Jazz Bring “Be A Team Player – Read!” Contest to 40 Local Elementary Schools

SALT LAKE CITY (January 14, 2014) – The Utah Jazz will begin the 16th annual “Be A Team Player – Read!” contest on Friday, Jan. 17. With continued support from Scholastic Book Fairs, Russell’s Ice Cream and Med One Capital, the month-long challenge requires thousands of students to chart and report their out-of-school reading minutes. The competition encourages students to develop a life-long love of reading, while emphasizing the importance of literacy and the value of teamwork.

Approximately 24,000 students from 40 elementary schools will participate in this year’s contest. The 10 schools that log the most out-of-school minutes read per student will each be awarded a visit from Utah Jazz players and an ice cream party for the entire student body. This year, the Jazz will also provide one additional participating school with the opportunity to receive a player visit via a random drawing upon the completion of the contest.

“The Utah Jazz organization is proud to support a variety of educational initiatives, and Be A Team Player – Read! is one of the team’s largest community outreach programs,” said Randy Rigby, Utah Jazz president. “The contest not only provides students with the motivation to spend time reading outside of the classroom, it also shows them that reading is an enjoyable activity that they can continue throughout their lives.”

“Be A Team Player – Read!” will conclude on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Utah Jazz players will visit the top 10 schools, along with the randomly selected 11th school, on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Each visit will feature a reading assembly led by players, followed by a Q & A session.

Last season’s contest featured participation by more than 21,000 students who read a combined total of nearly 17.3 million minutes. “Be A Team Player – Read!” is held in conjunction with NBA Cares, the league’s global community outreach initiative, and is part of the Utah Jazz organization’s ongoing efforts to make a positive, lasting impact on local youth.