DENVER, Feb. 15 --The National Basketball Association and Nike dedicated a new NikeGO basketball court today at the Boettcher Boys & Girls Club, a proud member of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA. The event was just one of many community activities leading up to NBA All-Star 2005 in Denver. Following the court dedication, Nuggets Legend Mark Randall led a Jr. NBA/Jr.WNBA Basketball & Books clinic for more than 50 youngsters on the new court, where the players learned fundamental basketball skills and were taught the values of teamwork and sportsmanship. Following the clinic, the participants read Strong to the Hoop with the children. Additional Basketball & Books clinics were held at the same time with NBA Legends at the Southwest YMCA and Glenarm Recreation Center.

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA, presented by Gatorade and Nike, is a support program for recreational youth basketball leagues designed to heighten awareness and enhance the youth basketball experience for parents, players, coaches and officials. Approximately 1,150 youth basketball leagues and about 60,000 teams (for boys and girls, ages 5-14 years-old) are 2004-05 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA members. This season, 60,000 coaches, 25,000 officials, 600,000 players and 1,200,000 parents are participating in the program.

“NBA All-Star 2005 in Denver is more than just a great weekend of basketball. We are proud to give back to the local community and have a chance to impact the lives of young people here in Denver,” said Kathy Behrens, NBA senior vice president community relations. “Nike has been a great partner for the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA and has been instrumental in helping build better facilities for organizations like Boettcher Boys & Girls Club, that are doing so much to give kids a safe place to be.”

NikeGO is Nike's signature U.S. community affairs initiative and the company's long-term commitment to getting kids more physically active. The program's mission is to increase physical activity in youth ages 8-15, offering them the support and motivation to become physically active, stay healthy and have fun. Nike committed more than $10 million in the United States last year in cash and products to get kids moving and targets to increase that amount in the current year. Visit www.nikego.com for additional information.

“We are pleased to partner with the NBA in this valuable community outreach activity,” said Nike's Phil Cook. “The court project provides opportunities for athletes to practice and play this wonderful game, and creates a structural legacy of the all-star weekend events in the city of Denver.”

This is the fifth year Nike and the NBA have refurbished a basketball court for youth in conjunction with NBA All-Star. Since 1993, more than 15 million pairs of athletic shoes have been recycled through Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program. Instead of sending them to the landfill, Nike invented a process to slice unusable athletic shoes into three parts. Each part is then ground into materials that can be reused to make new NikeGO sports surfaces (including, running tracks, playground surfaces, and basketball and tennis courts), which it donates to communities across the U.S. to help get kids more physically active. For more information about the program, visit www.nikereuseashoe.com.

The NBA All-Star game will feature the top players from the Eastern and Western conferences going head to head on Sunday, February 20, 2005 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. It is the culmination of a week of activities that will showcase the greatest athletes in the world playing basketball at the highest level of competition, present the excitement of NBA basketball on an international stage, and display the league’s deep commitment to its community through numerous events held throughout the Denver community.

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program provides recreational youth basketball leagues with free access to a variety of valuable membership programs, including an Instructional Curriculum for players, parents, coaches and officials. Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA is endorsed by the Youth Basketball Partnership, made up of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National Recreation and Parks Association, National Police Athletic Leagues, Jewish Community Centers of North America and Basketball Canada. These organizations also support the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA by serving as a communication link to local member leagues.

The NBA and WNBA have named honorary captains that contribute to the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA and encourage positive participation by players, parents and coaches. The cornerstone of the program is the instructional guidebook provided free to all players, parents, coaches and officials from member leagues. The program components have been created by a distinguished group of experts, including nationally-recognized youth sports expert Rick Wolff, nutritionist Dr. Jackie Berning, the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), and the Jr. NBA/ Jr. WNBA Advisory Council, which is made up of Ray Allen (Seattle SuperSonics), Mike Bibby (Sacramento Kings), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tina Thompson (Houston Comets), Doc Rivers (Head Coach Boston Celtics), Danny Crawford (NBA Official), Lisa Mattingly (WNBA Official), Suzie McConnell Serio (Head Coach Minnesota Lynx) and Bill Walton (Hall-of-Famer and ESPN analyst).