ORLANDO – Prior to the singing of the national anthem at each home game throughout the season, the Orlando Magic and Harris Corporation honor a Hometown Hero, an individual who goes above and beyond to keep our communities safe and secure.
Recognizing local first responders, including firefighters, police officers, emergency medical workers and military personnel, always evokes a huge applause from the Amway Center crowd.
The pregame ritual also elicits a similar response from the Magic’s coaches and players, who often show their appreciation for Central Florida’s champions of the community throughout the year by participating in various outreach programs and events.
During Wednesday night’s game, when the Magic hosted the Detroit Pistons, the opportunity to honor the Harris Hometown Hero was extra special for each and every one of them.
That’s because the tribute went to someone they know very well and hold in high regards.
Jason Carter, the Magic’s sous-chef, was this night’s Hometown Hero. He served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years before retiring in 2002.
While surrounded by the entire team during the ceremony, Carter was handed a customized Magic jersey from Nikola Vucevic that included his name on the back and signatures from players.
“That was a special moment for me,” said Carter, who is in his second year with the Magic as a team chef. “It was great because they took the time to recognize me and let me know that they appreciate me and appreciate what I do for them.”
The celebration of Carter’s achievements in the military comes two nights before the Magic host their annual Seats for Soldiers Night presented by Harris. The event provides game tickets for more than 1,500 active and retired military personnel and their families courtesy of the Magic, Harris Corporation and season ticket holders who donated their seats for the occasion.
The night will also feature several events, activities, giveaways, entertainment and memorials.
“The Orlando Magic are once again truly honored to recognize all of the brave men and women who sacrifice so much in service of our great country,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “Together with Harris Corporation we want to thank those in uniform, our veterans, and their families for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis. This night is just one small way for us to show our gratitude and let them know they are our heroes.”