Hornets Still Playing Big Part in New Orleans’ Rebuilding

The Sports Network’s NBA Editor John McMullen wrote a feature story under the header, “Paul, Hornets Help New Orleans Rebuild.”

NORD

In the piece, the New Orleans Hornets kind of take a back seat to the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD), where the needs are. McMullen noted that NORD “is working to restore the city’s communities by rebuilding facilities that house the athletic and recreational, as well as educational and cultural programs, which shut down following Katrina.”

According to NORD, “city operated playgrounds, stadiums, basketball courts, swimming pools and multi-purpose centers suffered an estimated $60 million in damages from the storm.” [Read more…]

Sixers’ Dalembert Picks Up Community Assist Award; Foye’s Return to Philly Doubles as Fundraiser

This week’s lead is the news that Philadelphia 76ers C Samuel Dalembert is the recipient of the NBA Community Assist Award for February. Then after the jump, Villanova’s newspaper gives some pub to alum Randy Foye, Pistons Care to the tune of about a half million, and more.

NBA Cares

Samuel Dalemert:The Sixers’ Samuel Dalembert was honored with the February Community Assist Award following his $150,000 pledge of support to UNICEF to assist impoverished communities throughout his native country of Haiti over the next three years. In 2007, Dalembert returned to Haiti with UNICEF and witnessed first-hand the country’s current need of basic resources. During his visit, Dalembert spent time at UNICEF-supported schools and hospitals and was moved by the organization’s work to bring hope and assistance to millions of Haitian families and children. Dalembert has since made it his mission to support UNICEF with the help of his foundation, the Samuel Dalembert Foundation. [Read more…]

Around the NBA: Adonal Foyle Celebrates His Birthday By Launching March Fundraiser

Adonal Foyle takes the lead. It’s his birthday, of course he gets the top. But after the jump, there are notes on Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah.

Kerosene Lamp Foundation

Adonal Foyle: One of the most philanthropic players in the NBA is celebrating a birthday this week. The Orlando Magic’s Adonal Foyle starts a new year on March 9, and to celebrate, his Kerosene Lamp Foundation is launching its March $10K Campaign. The funds will go towards making Foyle’s Athletics & Academics Camps a reality for 1000 children in St. Vincent and the Grenadines this summer. [Read more…]

This Week’s PSA: Jamison Narrates for KaBOOM!

Washington Wizards F Antawn Jamison narrates a new PSA highlighting the great playspaces being built by NBA Cares and KaBOOM! The organization has a terrific history of partnering with professional sports teams and athletes to create great places for kids to play across America (KaBOOM!).

NBA and WNBA Launch Vaccines for Teens Campaign

The NBA and WNBA have launched Vaccines for Teens, a national multimedia campaign designed to educate teens and their parents about the importance of vaccination against serious, potentially life-threatening diseases. Phoenix Suns F Grant Hill and Hall of Famer Bob Lanier helped tip off the campaign (see video) at a Phoenix middle school. [Read more…]

News Bytes: Catching Up On the Week’s Stories

The 24 Hours of Booty tops this week’s news bytes. The official 24 hour cycling event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation is getting some help from NASCAR driver and avid cyclist Bobby Labonte. After the jump, we’ve got bytes on LeBron James, Brandon Webb, Diego and others.

Image Name

24 Hours of Booty: 24 Hours of Booty, which runs the Official 24-Hour Cycling Event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the only 24-hour road cycling charity event in the country, has partnered with NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte’s Breaking Limits marketing agency to help acquire new corporate partnerships. Labonte: “I’m an avid cyclist, and a supporter of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LIVESTRONG campaign, so the 24 Hours of Booty rides truly align with what I believe in and support” (24 Hours of Booty).

Take the jump to read more of this week’s bytes. [Read more…]

Chris Paul, President Obama Deliver Community Service Message During NBA All-Star Game

In case you missed Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game on TNT, New Orleans Hornets G Chris Paul took center court to bring a message about community service to the audience.

Paul: “Through the NBA Cares program, and through the personal charitable efforts of so many in the NBA family, we have a chance to help those in need here in the United States and in countries all over the world. … We are grateful that we can inspire hope, provide encouragement and create change for the better. Basketball may be just a game played here on the court, but it can also bring people together in ways that extend far beyond our sport.”

In a videotaped message, U.S. President Barack Obama encouraged people to get off the bench and into the game. Obama: “In this time of so much need in our communities and across our country, we are blessed with endless ways to restore hope and opportunity to places that yearn for both. … All of us have it within our power to get off the bench, get into the game and make a lasting contribution to the life of this nation” (NBA).

Video added to YouTube: February 18, 2009

LeBron James and Jay-Z Donate Musical Instruments to Phoenix’s Mesa Arts Academy

LeBron and Jay-Z Donate Musical Instruments (1:18)

During the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, Cleveland Cavaliers F LeBron James and recording artist Jay-Z donated 150 new musical instruments and $10,000 to the Mesa Arts Academy.

James said to the kids: “We will never forget this day. To be able to provide you guys with anything, we’re happy to be able to help.”

The Arizona Republic’s Kristena Hansen wrote that “after a fire in April 2008 and a lack of funds to replace old instruments, the donations couldn’t have come at a better time.” The instruments “will not only revive old music programs, but create some, and the extra cash will help fund their summer music camp” (Kristena Hansen, Arizona Republic, 2/15).

Accompanying video from Phoenix’s KNXV-ABC.

Video added to YouTube: February 16, 2009

NBA All-Star Weekend Tips Off With Community Programs; Day of Service, Wish Kids and Nash Bash

NBA Cares Day of Service 2009 (1:55)

NBA Cares held its annual Day of Service yesterday in Phoenix, as the league is in the city for this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend. Here’s a quote from the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard: “I love giving back. I love having fun. And I love being around kids. It’s more exciting for me than probably for the kids” (NBA).

A Wish Come True: The Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley wrote that as NBA All-Star Weekend tipped off on Thursday, “the shock mostly belonged to two high school kids,” as the two Make-A-Wish kids had the surprise opportunity to meet NBA stars Michael Jordan and Chris Paul.

Jordan, who was recently named a Wish Ambassador, said, “”I’ve been doing this for a long time now, and when I see these kids smile, that means more than anything to me. For that quick moment they have not thought about their illness, their treatments, or what they’ve been going through. I just want to see them smile, that they can forget for one moment what they have to deal with” (Dan Bickley, Arizona Republic, 2/12). Read Bickley’s entire article from the Arizona Republic

Nash Bash: In Arizona, Joe Golfen notes that Phoenix Suns G Steve Nash “drew an A-list crowd” last night for his organization’s Nash Bash. The event raised “$13,000 per person for dinner, and $1,300 per person for the party.”

The Steve Nash Foundation provides health and education resources to underserved children in Phoenix, British Columbia, Paraguay and Uganda (Joe Golfen, Metromix Phoenix, 2/14). Read Golfen’s entire Metromix Phoenix clip

Giving Back: Also at the Republic, Mark Faller writes that many NBA players “are heavily involved in charitable work, either through the league’s official outreach program, NBA Cares, or privately.”

Houston Rockets C Yao Ming, who founded the Yao Ming Foundation in the past year, said, “I think obviously we know that economy is bad, and a lot of the players have foundations to try to give back to the community. We need to do more to tell the fans that we are about them because they care about us” (Mark Faller, Arizona Republic, 2/14). Read Faller’s entire note from the Arizona Republic

Video added to YouTube: February 14, 2009

NBA Enforces Rule that Prohibits Yao’s Foundation from Participating in Rockets’ Charity Event

2008 Tux & Tennis Gala

In Houston, Fran Blinebury reports that for the Houston Rockets’ Clutch City Foundation Tux & Tennies Charity Gala next week, the Yao Ming Foundation is being left “out of the loop, staying within newly enforced NBA guidelines set to prevent salary-cap circumvention.”

Because Rockets C Yao Ming “can opt out of his contract” with the Rockets after the 2009-10 season, NBA executives said that “donations to his foundation could be interpreted as influencing negotiations.”

Yao: “I know, it’s all about 2010. They have rules. All we want to do is help people who were hurt by the earthquake in the Sichuan Province.”

However, the NBA has said that “contributions may be made directly to the earthquake relief fund in China” (Fran Blinebury, Houston Chronicle, 2/10). Read Blinebury’s entire article from the Houston Chronicle

Photo credit: Houston Rockets

NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service Slated for Friday; Several Other Events Planned This Week

Image Name

In the run up to this weekend’s NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service will take place this Friday. Members of the NBA Family, including current and former players, business and media partners, and guests will roll up their sleeves and participate in an afternoon of hands-on service, refurbishing places where kids and families can live, learn or play in the Phoenix community.

The Caravan: In addition, the NBA Cares Community Caravan is holding events during All-Star week throughout Phoenix. Among these events are visits to local elementary schools and hospitals; basketball clinics with the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA , the National Wheelchair Basketball Association and Special Olympics and the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam, featuring 3,500 Phoenix students who are being honored for their achievements.

Chef’s Special: NBA Cares & Cooks tips off for the first time at NBA All-Star on Saturday at the Phoenix Convention Center. The new All-Star event, which benefits St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Waste Not, Feed the Children and Share our Strength, is an effort in the drive to end hunger (NBA).

It’s Always About Giving Back: In a recent Q&A with the NBA.com’s John Hareas, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier said of All-Star Weekend, “On the community side, it’s always about giving back. There will be a day of service. We will be refurbishing homes on the South Side for needy families. We will also be all around the Valley for basketball skills developments for the Boys and Girls Clubs.

“One of our biggest initiatives that week is the Legacy event at Caesar Chavez Elementary School. The event will have a long-term impact because we will be donating books and computers, the tools kids need to succeed in life. Long after NBA All-Star is over, kids will still be able to tap into these invaluable resources. To me, that is what NBA All-Star is all about” (John Hareas, NBA.com, 1/7). Read Hareas’ entire Q&A with Lanier from NBA.com

Press Play: Gomes Donates Defibrillators to Providence Group; VASS Challenge Coming Up

Ryan Gomes – Hoops for Heart Health (0:31)

Minnesota Timberwolves F Ryan Gomes, a Providence grad, was featured in this video during a timeout at the Providence College-Villanova University game on February 4. During the game, two Automated External Defibrillators were donated to the John Hope Settlement House in Providence by Gomes’ Hoops for Heart Health Foundation.

Video added to YouTube: February 5, 2009

VASS – Skiing Removes Barriers (0:41)

The second annual VASS Challenge Cup is slated for February 29 in Vancouver. Supporting Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, the event pits a team of three skiers/boarders with one athlete with a disability.

Video added to YouTube: February 5, 2009