Cavs’ Black Heritage Celebration Culminates with Praisefest and Gospel Night

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Ted Ginn, Sr. and Ted Ginn, Jr. are honored at The Q.
By Matthew K. Weiland

THE CAVALIERS BLACK HERITAGE CELEBRATION (BHC) culminates this week with Sunday night's Praisefest and Tuesday's Gospel Night, bringing to a close a month of honors bestowed and individuals commemorated, of electrifying performances and cultural consideration, further establishing the month-long event has the gold standard for such celebrations throughout the NBA and beyond.

Through hosting the BHC, The Q has become an annual February epicenter of legends and inspiration, this year hosting Heisman Award-winners and former Ohio State Buckeyes Eddie George and Troy Smith along with teammate Ted Ginn, Jr. and his father Ted Ginn, Sr. It paid tribute to the late singer Gerald Levert and welcomed back NBA legends, former Cavs' GMWayne Embry and his Cincinnati Royals on-court cohort Oscar Robertson. And it once again showcased the students and alumni of Ohio's historic black colleges, Wilberforce University and Central State University, featuring the harmonies of the Wilberforce Choir and the stirring sounds of the Central State marching band.

The Wilberforce Choir performs the National Anthem at The Q.
ONE OF THE MOST ROUSING AND INSPIRATIONAL events during the Black Heritage Celebration occurs Sunday and Tuesday nights with Praisefest and Gospel Night. Praisefest consists of a two-hour, non-denominational praise and prayer service featuring a 500-member Cleveland Mass Choir and many of the city's leading pastors while this year's Gospel Night features J. Moss in a special halftime performance and postgame concert following the Cavs versus New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets contest.

J. Moss, composer, gospel singer and producer, combines traditional spiritual messages with modern arrangements and hip hop beats, helping bring an accessible style of gospel music to general urban audiences. In addition to numerous gospel artists, he has also collaborated with such secular musical acts as Patti LaBelle, Dru Hill, N’Sync and Boyz II Men.

Last year, with Byron Cage spotlighting the event, Gospel Night set a franchise record for over 1800 tickets sold, much of the success due to the Cavaliers partnership with Cleveland's African-American churches and their pastors.

The dual events bring to a crescendo one of the most complete and comprehensive cultural celebrations in professional sports, one which has been modeled by other teams throughout the professional ranks.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 2007 BLACK HERITAGE CELEBRATION




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