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Bulls' Derrick Rose and Brian Scalabrine among NBA stars helping people of Japan

Rose, averaging 24.9 points per game through 69 regular season contests, will donate $1,000 for every point he scores when the Bulls host the Grizzlies on Friday

Los Angeles, CA (March 24, 2011) -- Direct Relief International, one of the world’s leading medical relief organizations, today announcedthat twenty players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) have committed to supporting the organization in their effort to help the people of Japan recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

Many of the players are donating $1,000.00 for every point they score in their respective games occurring March 25-27th including LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Al Horford, JaVale McGee, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Others have committed to a set donation including DJ Augustin, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Tyreke Evans, Danilo Gallinari, Xavier Henry, Antawn Jamison, Jason Kapono, Quincy Pondexter, Brian Scalabrine, Etan Thomas, and Ben Wallace.

The donations will go to Direct Relief’s Japan Relief and Recovery Fund. Formed withthe Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the Fund supports the immediate health needs of people by working with local authorities best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.

“We are incredibly proud that our athletes have rallied together to assist with Direct Relief’s efforts in Japan,” said Arn Tellem, principal of the management division of leading sports marketing and management agency, Wasserman Media Group, that represents the athletes. “Due to the gravity of the situation, we hope that citizens around the world consider following the example of our athletes by making a donation of any amount to an organization of their choice assisting in the Japanese relief efforts.”

Direct Relief has already provided emergency funds for the provision of emergency materials for thousands of displaced persons in 20 facilities throughout Miyagi prefecture, with special attention being paid to the needs of persons with disabilities and elderly persons.

“Direct Relief responds to emergencies all around the world, including the U.S., and the scale of the tragedy in Japan is immense by any measure,” said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief International. “These world-class NBA athletes are showing world-class generosity to support people in Japan who need help now and will still need it as the headlines fade. We hope they light up scoreboards this weekend.”

There are two ways to help:

1) Donate to the Japan Relief and Recovery Fund at www.directrelief.org/Japanrelief

2) Text “Give10” to 20222 to give $10 to Japan.

  • • 100% of funds received for the Japan Relief and Recovery Fund will be dedicated exclusively to relief and recovery efforts in Japan.
  • • Direct Relief has already committed $1,500,000 in financial support for relief efforts in Japan.
  • • Direct Relief’s extensive 64-year history of efficient humanitarian experience is joined with JACL’s extensive network of 112 chapters, including its Japan chapter that is coordinating with a broad scope of Japanese civic and nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Below is a schedule of this weekend’s NBA games and the Wasserman clients that will be donating. Please note those with an asterisk(*) are participating in the $1000 per point challenge:

Friday, March 25th
Memphis Grizzlies @ Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose* - Bulls
Brian Scalabrine – Bulls
Xavier Henry - Grizzlies
Marc Gasol* - Grizzlies

Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers
Mike Dunleavy Jr. - Pacers
Tyreke Evans - Kings

Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Ben Wallace – Pistons
Antawn Jamison - Cavaliers

Washington Wizards @ Denver Nuggets
JaVale McGee* - Wizards
Danilo Gallinari – Nuggets

New Orleans Hornets @ Phoenix Suns
Quincy Pondexter - Hornets

Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers
Pau Gasol* - Lakers

Saturday, March 26th
New Jersey Nets @ Atlanta Hawks
Jason Collins - Hawks
Al Horford* - Hawks
Etan Thomas - Hawks

New York Knicks @ Charlotte Bobcats
DJ Augustin – Bobcats

Sunday, March 27th
Portland Trail Blazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder
LaMarcus Aldridge*-Trail Blazers
Jarron Collins - Trail Blazers
Russell Westbrook * - Thunder

Sacramento Kings @ Philadelphia 76ers
Jason Kapono – 76ers

About Direct Relief International
Direct Relief International is a leading medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and nearly 70 countries. It works with more than 1,000 U.S. nonprofit health clinics in all 50 states to assist in emergencies and an on-going basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. The organization has been among the world’s largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and “top-notch” rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine.

About Wasserman Media Group
Founded in 2002, Wasserman Media Group is a global sports and entertainment company with leadership positions in athlete representation, corporate consulting, properties and media, global sales and business development, and action sports/lifestyle. In addition to representing more than 900 athletes in over 20 sports, Wasserman clients include the New York Jets, the New York Giants, T-Mobile, American Express and Northern Trust.

Wasserman is based in Los Angeles and operates in six cities across the world, including New York, London and Mumbai.

For more information please visit www.wmgllc.com.

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