January 27, 2011
Stephen Curry Named Finalist to Compete in 2011 Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Taco Bell® and NBA are Asking Fans to "Choose Your Squad" for the NBA All-Star Saturday Event in Los Angeles
Warriors guard Stephen Curry is a finalist to compete in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during NBA All-Star Saturday in Los Angeles, and fans can help send him there. For the first time, the NBA and Taco Bell are giving fans the opportunity to determine participants in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge as part of the “Choose Your Squad” program. In addition to adding a fan vote, the 2011 Taco Bell Skills Challenge will feature an expanded field from four to five participants.
Beginning today and running through 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 14, fans can log on to NBA.com/chooseyoursquad to choose from among eight players to determine four of the five participants in the 2011 event in Los Angeles. The players taking part in the “Choose Your Squad” vote include:
|Log on to NBA.com/chooseyoursquad and vote for Stephen Curry to participate in the 2011 Taco Bell Skills Challenge. (photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)
The four finalists will compete against “Choose Your Squad” spokesman Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. A three-time NBA All-Star and Taco Bell Skills Challenge (2006 to 2008) participant, Paul will chronicle his preparations on the program microsite NBA.com/chooseyoursquad. The site will also feature highlights of each of the eight players eligible in the fan vote.
This year’s event will include a new charitable element from NBA Cares and Taco Bell Foundation for Teens’ “Graduate to Go” program, a national initiative to help teens graduate from high school through real-world experiences. Each of the five participants will be matched with a teen member of a local Boys & Girls Club. The teen paired with the event winner will receive a four-year college scholarship, while the other scholarship winners will each receive an educational scholarship, all courtesy of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens.
“The “Choose Your Squad” program is another example of how we are constantly looking for ways to empower our fans and provide them with ways to play a part in our NBA All-Star events,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Executive Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships. “Taco Bell is always looking to create unique experiences for its customers, and these exciting changes to the Taco Bell Skills Challenge will not only bring fans closer to the event but also leave a lasting impact on the lives of others.”
“I’m looking forward to taking the court in Los Angeles and seeing who the fans choose to compete in the 2011 Taco Bell Skills Challenge,” said Paul. “All of these players are great competitors, and I’ll be working hard to prepare, knowing that the outcome will help some very deserving teens pursue their educational dreams"
Introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta – the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge will feature five players competing in a two-round timed “obstacle course” consisting of dribbling, passing, and shooting stations. All players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course. The two players with the fastest times from the first round advance to the finals with the order of competition determined by inverse order of the first-round times. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.
Last year in Dallas, Steve Nash finished with a winning time of 29.9 seconds, joining the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (2006 and 2007) as the only other two-time winner in Taco Bell Skills Challenge history.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm, which will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Haier Shooting Stars, and Sprite Slam Dunk. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The 60th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 20, will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio, and in more than 200 countries in more than 40 languages.
About Taco Bell Corp.
Taco Bell Corp. ("Taco Bell"), a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain. Taco Bell serves tacos, burritos, signature quesadillas, Grilled Stuft Burritos, nachos, and other specialty items such as Crunchwrap Supreme®, in addition to the Why Pay More!® Value Menu. Taco Bell serves more than 36.8 million consumers each week in nearly 5,600 restaurants in the U.S.
About the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens
The Taco Bell Foundation, Inc., also known as the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens (TBFT), a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation, is committed to addressing the growing number of high school dropouts in the U.S. by providing at-risk youth with mentors and real-world experiences that will motivate them to stay in school and achieve more in life, and to collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations to garner greater impact. Since 1995, TBFT has donated more than $28 million to support teen programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other teen-serving organizations with the help of on-going customer, franchisee and employee donations. For more information about TBFT, visit www.tacobellfoundationforteens.org.
About NBA All-Star 2011
NBA All-Star 2011 in Los Angeles will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. The 60th NBA All-Star Game, which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 20 at the Staples Center, will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for a ninth consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 27th year of All-Star coverage. NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm will feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Haier Shooting Stars, Sprite Slam Dunk, and Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Other events at NBA All-Star 2011 will include the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas. This will be the fifth NBA All-Star held in Los Angeles, which also hosted the event in 2004, 1983, 1972, and 1963.