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Where Caring Happens


Posted Feb 13 2009 10:49PM

NBA Going Green in Phoenix

Phoenix may be hosting the greenest NBA All-Star Game to date.

For the first time, the NBA is buying green-energy credits to offset the power that it expects to use at US Airways Center and at the Phoenix Convention Center while All-Star fans and organizers are in town.

The league makes an effort to be more eco-friendly each year, but officials say the credits and other new strategies will make the Phoenix event unique. Among other things, the NBA plans to ratchet up recycling, to use Suns stars for a green public-service announcement and to use post-consumer products to build a playground as a community-service project on Friday. Read more

NBA's Day of Service in Phoenix

NBA All-Star 2009 showcases the world's greatest athletes and also highlights the league's commitment to community outreach initiatives that address important social issues with an emphasis on programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes. The NBA, its teams and players implement and execute programs that impact and inspire children and families worldwide.

A highlight of All-Star 2009 activities takes place on Friday, Feb. 13 with the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service. 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.

In addition to the Day of Service, 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.

Through NBA Cares, the NBA is a partner with a broad array of local and internationally recognized community and nonprofit organizations.

Q & A with Hall of Famer Bob Lanier

He was born in Buffalo but calls Phoenix home. Hall of Famer and 1974 All-Star Game MVP, Bob Lanier is opening his arms and heart to all visitors descending onto the Valley this week for NBA All-Star.

Lanier is Phoenix's ultimate ambassador and will be everywhere from now until All-Star Sunday, whether it's at a Toyota Project Rebound event at a local school or mixing it up with chefs and other NBA legends at an NBA Cares and Cooks fundraiser. The Special Assistant to the Commissioner will no doubt make the most of the weeklong community events in an area that is near and dear to his heart. NBA.com's John Hareas recently caught up with Lanier. Read Q & A

Help slam dunk hunger in Phoenix

PHOENIX -- Foodies and basketball fans alike are in for a treat when NBA Cares & Cooks, a local food and wine-tasting VIP reception, tips off for the first time at NBA All-Star on Saturday, Feb. 14, 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 in the drive to end hunger, features award-winning chefs from some of the finest Valley restaurants as well as Basketball Hall of Famers and NBA legends.

The All-Star lineup of chefs includes: Eddie Matney (Eddie's House); Paul Carter (The Phoenician Resort); Beau Mac Millian (Elements); Michael de Maria (Heirloom); Vincent Guerithault (Vincent on Camelback); Aaron May (Soly Sombra); Todd Sicolo (Arizona Biltmore); Mathew Carter (Zinc Bistro); Chuck Wiley (Cafe Zuzu); John Kottman/Anna Boiardi (Strictly from Scratch); James Porter (Tapino); and Kurt Karaffa (Pirouette).

Serving as celebrity sous chefs are Basketball Hall of Famers Bob Lanier, Rick Barry, George Gervin, Dominique Wilkins, and Clyde Drexler, among other basketball greats.

Throughout the evening, guests can stroll through a dozen food stations and enjoy world-class cuisine prepared by some of the Valley's most extraordinary chefs. An array of fine wines from Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards will complement the tasting menu. To satisfy healthy "hoops" appetites, guests can also meet legendary NBA players at each station.

A silent auction featuring nearly 100 memorabilia items from the NBA and other sports and entertainment organizations will raise additional funds for charity. Items include game-worn jerseys from 2009 All-Star competitions and signed memorabilia from some of the game's biggest stars.

The evening will also feature a performance by jazz bass guitarist Wayman Tisdale and his renowned Fifth Quarter Band. Tisdale played 12 years in the NBA including the Phoenix Suns.

A sampling of the All-Star cooking combos' dishes include, among other unforgettable items: bacon-infused meatloaf, lobster corndogs, braised pork sliders, oyster and champagne soup, bacon-wrapped dates with marcona, rosemary-roast meatballs, lobster shrimp cakes, and banana split sundaes on a stick.

To purchase tickets for the event, which begins at 9:00pm (8:30pm for corporate groups), please visit www.nba-caresandcooks.com. NBA Cares & Cooks is presented by Phoenix Magazine, The Art Institute of Phoenix, Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards, and Phoenix Home & Garden.

NBA's Day of Service

On February 15, 2008, more than 2,500 in the NBA community came together in New Orleans to participate in the NBA's Day of Service. Throughout the event members of the NBA family used their muscles and their carpentry skills to aid in the rebuilding of the Crescent City. During the day the volunteers helped build homes and playgrounds, revitalize schools, and refurbish neighborhoods in order to facilitate an easier return home for families that were forced to relocate after Hurricane Katrina.

2008 NBA Cares
Take a look back at the NBA Cares as NBA superstars lend a hand to rebuild New Orleans.
Play :56

NBA All-Stars, former players, NBA employees, NBA business partners and various celebrities were all spotted at the event. The Day of Service was merely just one of 10 community events that the NBA will partake in during All-Star weekend. While no players scored a three-pointer and no athletes showed off their fancy dunks, everyone was a winner on Friday in New Orleans.

Eddie Sefko on NBA's Day of Service

After describing the joy New Orleans has brought to his life and the life of others, journalist Eddie Sefko discussed his experiences and observations during the NBA's Day of Service. Interviewing the players throughout the event Jason Kidd told Sefko, "To pitch in and put in a window or put on a roof. When you see who owns these homes with a smile and saying thank you, it can only make you feel good inside. Throughout the country, everybody's a neighbor. For us to come out here and help out, this is what it's all about, everybody's livelihood, to help everybody have a roof.''

Delving into his own personal recollection of the day's event, the veteran journalist discussed not only what he did but how it made him and the people he was working with feel. By sundown, in addition to reconstructed houses, Sefko and others left a neighborhood with a renewed spirit... Read More

Photo Gallery

NBAE Photographers covered NBA Cares Day of Service like no other. We've put the best shots in this Photo Gallery.

NBA Cares' All-Star 2008 Events

NBA All-Star 2008 showcased the world's greatest athletes and also highlighted the league's commitment to ongoing rebuilding and revitalization of New Orleans. This season, the league has continued its on-going commitment this season by focusing on three key areas of need: education, housing, and recreation.

The NBA Family, including players, teams, and business and community partners, have dedicated to performing more than 30,000 hours of hands-on community service; creating 40 places in New Orleans where kids and families can live, learn or play; and collaborating with more than a dozen national and local community-based organizations to assist more than 30,000 children.

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