HEAT and Sun Sports to Celebrate Burnie's Birthday Presented By Bimbo Bakeries

Special Broadcast Pays Tribute to Kids of All Ages During the Sunday Afternoon Matinee vs. Toronto

MIAMI, February 3rd– The Miami HEAT and broadcast partner Sun Sports will once again join forces to bring young fans in attendance and viewers alike an up close and personal experience this Sunday when the HEAT take on the Toronto Raptors at 1:00 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, children of all ages will have a chance to participate in a host of interactive events both at the AmericanAirlines Arena and on the broadcast.

Bimbo Bakeries will sponsor the annual birthday celebration for the only mascot in HEAT history. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., Burnie and his friends will host a variety of activities on the East Plaza of the arena including bounce houses, face painting, inflatables, rides and more. Burnie’s mascot friends will also participate in the festivities.

Sun Sports production team will call on a host of young “kid-casters” to supplement the veteran team of Eric Reid, Tony Fiorentino and Jason Jackson. Throughout the entire afternoon broadcast, which begins at 12:30 p.m. with a half hour edition of HEAT Live, delivered by Papa Johns, HEAT players will share their thoughts on the importance of children in their lives. The broadcast will also feature specialized graphics and an on-court tutorial in the post-game with former HEAT assistant coach Tony Fiorentino and several of the kid-casters.         

Jake Winderman, a 15-year old student at Cypress Bay High School in Weston and the son of HEAT beat writer, Ira Winderman, will join Reid and Fiorentino as part of the broadcast team during the second quarter. Jake has worked as both an analyst and reporter for football and basketball telecasts produced by Cypress Bay TV and also serves from time to time as an anchor for the school's daily morning show, "Today at the Bay." Winderman will provide analysis and will also interview a HEAT assistant coach at halftime.

Justin and Jordan Jackson will rejoin their Emmy Award winning father, Jason, throughout the broadcast. Twelve-year-old Justin will interview a HEAT player before the game and will join his dad in the studio for post-game highlights. Nine-year-old Jordan will serve as a Sun Sports "sideline shadow" and will also participate in the post-game walk-off interview on the court. The Jacksons will also be front and center in a family bowling challenge alongside HEAT forward, Juwan Howard, and two of his sons (Jett and Jace) in a multi-part feature that will air during pre-game, halftime and postgame.

For the second straight season, Sun Sports will give six young students from KEC-Canal Point Elementary School the opportunity to serve in a host of technical capacities. The school was recently honored with its second consecutive first place award in the Florida Department of Education's Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! public service announcement (PSA) contest. The students will have a chance to operate cameras, assist with videotape and audio production, and even supply direction for parts of the telecast.

The Kids’ Day Broadcast has been nominated for an Emmy Award in each of the three years it has been produced, and won the prestigious honor for game broadcast excellence for the second time at the most recent Suncoast Chapter Awards held in December.

The English radio broadcast will have a family feel as well. Mike Inglis and John Crotty will be joined for the second straight year by a Crotty sibling as 15-year old Cassie will participate in various portions of the game broadcast on the HEAT Radio Network and flagship station 790 the Ticket.

Several of the HEAT players will have their children stand alongside them during the singing of both national anthems, which will be performed by 11-year old aspiring singer, Julia Dale.

Kids’ merchandise will be front and center at the Miami Hoops Gear store, located on the mezzanine level of the AmericanAirlines Arena. In addition, Crazy Andy will feature two “Items of the Game:” a full sized red, white and black basketball priced at $10.00 and a 14” stuffed Burnie doll priced at $15.00 (limited quantities available).

The HEAT game day magazine, TIPOFF, will once again have a youthful feel. Fans can participate in a challenge to match the various players to their childhood pictures.  

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