Cleveland Cavaliers Commence 2010 Black Heritage Celebration with Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Night

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CLEVELAND, OH - January 12, 2010 - On Monday, January 18th, to honor Martin Luther King Day, Cavs players Danny Green, JJ Hickson, Darnell Jackson and Jawad Williams will team up with the City Year Cleveland Youth Corps for an afternoon of community service to fulfill the legacy of Dr. King. The players will participate in a “day ON not a day off,” by taking time to help spruce up Collinwood High School working side-by-side with 130 of City Year’s younger leaders to clean the hallways and paint the school walls.

On Tuesday, January 19th when the team takes on the Toronto Raptors at 7:00 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena, it will begin the Cleveland Cavaliers sixth annual Black Heritage Celebration (BHC), presented by State Farm Insurance. The BHC will include three signature Cavaliers home games in January and February. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Night, presented by National City, now a part of PNC and Time Warner Cable, will be the first theme night of the celebration. The game will feature a pregame reception and prestigious halftime tribute to this year’s class of Black Sports Legends:
  • Jim BrownJim Brown is widely regarded as the greatest player to ever don a Cleveland Browns uniform and the best running back of all-time. Drafted in 1957 with the Browns’ top pick, Brown raced to unanimous Rookie of the Year honors and won the first of four NFL MVP awards (1957, 1958, 1963 and 1965). He made the Pro Bowl in each of his nine seasons and was a unanimous All-NFL pick eight times. At the age of 30, Brown retired with over 12,000 rushing yards and 15,000 combined net yards. Following his Hall of Fame career, he starred in numerous Hollywood films and became a social activist, founding the Amer-I-Can Program in 1988 and working within the inner city and prisons to teach life management skills.
  • Cris CarterCris Carter has been described by the single phrase “All he does is catch touchdowns.” The Troy, Ohio native starred at wide receiver at Ohio State before taking his talents to the NFL. He spent his first three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before truly taking off with the Minnesota Vikings where he made eight straight Pro Bowls and was twice named First Team All-Pro. He was named to the 1990’s All-Decade Team and at the time of his retirement, his 130 touchdowns and 1,101 career receptions ranked only behind Jerry Rice in NFL history. Carter currently is an NFL analyst for ESPN, appearing on their signature shows, NFL Countdown and Primetime.
  • Jim Jim “Mudcat” Grant spent the first seven seasons (1958-1964) of his highly successful 14-year pitching career with the Cleveland Indians. He was one of the first Black pitchers to become a Major League star, making the All-Star Team in 1963 and 1965 and achieving his highest level of success in 1965 when he led the American League in wins (21), winning percentage and shutouts. Following his career on field, he dedicated himself to promoting the history of Blacks in baseball, authoring The Black Aces, Baseball’s Only African-American Twenty-Game Winners in which he discusses the Black pitchers, including himself, who have at least 20 games.
  • Jimmy JacksonJimmy Jackson, a Toledo, Ohio native, led Macomber High School to 1989 State Championship before playing three stellar seasons at Ohio State. The Buckeye legend earned First Team All-America Honors and was named UPI Player of the Year in 1992 before declaring for the NBA and being selected with the fourth overall pick of the 1992 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. Jackson enjoyed a successful 14-year NBA career in which he retired with career averages of 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists, including his career best season in 1994-95 in which he put up 25.7 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game in 51 games with Dallas. Jackson is a college basketball analyst for the Big Ten Network and runs his own real estate company.
The Cavaliers Black Heritage Celebration will continue with Black Pioneers’ Night on Tuesday, February 2nd, when the Cavs take on the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:00 p.m. and Black Achievement Night on Thursday, February 11th at 8:00 p.m. when the Cavaliers match up with the Orlando Magic in a nationally televised contest. To purchase tickets for MLK Night, contact Cavaliers sales executive Corey James via email at cjames@cavs.com or via phone at 216.420.2057. The BHC: Be A Part of It!

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