HEAT Community Affairs

HEAT reaches out to the community


HEAT AcademyHEAT Academy
Recognizing the need for children to receive extra exposure to academics, particularly math and reading, the Miami HEAT has embraced the importance of providing children with the opportunity to have quality after-school programs in South Florida.

Through a collaborative partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the HEAT Group corporate partners, the Miami HEAT has teamed up to facilitate HEAT Academy at two local inner city schools, Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary and Little River Elementary.
At HEAT Academy students practice math and reading skills through a unique curriculum that introduces hands-on thematic lessons; get assistance with homework; have a safe place to be when their parents are not available; and most importantly, learn from positive role models who inspire kids to excel.

Program Duration: September-June.

HEAT Academic Scholarships
In conjunction with the Miami HEAT Family Outreach Charitable Fund, the Miami HEAT offers $10,000.00 in scholarship funds to high school seniors each year. Scholarship applications are available in December each year and recipients are awarded in April. This is the seventh year that the Miami HEAT has offered scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and outstanding community service. Scholarships include the following:

  • $2,500.00 Academic Scholarship*
  • $ 2,500.00 Jack Ramsay Scholarship (For student pursuing a career in broadcast journalism)
    * Three Academic Scholarships are awarded. One Jack Ramsay Scholarship is awarded.

    Read To Achieve
    The Miami HEAT promotes the value of reading and encourages children and families to read regularly through the Read to Achieve program. Derived from the National Basketball Association, the Miami HEAT's local Read to Achieve program incorporates a combination of special monthly reading "time-outs", book giveaways, and the creation of designated reading locations, including the special SOL Reading Rock houses which are located at each HEAT Academy site. The program runs year round and is a shared community initiative that the HEAT and SOL work collectively to promote.
    Program Duration: Year-round

    HEAT & SOL Pep Rally For Education
    (Available for Grades K - 5)

    The Miami HEAT and SOL team up with elementary schools and present an entertaining and educational show for students, while highlighting two important themes: "Shoot for the Stars," a program designed to teach and motivate students to set and achieve goals, and "Read to Achieve". Students are fired-up for the school week after a HEAT & SOL Pep Rally For Education featuring Burnie-the Miami HEAT mascot, and a special video presentation featuring Miami HEAT and SOL game highlights and messages from players and coaches.
    Program Duration: September - April

    Miami HEAT FUN-raiser
    (Available for Grades K-12)

    The Miami HEAT realizes that fundraising is necessary for schools to keep programs properly funded. To help your school, we have created an opportunity for faculty, students and their families to enjoy the experience of a Miami HEAT game - LIVE, while simultaneously helping the school to meet its goals. In a fun and exciting alternative to a raffle or chocolate sell-off, etc., schools have the opportunity to receive three dollars for every Miami HEAT ticket the school is able to sell through the Miami HEAT FUN-raiser program.
    Program Duration: September - April

    Nike/HEAT Youth Basketball League
    The Nike/HEAT Youth Basketball League was created to help enhance the quality of existing South Florida youth basketball leagues. Supporting community efforts to mentor, coach and inspire kids, the league brings all basketball enthusiasts together under a single umbrella organization. League members get the opportunity to meet HEAT players and coaches, gain excellent on and off-court training, improve their basketball and teamwork skills, receive exclusive HEAT offers, and be rewarded for excellence in academics, sportsmanship, and service to the community through our Most Valuable Player Program (MVP). And best of all, through hard work and perseverance, your team may have the chance to participate in the championship game played on the court of the AmericanAirlines Arena! The 2003 season will be the program’s sixth year in existence.

    Program Duration: January-April.

    Shoot for the StarsShoot For the Stars Summer Clinics
    Throughout the summer, The Miami HEAT leads free basketball camps designed to offer children the opportunity to learn the fundamental basketball skills and the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship. Led by former NBA star and Miami HEAT Community liaison, Wali Jones, the clinics take place throughout the summer and reach over 2,000 children at inner city locations throughout the South Florida community. This season clinic locations expanded and included some international visits to children in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas.

    Wheelchair Basketball - Miami HEAT Wheels
    In conjunction with the Miami-Dade Parks' Leisure Access Services, the Miami HEAT offers support for the Miami HEAT Wheels, the adult wheelchair basketball team and the HEAT Sparks, the junior wheelchair team. Through the adult and junior teams, players teach others how those with disabilities lead active and productive lives. The HEAT Wheels practice throughout the year and compete in local and regional matches while attempting to qualify for the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in February. For additional information on the team please contact Arlene at 305-234-4948 or Coach Portuondo at 305-710-1300.

    Miami HEAT TeamUP Teen Senate
    To promote the importance of community service and youth volunteerism, the Miami HEAT "drafts" a total of 15 students from the Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to serve as community representatives in the Miami Heat Teen Senate. Through this program, students work together to create and implement community programs that address the needs in the South Florida community. TeamUP visits encompass motivational seminars, outreach initiatives, reading timeouts and various other community outreach efforts that address the needs of the South Florida community.
    Program Duration: September - June.

    Shoot For the Stars Program
    Wali Jones, former NBA superstar and Vice President of Community Relations, has brought the National Shoot For the Stars concepts, technology and method to the Miami HEAT with the intention of improving the education of our most important natural resources - our youth.
    The program consists of human development/positive peer leadership training which is designed to help teachers with teaching techniques, neuro-linguistic programming and classroom management. The students participate in seminars that focus on the following issues: self concept, self esteem, refusal skills, communication, problem solving, decision making, conflict resolution, reading and volunteerism. Via an academic action plan, students work with their teachers to set academic and personal goals and together they work throughout the year to achieve these goals.

    Miami HEAT Learn to Swim Program
    In an effort to heighten awareness of the importance of water safety for adult and children of all ages, the Miami HEAT encourage South Floridians to receive training in aquatics and water safety courses by supporting organizations such as the American Red Cross through collaborative partnerships. Program Duration: Year Round.

    Miami HEAT Visits/Item and Memorabilia Requests
    The Miami HEAT supports numerous organizations and events throughout South Florida community. Through special visits, donations of sports memorabilia, in-kind items and player/mascot/dancer appearances as well as staff involvement and volunteerism, the Miami HEAT reaches out to the community year-round basis.
    All requests for donated items and player appearances must be submitted in writing on organization letterhead no less than 6 weeks prior to an event to the address listed below. Please include the date, time and location of the event.

    Community Affairs Department
    Requests/Miami HEAT
    AmericanAirlines Arena
    601 Biscayne Boulevard
    Miami, FL 33132

    Holiday Programs
    The Miami HEAT players and staff ring in the holiday season with numerous festive celebrations and outreach efforts.
    Programs included turkey giveaways at Thanksgiving, hospital visits, holiday parties and toy drives for local charities.

    Family Outreach IV. FOUNDATION
    Foundation Description
    The Miami HEAT Family Outreach was established in 1997 was comprised of the Miami HEAT staff, players, coaches and wives. Today our "family" has expanded and our outreach efforts include the programs and outreach initiatives of our newest team, the Miami SOL. Together, our families, team members, and staff -- collectively referred to as the HEAT Family Outreach -- dedicate time and support for the improvement of all South Florida residents, especially children and women at risk. It is our belief that as our fans and youth give to us, it is equally important that we give back to them.
    At this time, the primary areas of interest for the HEAT Family Outreach include programs serving underprivileged children, domestic violence prevention and breast health awareness. HEAT Family Outreach funds are generated through special events and are allocated locally at the discretion of a review committee and/or the Board of Directors.

    Miami HEAT Family Festival
    The Miami HEAT Family Festival, which is the Foundation's largest annual fundraiser, is an interactive, carnival-like celebration in which HEAT players, coaches, celebrities and 250 families come together for a day of family, fun and feasting. Over 100 celebrities and sports heroes join us yearly, and top restaurants from South Florida create a dining extravaganza that is out of this world. Families enjoy countless activities, food stations and interactive areas that are located throughout the festival. From dance clinics and shooting hoops with HEAT players to the finest dining and excellent island ambiance, the Miami HEAT Family Festival is a memorable and unique affair.

    Golf TourneyHEAT Golf Scramble Golf Classic The Annual HEAT Scramble Golf Classic offers golfers an opportunity to tackle some of the most renowned courses in South Florida such as Don Shula's in Miami Lakes and the Blue Monster at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa. HEAT wives, staff, dancers, and our mascot, Burnie, are on site to host the tournament and the after party where guests mingle with HEAT players and coaches. This year, the golf tournament is tentatively slated for October. All proceeds raised benefit the Miami HEAT Family Outreach Charitable Fund.