2011 - Chick Hearn Night


On Sunday, November 21, 2010, the Lakers honored the memory of their Hall of Fame broadcaster Chick Hearn with the annual Chick Hearn Night at STAPLES Center. Chick Hearn Night has been celebrated at the Lakers home game closest to Chick’s birthday every season since his passing in 2002. As in past seasons, the Lakers highlighted education on Chick Hearn Night by awarding the Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and holding a book drive.

2011 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship
The winners of the 2011 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship are Claire Atkins and Alex Wilk, both seniors majoring in broadcast journalism at USC Annenberg’s School of Journalism. Each winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to intern at Fox Sports Net. Chick’s widow, Marge Hearn, his great granddaughter, Kayla Hearn and Geneva Overholser, director of USC Annenberg’s School of Journalism, made the official presentation to the students during a halftime ceremony.

“Of all the honors that Chick received, I believe he would have been most proud of this scholarship,” Marge Hearn said. “He never was able to complete his own education and he would have been very pleased that students like Claire and Alex have the help they need to pursue their dreams.”

Atkins, from Nashville, Tenn., is the first female recipient in the scholarship’s nine-year existence. She is a sports anchor at Annenberg TV News and has interned at AEG Digital Media and in the sports department of KTLA and CBS-2. She is also the host of USCfootball.com's weekly webcast.

“To be associated with one of the greatest broadcasters of all time is really special,” Atkins said. “All of my hard work in sports at USC has culminated in this award. I feel truly honored.”

Wilk, who grew up in Los Angeles, is the sports director of Annenberg TV News, where he has been a video journalist, producer, reporter, anchor and most recently executive producer of the new USC-centered “Sports Extra” feature show. He has interned with FoxSports.com and the sports department of ABC-7 and was an editor of the crowd-sourced website BleacherReport.com.

“This is something I’ve dreamed about since hearing about the scholarship years ago,” Wilk said. “I’m just so excited to have my name mentioned with Chick Hearn’s. To be able to meet Marge Hearn and be honored at this game is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’ll never forget.”

The Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship was established in 2002 with support from the Hearn family, the Lakers and Chick’s many fans as a tribute to the legendary announcer. There have now been 13 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship winners from USC Annenberg. This season, those past winners were invited to a special reunion at STAPLES Center, where they took a group photo with the new Chick Hearn Statue in Star Plaza and attended a pregame reception in the Chairman’s Room. At the reception, the past winners updated Marge and the Hearn family on the developments in their lives and careers since winning the scholarship. It was a great opportunity for all to witness another layer of the remarkable legacy that Chick Hearn has left to Lakers fans and the city of Los Angeles.



Book Drive Nets Record Numbers
Prior to the game versus the Golden State Warriors, Lakers fans showed their support for the Lakers Read To Achieve initiative by donating over 1,500 books in memory of Chick Hearn! The 1,500 books is a record for Chick Hearn Night book drive. The books will be donated to Everybody Wins! Los Angeles, an organization which aims to increase children’s prospects for success in school and in life through one-to-one reading experiences with caring adults or older students.
The 1,500 books were collected by Everybody Wins! Los Angeles volunteers at STAR Plaza of STAPLES Center. Each fan who donated a new children’s book received an official 2010-2011 Lakers pin and will be remembered for their generosity on special Chick Hearn donor recognition stickers that are affixed to the inside cover of each donated book. Now every child who opens one of the donated books will see the name of Chick Hearn and of the thoughtful Lakers fan!

The Lakers give thanks to the Everybody Wins! Los Angeles volunteers and to the most generous fans in the NBA for this record setting performance.