Working with community-based organizations including Rebuilding Together, City Year, Hands-On New Orleans, Habitat for Humanity, and KaBOOM!, All-Star Day of Service volunteers will mobilize to build homes and playgrounds, revitalize schools, and refurbish neighborhoods, to assist families in taking the last step on their long journey home.
The NBA Cares Community Caravan includes 25 community service events in New Orleans taking place from Monday, Feb. 11 through Sunday, Feb. 17. Among the events are reading rallies at elementary schools, Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA fitness and sportsmanship clinics, hospital visits, new basketball court dedications, wheelchair basketball exhibitions and Special Olympic clinics. In addition, four families from the Make-A-Wish Foundation will be treated to a one-of-a-kind NBA All-Star experience, and NBA Cares will provide hearing aids to 150 New Orleans children with the help of the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
In October 2007, the NBA, in partnership with the Hornets, Louisiana state and local officials, and the Louisiana Department of Education, announced a season-long, league-wide effort to support the ongoing rebuilding of New Orleans and the gulf coast region. The NBA, along with its teams and partners are collaborating with over a dozen national and local community-based organizations during the 2007-08 season, to assist over 30,000 children and build 40 places in the Crescent City where families can live, learn or play. As part of this commitment, NBA teams traveling to New Orleans to play the Hornets have hosted activities such as playground builds and military base visits, in addition to inviting thousands of individuals from local organizations and schools to NBA games. Recently, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Hornets All-Star Chris Paul funded a Family Resource Center, while Philadelphia 76ers rookie Thad Young made a donation to the Dryades YMCA, where he grew up playing basketball.
“This season has given the NBA a great opportunity to support the revitalization of a great American city. With our NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service the entire NBA Family along with our marketing and media partners, players and guests are ready to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand. There is nothing more important to the league than helping this city and its people rebuild,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern.
The response of the NBA Family to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was immediate and sustained. Through the efforts of the NBA, its teams, current and former players, and the National Basketball Players Association, contributions to the Gulf Region have exceeded $15 million to date. NBA efforts include the construction of 35 homes with Habitat for Humanity and the building of five playgrounds with KaBOOM! The NBA Players Hurricane Relief Game in Houston on Sept. 11, 2005, featured 40 NBA stars and raised over $1.5 million. The NBA's commitment to the revitalization of New Orleans was evident on March 8, 2006, when the Hornets hosted the L.A. Lakers in the city's first professional sporting event following the hurricane, and it continued on May 22, 2006, when the city was awarded All-Star 2008, the first major event of any kind to commit to New Orleans.
“The NBA Family has been a great partner with the state of Louisiana. From the start, the league made it clear they wanted to be a part of Louisiana’s rebirth in a meaningful way,” Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu said. “NBA Cares worked with our office to identify real needs in the community and determine how they could have the greatest impact. Today, Louisiana is the poster child for civic engagement, and we sincerely appreciate the NBA’s strong and sustained commitment to community service.”
The NBA's marketing, media and merchandising partners are providing unprecedented support of the league's community efforts in New Orleans with 30 organizations contributing millions of dollars. The partners that are participating include 2K Sports, adidas, Anheuser-Busch, AutoTrader.com, Bean Bag Chairs, Build-A-Bear Workshops, Cartoon Network, Cisco, EA SPORTS, ESPN, Fathead, FedEx, Gatorade, Haier, Hoop Magazine, Lamisil, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Midway, NBA STORE on Fifth Avenue, Nike, Scholastic, Sirius, Sony PlayStation, Southwest Airlines, Spalding, Sprite/Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, Toyota and Wrigley’s. Additionally, current and former NBA players, David Robinson, Alonzo Mourning, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Paul and the National Basketball Players Association are supporting a variety of projects and programs in the region. The NBA Store and NBAStore.com are selling the same gloves that will be worn by all All-Star Day of Service volunteers, with contributions from each purchase going to NBA Cares community partners in New Orleans.
Service projects for the NBA Cares All-Star Days of Service will take place at the following locations:
City Year School Revitalizations Laurel Elementary School 820 Jackson Avenue
McDonogh 35 High School 1331 Kerlerec Street
Rebuilding Together Home Refurbishments Holy Cross Neighborhood 900 Lizardi Street
KaBOOM! Playground Build Mahalia Jackson Center 2102 Freret Street
Hands-on New Orleans Supply Kit Assembly Marriott Hotel 555 Canal Street Hands-on New Orleans School & Home Refurbishments Capdau School 3821 Franklin Avenue
Fairmont Neighborhood 3531 Mandeville Street
Habitat for Humanity Home Builds Musician’s Village 4000 North Roman Street
New Orleans East 4733 Wilson Avenue
Central City 3627 1st. Street
Highlights of the 2008 NBA Cares Community Caravan:
Feb. 11 - NBA Cares Reading Rallies - NBA Legends, WNBA stars, and NBA family members will be promoting the importance of reading with visits and book donations at Martin Behrman Charter School, Middleton Elementary School and Martin Luther King Charter School. Included in the final Reading Rally, there will be the dedication of a Reading & Learning Center at MLK, one of the 40 places built by NBA Cares where families can live, learn or play .
Feb. 12 - Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Clinics - Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA, presented by Gatorade and Nike, will host hundreds of children from Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA member leagues at a series of skills and fitness clinics at the Boys & Girls Club (West Bank), the Berhman Center and the Treme Center.
Feb. 13 - National Wheelchair Basketball Association Basketball Clinic - Some of the country’s best wheelchair basketball players, who make up the National Wheelchair Basketball Association All-Star basketball team, will host a clinic at Dryades YMCA for 20 junior wheelchair athletes from New Orleans.
Feb. 14 - WNBA Cares Caravan - Several current and former WNBA players will visit patients at the New Orleans Children’s Hospital in addition to hosting a fitness clinic for 50 girls at Tulane University with GirlsFirst and the Awesome Girls Mentoring Program.
Feb. 14 - National Wheelchair Basketball Association All-Star Game - The top wheelchair basketball players from across the country meet in the NBA/NWBA All-Star Classic on Center Court at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas.
Feb. 15 - T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam - As a reward for successfully completing an educational/community incentives program, up to 6,000 T-Mobile Huddle Up All-Stars from the New Orleans region will attend the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam at the New Orleans Arena.
Feb. 16 - NBA Cares Special Olympics Clinic – Current and former NBA players will host more than 50 Special Olympic athletes for a basketball skills clinic at the Jr.NBA/Jr. WNBA Court on NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas.
Feb. 16 – NBA Development League All-Star Youth Clinic – D-League All-Stars including New Orleans native Randy Livingston will host a basketball clinic for more than 80 students from a number of schools throughout the city.
Feb. 17 – Starkey Hearing Foundation – NBA Cares, in partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, will distribute state-of-the-art hearing aids to more than 200 children at a reception prior to the 2008 NBA All-Star Game.