76ers and Toyota Announce Details for 2021-22 Military Appreciation Night
PHILADELPHIA — NOV. 9, 2021 — The Philadelphia 76ers announced today details for the annual “Stars & Stripes” initiative, in partnership with Toyota. As part of the campaign, the 76ers will host Military Appreciation Night, presented by Toyota, on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. ET against the Toronto Raptors. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a co-branded Toyota and 76ers rally towel.
The NBA, its teams and players, have a long history of collaborating with the military. The 76ers and Toyota’s annual “Stars & Stripes” initiative enhances the NBA’s mission to honor the military and their families, veteran-serving organizations and retired servicemen and women.
“Military appreciation is a season-long initiative that’s highlighted through the ‘Stars & Stripes’ campaign and Thursday’s Military Appreciation Night, at which the 76ers and Toyota will celebrate several incredible men and women who’ve served in the United States Armed Services,” Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck said.
“The Tri-State Toyota Dealers are honored to partner with the 76ers again for the ninth straight year for the Stars & Stripes Game,” said Paul Muller, President of the local Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association. “To be able to honor our nation's veterans and active military service members with the Sixers is tremendous. As the local Toyota Dealers, we are so proud to take part in the Sixers military initiatives throughout the year,” Muller added.
A Week Celebrating Military with Toyota:
The “Stars & Stripes” initiative kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 10 when the 76ers and Toyota host a “Hoops for Troops” event in partnership with Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that provides an opportunity for Americans to express their appreciation for military veterans and first responder heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude and meaningful elements in communities nationwide. More than 200 volunteers, including members of the Toyota family, veterans and military will work together to package 500 comfort and care kits, 500 paracord survival bracelets, and 250 Battalion Buddies for service members in Iraq, Afghanistan and veterans at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Philadelphia that serves the Delaware Valley. 76ers alumni Marc Jackson and World B. Free will also join the efforts.
On Veteran’s Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, during their game against the Toronto Raptors, the 76ers will celebrate more than 500 active and retired servicemen and women during various recognitions throughout Military Appreciation Night. During the national anthem, 40 members of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst will hold a 1,700-square-foot American flag.
Later this month, the 76ers will host a Stars & Stripes Clinic, presented by Toyota, for over 30 military youth. The youth will participate in skills and drills led by Jr. 76ers coaches with 76ers alumnus Marc Jackson.
The 76ers’ Paul Reed has ties to the armed services as his grandfather served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army. Reed will join Paralympian and Team Toyota Athlete, Army LT. Melissa Stockwell. While deployed in Iraq with the U.S. Army, LT (ret) Stockwell lost her leg after her vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. She also is an Ambassador for Toyota's Hiring Our Heroes program, which helps veterans transition back to civilian life. The conversation will be shared in-arena during Military Appreciation Night. Pieces of the conversation will also be shared on sixers and @sixersstrong social platforms and at www.sixers.com.
Military Appreciation Night presented by Toyota Celebrations and Honors:
Just before tip-off on Military Appreciation Night presented by Toyota, the 76ers will provide Toyota Ambassadors Army Staff Sgt. Rico Roman, Sergeant Major Ron Green and Honorable Patrick Murphy, who will serve as honorary captains for the game, with on-court access to join the Captain’s Huddle and present the game ball to the referees.
Army Staff Sgt. Rico Roman, is a Team Toyota Athlete and a two-time Paralympian. Staff Sgt. Roman is a two-time gold medalist in the sport of Sled Hockey. Staff Sgt. Roman is a Purple Heart recipient, he had his left leg amputated above the knee when wounded while serving his third tour in Iraq in February of 2007.
Sergeant Major Ron Green will be representing Toyota’s Hiring Our Heroes Initiative. Sergeant Major Green has served in the Marine Corps for nearly 40 years and was the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marines, one of the highest-ranking enlistments in the Marines, up until his retirement in 2019.
Also representing Toyota's Hiring Our Heroes Initiative is Honorable Patrick Murphy who is an Army veteran and former 32nd Under Secretary of the Army. After earning a Bronze Star for his service, Honorable Patrick Murphy became the nation's first Iraq War Veteran elected to Congress, representing Pennsylvania's 1st congressional district.
At halftime, active service members from each branch of the military will present customized jerseys to local veterans from equivalent military branches.
Fans will also see 76ers coaches wearing commemorative “Stars & Stripes” lapel pins in conjunction with Military Appreciation Night, presented by Toyota. As part of the night's tributes, 76ers ENT, including mascot Franklin and Squad 76, will wear military-themed gear. 76ers fans will have the opportunity to sign a 16-foot “Thank You For Your Service” banner located in the Broad Street Atrium.