Cavs Black History Celebration Tips Off on January 15th
The Cavaliers 14th Annual Black Heritage Celebration Tips Off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Cavs vs. Golden State Warriors Game
The Cleveland Cavaliers 14th Annual Black Heritage Celebration (BHC) will tip off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, January 15th when the Cavs take on the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena in a nationally-televised game at 8:00 p.m. The special night will begin a month-long celebration themed “Empowering and Inspiring. One Generation to the Next.” The BHC, which is the Cavs expanded salute to Black History Month in February, recognizes the remarkable accomplishments of African American icons and lesser known contributors who have paved the path for future generations.
Throughout the BHC, the Cavs game presentation at halftime will showcase inspiring moments in African American history beginning with a creative interpretation of a local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech at the Cavs vs Warriors game on January 15th – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. At homes games in February, the team will honor “The First Three” players in the NBA - Chuck Cooper, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and Earl Lloyd, as well as former Cavs GM Wayne Embry. The celebration will continue with a special night recognizing African American women throughout history and in the Cleveland community; and culminate by honoring African Americans in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
There will also be interviews with notable Cavs players and legends, as well as several community outreach initiatives throughout January and February as Cavs players and front office team members volunteer their time and service to projects in Northeast Ohio.
“There are countless stories of African Americans from Northeast Ohio and across the country who have overcome obstacles and hardships to bring about change and opportunity for others,” said Campy Russell, Cavaliers Legend and Director of Alumni Relations. “The goal of the Cavs BHC is to continue to educate and tell these stories, honor those who have broken down racial barriers, acknowledge the leaders of today who stand on the shoulders of those who have come before them, and to pass the torch and inspire the budding heroes of tomorrow that represent our future.”
Signature Black Heritage Celebration theme nights at Cavs games in January and February include:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: January 15th vs Golden State Warriors at 8:00 p.m. The team will remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the pastor, activist and humanitarian who led the African American civil rights movements, with a halftime performance featuring a powerful interpretation of a speech he gave at Cleveland’s Glenville High School in 1967. With an assist from gospel musician Geoffrey Golden and Cleveland-area students, the halftime will creatively unite Dr. King’s impactful message with a specially-produced 3D court-projected tribute montage.
February 3th vs Houston Rockets at 8:30 p.m. The team will remember and recognize the first African Americans in the NBA, both on the hardwood and in the front office, who broke the color barrier and paved the way for others around the league. During a special halftime presentation, the team will honor the accomplishments of “The First Three” African American players in the NBA - Chuck Cooper, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and Earl Lloyd. Cooper became the first African American player to be drafted when he was chosen by the Boston Celtics; Clifton became the first African American to sign an NBA contract when he signed with the New York Knicks; and Lloyd became the first African American to play in an NBA regular-season game with the Washington Capitols. The Cavs will also honor Wayne Embry, the first African American General Manager and Team President in NBA history. Embry was the first African American GM of the Cavs and held that position for 13 seasons.
February 22nd vs Washington Wizards at 8:00 p.m. The Cavaliers will recognize African American women whose passion, dedication and legacy has helped shape the country we live in today. From everyday community heroes to trailblazing women throughout history, the halftime presentation will focus on the ladies who have pushed the equality envelope – both in gender and race – to overcome and succeed. A full list of honorees will be posted to Cavs.com/BHC later in the month.
February 25th vs San Antonio Spurs at 3:30 p.m. To conclude the month-long program, the spotlight will shift to African Americans who have made contributions in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The halftime presentation will celebrate and honor those who have, or are currently making a difference in STEM and serve as motivation for other minorities to pursue their dreams and goals. A full list of honorees will be posted to Cavs.com/BHC later in the month.
Cavs BHC Celebration Extends to the Classroom
In addition to the celebration on the court, the Cavs have teamed up with the Marcus Graham Project to host the 4th annual Sports Marketing Workshop for diverse students and professionals interested in the sports marketing career field. The workshop will take place January 31st through February 3rd at Quicken Loans Arena. The Marcus Graham Project is a network of diverse professionals formed with the purpose of developing the next generation of leadership by mentoring and training ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the advertising, media and marketing industry.
Workshop participants will receive first-hand knowledge from some of today’s top executives in the Sports Marketing industry. One standout participant from the workshop will earn the opportunity to be sponsored by Cavs to attend MGP's iCR8 Summer Boot Camp in Dallas, Texas.
To register for the MGP workshop, visit jobs.lever.co/marcusgrahamproject.
In addition to the celebration on the court and in the classroom, team members in the business office of the Cavs organization were offered the opportunity to see a screening of the movie Marshall. In addition, team members will be treated to a special luncheon next month in the spirit of the BHC where they will receive a commemorative coin showcasing the theme, “Empowering and Inspiring. One Generation to the Next.”
Fans can engage online and in social media throughout the month by visiting Cavs.com/BHC and following the #CavsBHC hashtag on Twitter (@cavs), Instagram (@cavs), Facebook.com/Cavs and Snapchat (cavs).