Hornets Host Family Fun Day in Arena
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
August 22, 2011
In well-publicized recent interviews both nationally and locally, NBA Commissioner David Stern has given resoundingly positive reviews about the current state of the New Orleans Hornets. As Stern noted in his much-discussed, hour-long podcast interview with ESPN.coms Bill Simmons, the Hornets are approaching 9,000 season tickets sold for next season. Stern added that the team is also trending upward in several other categories, including sponsorships.
Some of that New Orleans enthusiasm for the Hornets was on full display Saturday, when the team held its annual summer open house event. Fans of all ages, particularly those from the elementary school-aged set, had the chance to enjoy a free afternoon at Family Fun Day.
A few hundred fans attended the two-hour event in the New Orleans Arena, taking advantage of the chance to participate in a wide array of basketball drills and skills challenges on the Hornets actual home floor. Fans also enjoyed visiting a range of fun-filled stations both outside and inside the Hive, including everything from grabbing a free childrens book from the Bookmobile, to playing Pop-A-Shot in the concourse, to getting their pictures taken with Hugo and the Honeybees at a photo station.
Youngsters who attended also benefited from receiving hands-on basketball instruction from each of the teams assistant coaches, including Randy Ayers, James Borrego, Bryan Gates, Fred Vinson and Dave Hanners. Hanners, who was recently hired by Monty Williams, has been in New Orleans for roughly one week.
On the playing court of the Hive, the quintet of assistant coaches observed and helped kids as they practiced their dribbling and shooting skills, while also testing their vertical leap at a station used by the Hornets when the team works out NCAA player prospects each spring.
In the midst of the Hornets ongoing 100 Events in 100 Days initiative, the club also increased its tally in one of the areas Stern mentioned last week: A number of fans decided to purchase season tickets during Saturdays event.
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