service on Friday complete with the assembling of care packages for American troops overseas and a Feed the Children food distribution for needy families.

In addition, the event included a free youth basketball clinic, a gala honoring the late Wake Forest men’s basketball coach Skip Prosser as well as a church service to conclude the event on Sunday. The first three years of the event have raised over $325,000 for a variety of programs and charities in the Winston-Salem area.

The Winston-Salem Journal put together a great photo gallery from the weekend, and writer Lisa O’Donnell filed a nice report in the Sunday edition. [Read more…]

New Celtic Rasheed Wallace Reads to Children

Boston_Celtics_Logo 150The NBA season hasn’t even started yet, but new Celtics player Rasheed Wallace, who signed with the team this off-season, is already mixing it up with the Boston community. Wallace made his first public appearance as a representative of the Celtics on Tuesday, when he met with the young students at the Joseph Lee School.

The affair was a reading event, and of all the books in the world, Wallace read from “Make Way for Ducklings,” a picture book by Robert McCloskey. It was fitting, because afterwards, the kids took Wallace on a Duck Boat ride around Boston. Of course, the Boston Herald was on hand for the event. The Herald’s Frank Dell’Appa shed some light on Wallace’s community efforts. [Read more…]

NBA, HP Launch HP Digital Assist Competition

09.17.09 - Jamison NBA HP Digital Assist 250HP and the NBA have tipped off the HP Digital Assist education grant competition earlier this week. HP and NBA executives were joined by Washington Wizards F Antawn Jamison at Jefferson Junior High School in D.C., to launch the competition, which ends Nov. 20. More than 5,000 students from approximately 100 selected Title 1 middle schools in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, the San Francisco Bay Area and D.C., will compete for grants worth more than $80,000 in HP mobile digital classroom technology, NBA tickets and merchandise, visits from NBA stars and other awards.

The competition invites student teams to create projects that make classroom concepts real and relevant to the outside world by engaging students to combine the power of technology and the excitement of NBA basketball. In addition to enhancing learning, these projects will allow students to demonstrate how they learn best and – through a public competition Web site at – enable other students and teachers to benefit as well. HP and NBA Cares are working with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), which will provide learning kits and judging rubrics for the competition and professional development for winning schools (NBA).

Around the NBA: Jordan’s Locker Up for Auction; Thunder Refurbish Home; Grizzlies Build Playground

Oklahoma City Thunder

Do you want Jordan’s locker? It’s up for auction. But the top news is the Thunder, who partnered with Rebuilding Together to give their own “extreme makeover” to repair a home for an OKC resident in need. Then in Memphis, the Grizzlies build a playground for an area elementary school.

Oklahoma City Thunder: In a story that ran in USA Today, the AP’s Jeff Latzke wrote that the Oklahoma City Thunder “donated their time over the past week to help the nonprofit Rebuilding Together give a makeover to [Ethel Ann Cheatham’s deteriorating home in central Oklahoma City.” [Read more…]

NBA Green Week Initiative Aims to Make League More Environmentally-Friendly; Green Week Top Ten

NBA Green

The NBA is in the heart of its Green Week initiative, which tipped off April 2 and closes April 10. The initiative is a parntership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) and is an on the NBA’s part to take steps to become a more environmentally-friendly organization.

The week features special oncourt apparel, auctions to support environmental protection organizations, hands-on community service projects and the launch of a PSA featuring Hollywood icon and NRDC Trustee, Robert Redford. In addition, the NBA has rolled out NBA Green, a Web site dedicated to this initiative.

NBA teams will be heavily involved by taking steps towards “greening” their arenas and encouraging their fans to take part in greening initiatives. [Read more…]

NBA: Dwight Howard Continues to Impact Central Florida, Shops for Sneakers With Kids

Dwight Howard

As always, the NBA is busy with community work. Dwight Howard, Gilbert Arenas, Kevin Martin and Ime Udoka all spent a little time with kids. The Bulls are assisting an elementary school, and the Nets’ Devon Harris shows appreciation to a police department.

Dwight Howard: Orlando Magic C Dwight Howard donated $20,000 to the Pine Hills Boys & Girls Club on April 2. Howard, who recently won the Ace Hardware Helpful Player of the Month award, also presented 50 members of the club, between ages 13-17, with $100 gift cards to Finish Line.

Howard “then played the role of personal shopper and helped each kid individually select a pair of sneakers that best matched their style and personality.” [Read more…]

NBA: Wade Makes Fans Day with Jersey Giveaway; Kings, Wizards and Blazers in the News

Dwyane Wade Jersey

The Heat’s Dwyane Wade gives his jersey to a sick boy during a recent game, and the story got widespread attention thanks to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, the Kings, Wizards and Trail Blazers also get a little PR play this week.

Dwyane Wade: The AP’s Tim Reynolds reported that after the Miami Heat-Memphis Grizzlies game on March 23, Heat G Dwyane Wade “removed his jersey and gave it to“eight-year-old Michael Stolzenberg, who “nearly died from a bacterial infection last summer, an ailment so devastating that doctors needed to remove both of Michael’s hands and feet just so he would survive.” [Read more…]

CAN Futbol Foundation Using Soccer to Serve Children; Lakers’ Farmar Active With His Own Foundation

The CAN Futbol Foundation is a grassroots, humanitarian organization that uses soccer and education as its vehicle to empower the world’s underprivileged youth.

This eight-minute film takes a look at CANFF’s work in Honduras.

After the jump, there’s a video on Los Angeles Lakers G Jordan Farmar. [Read more…]

NBA Star Encouraging Cash Donations from Unclaimed Law Suits; Phoenix Sun Helping Food Bank

In the NBA, Cavs C Zydrunas Ilgauskas teams up with a Cleveland law firm to encourage our legal institutions to give money in unclaimed class action suits to charitable organizations. Then, after the jump, Suns F Louis Amundson is bagging groceries to help reduce hunger in the Phoenix area.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Cavalier: On March 16, Cleveland Cavaliers C Zydrunas Ilgauskas along with his wife, Jennifer, talked about making aggressive, effective moves on a different kind of court: the American legal system. Joining Dworken & Bernstein Co. L.P.A., a Northeast Ohio-based law firm that has already secured nearly $19 million for nonprofits, Ilgauskas asked lawyers, judges and corporations in class-action law suits to direct millions of dollars in unclaimed class action settlement money to deserving charities. [Read more…]

Conversation: A Perfect Birthday Gift is Supporting Kerosene Lamp Foundation’s March $10K Campaign

Kerosene Lamp Foundation

As you’re spending time trying to figure out what the perfect birthday give would be for someone, why don’t you consider donating to that person’s favorite charity? That’s exactly what Orlando Magic star Adonal Foyle hopes his friends and fans do to celebrate his birthday. Foyle, who turned 34 on March 9, kicked off a March $10K Campaign to support his Kerosene Lamp Foundation.

Foyle is hoping to raise $10,000 to support his foundation’s Athletics & Academics Camps in his native St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These camps go beyond teaching basketball skills, to also address the areas of health, particularly HIV/AIDS and nutrition, as well as social skills and education, with a focus on literacy.

Progress Avenue recently caught up with Kerosene Lamp Foundation Executive Director Shiyana Valentine to discuss the campaign, and the camps:

Progress Avenue: I think it’s a nice gesture to celebrate Adonal’s birthday with a fundraising effort. But how do people contribute to the March $10K Campaign?

Shiyana Valentine: We’ve been doing a lot of online stuff, getting the word out that way and using several viral marketing techniques. We’re holding a raffle and calling it the Manic March Giveaway, sort of like the deriverative of March Madness. Each raffle ticket is $10, and we’ll be drawing winners for such prizes as an Adonal Foyle NBA jersey signed by him, Dwight Howard’s basketball shoe, or Mickael Pietrus’ autographed shoe. [Read more…]