CULVER CITY, Calif. – Sept. 13, 2005 -- Fifteen top NBA stars, WNBA players and NBA legends have teamed up with America’s favorite game show, Wheel of Fortune, to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and other charities during Wheel of Fortune's NBA Week, airing October 31 through November 4 in national syndication (check local listings for station and time). The episodes will be taped at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City.

Hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White will cheer on the 15 players, each partnered with a fan from their team’s city. Three player/contestant teams will be featured each night. The episodes’ air dates will coincide with the NBA’s Premiere Week, which opens the league’s 60th season. Each fan will be playing for cash and one-of-a-kind NBA-themed prizes. The NBA and WNBA stars will be playing for their favorite charities and for the Red Cross, with a minimum of $100,000 of their winnings going to assist Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Current NBA stars scheduled to appear include Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns), Ray Allen (Seattle Sonics), Richard Hamilton (Detroit Pistons), Mike Bibby (Sacramento Kings), Emeka Okafor (Charlotte Bobcats), Ben Gordon (Chicago Bulls), Robert Horry (San Antonio Spurs), Richard Jefferson (New Jersey Nets), Baron Davis (Golden State Warriors), Bobby Simmons (Milwaukee Bucks) and Luke Walton (Los Angeles Lakers). Along with the NBA stars, NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton, former NBA player and TNT NBA Studio Analyst Kenny Smith and Becky Hammon (New York Liberty) will also participate.

“We’re thrilled to have some of the biggest names in basketball partner with America’s Game to provide much-needed help with the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast," said Wheel of Fortune Executive Producer Harry Friedman.

The contestant from the team with the week's highest total cash-prize winnings will be the envy of basketball fans everywhere, as he or she will win some very special prizes, courtesy of the NBA, including a trip for four to the 2006 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, which includes VIP access to NBA All-Star Weekend Events.

Additional special prizes featured on NBA Week include:

  • NBA apparel provided by Reebok, a high end NBA portable Backboard System and an Official NBA Basketball Cart full of NBA & WNBA Basketballs from Spalding, NBA Memorabilia, and a DIRECTV® System and Service including an NBA LEAGUE PASS Subscription.
  • A trip to the 2006-2007 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot sponsored by Topps and Upper Deck, to watch the NBA rookies pose for their first NBA trading cards.
  • A trip to the Electronic Arts Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, including a behind-the-scenes tour, a video game system with an EA Sports library of games, and an official NBA Jersey, NBA Basketball, and copy of NBA LIVE 06 - all autographed by NBA LIVE 06 spokesman, Dwyane Wade.
  • A trip to PlayStation®’s studio in San Diego, California, including a Motion Capture Session with Ray Allen, a cameo in Sony's next NBA video game, a PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system with a copy of NBA '06, PlayStation merchandise, and an official NBA Jersey, NBA basketball, and copy of NBA '06 - all autographed by NBA '06 spokesman, Ray Allen.
  • An NBA at Home Package, including an NBA Logoman or team identified leather sofa, chair, ottoman, LCD Televisions, skybox vending machine, bar table and stools, wool rug, and an NBA DVD Collection.
  • WNBA All-Star Experience package, including behind-the-scenes access during the 2006 WNBA All-Star Weekend.
  • $1,000 Shopping Spree at NBAStore.com

    Wheel of Fortune fans watching at home during NBA Week will also have a special chance to win prizes through the Wheel’s NBA Week Scratch, Watch ‘N Win Game with Champs Sports*. Beginning Oct. 19 and continuing through Nov. 4, nearly 600 Champs Sports locations around the country will distribute scratch-off Game Pieces to customers following their purchase of merchandise at Champs Sports. Five lucky viewers with Game Pieces that exactly match any one of the 5 Bonus Round Puzzle Solutions revealed on-air during NBA Week shows will win great prizes – including a fabulous trip to the 2006 NBA All-Star Game in Houston.

    Founded in 1946, the NBA has become a global phenomenon that transcends national boundaries. With 30 teams in the United States and Canada, the league has captured the public's imagination, as the world's greatest athletes compete at the highest level of basketball.

    The NBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on helping youth. Each year, the NBA, its teams and players donate million of dollars and thousands of hours to charities and community outreach programs, including Read to Achieve, a national reading effort supported by the entire NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League family.

    Wheel of Fortune is the #1 program in the history of syndicated television. This year, it marks its 23rd season in syndication and is seen by 19 million viewers each evening in the U.S. Wheel of Fortune is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, and distributed domestically by King World Productions. The series is distributed internationally by CBS Paramount International Television.