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