HEAT Celebrates Black History Month

Presented by Pepsi, Vignette Series to Honor 15 Subjects Throughout February

MIAMI, January 30th-- The Miami HEAT will once again pay tribute to Black History Month with a comprehensive campaign spanning multiple media platforms and outlets.

For the ninth consecutive season, the HEAT will present a series of vignettes focusing on the notable achievements of various African-Americans who have helped change the course of history with their contributions in sports, literature, the arts, the community, education, music and the military. Pepsi is the presenting sponsor of this initiative that will be shared as part of the entire HEAT experience—online, in-arena, and in print as featured in TIPOFF magazine.

Sun Sports will air each of the vignettes in its pre-game, halftime, and post-game segments throughout February, with the United States Marine Corps joining as a national broadcast sponsor for several of the stories.

The vignettes feature HEAT players and coaches telling the stories of heroes—some well known, others lesser known—saluting the significant sacrifices required by each in becoming a part of the collective history of our nation.

Included among the 15 subjects that will be featured in the month-long tribute are sports figures such as Arthur Ashe, Joe Louis, Serena and Venus Williams and the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters. Legendary jazz greats Miles Davis and John Coltrane join stage and silver screen stars Lena Horne and Sidney Poitier among the performing artists to be honored. The HEAT also will recognize several important groups and figures in the proud tradition of the American Armed forces. President Pat Riley will pay tribute to one of the most decorated and devoted figures in American political and military history, a man who just happened to also be the first African-American to hold the office of Secretary of State, Colin Powell.

Alonzo Mourning, who has personally invested so much of his time, energy and resources to help inspire and assist those in need throughout the South Florida community, takes us through the historical journey of Overtown, a once burgeoning business and entertainment district that continues its efforts to recover and rebuild.

Noted author Alex Haley and Alice Walker’s famous literary work, “The Color Purple,” round out a distinguished list of Black History Month honorees.

As they have in each of the last eight years, the HEAT will make the video vignettes available to all schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties through a partnership with BECON and WLRN, both of whom provide educational programming to schools in those districts.

Other Black History Month activities include the Second Annual Black History Month Challenge presented by Pepsi, which will be hosted at AmericanAirlines Arena on February 6, where students from two local schools—Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School and Deerfield Beach High School—will compete against each another by answering Black History trivia questions. The winning school will be given a $4,000 educational grant courtesy of the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund.

A complete list of the subjects and those HEAT players and coaches who relay the stories, is included below.

Black History Month Feature Subjects for 2011-12 Season

SPORTSThe Harlem Globetrotters
Bob McAdoo

Joe Louis
LeBron James

Arthur Ashe
Mike Miller

Venus and Serena Williams
Dwyane Wade

 EVENTSThe Little Rock 9
Juwan Howard

David Fizdale

Sidney Poitier
Chris Bosh

Alex Haley
Udonis Haslem

Miles Davis/John Coltrane
Keith Askins

EDUCATION Mary McLeod Bethune & HBCU
Joel Anthony

FAMOUS WORKSThe Color Purple
James Jones

Pat Riley   

Buffalo Soldiers & Tuskegee Airmen
Erik Spoelstra

Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr.
Mario Chalmers

Alonzo Mourning   

The Miami HEAT is proud to have ASSIST-CARD as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2011-12 season.