Members of the NBA-leading Suns were under the bright lights in Cleveland over the weekend for the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend.
The Valley's stars were not just on the court – but behind the scenes as key pieces of the league's celebratory event midway through the season.
The below individuals were personally invited to support NBA All-Star Weekend due to their professionalism and contributions to the Phoenix Suns and the NBA.
SHAWN MARTINEZ, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF LIVE PRESENTATION
"Wow – this was the biggest honor to represent the Suns at All-Star. What we're doing and the environment we've created at Footprint Center is special. It's great to be recognized by our colleagues around the league for the atmosphere in the Valley and I was pumped to bring it to Cleveland. It was a truly special experience."
- Shawn Martinez, Senior Director of Live Presentation
Day-to-day role and responsibilities: I'm responsible for directing the live atmosphere at Footprint Center, one of the most challenging places for opponents to play. From our talented dance and hip hop teams to the Gorilla to our DJs and videos, my team and I create and maintain the hype and energy in the arena from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
All-Star Experience: This was my fourth NBA All-Star I've attended and the second time I've been invited to assist with the festivities.
What was your role at the 2022 All-Star Weekend: Throughout the weekend I was stage managing during various events, specifically NBA Rising Stars on Friday night, All-Star Saturday Night and the NBA All-Star Game ensuring the right people were in the right place and the right time for the various entertainment and activations.
MARLO MCKINLEY, DIRECTOR, EVENT MANAGEMENT & PRODUCTION
"It's an incredible honor to have been invited by the league to work alongside the best of the best in executing such amazing events. It's extra special to be in Cleveland with other Suns colleagues, our players, and coaching staff. Our organization has done such a great job of building relationships with the league working closely with them over the last year during NBA Finals, WNBA Commissioners Cup and WNBA Finals. I've taken a lot of pride in representing the Suns and our organization (of course sporting some of our amazing new merch which received overwhelmingly rave reviews) in Cleveland!"
- Marlo McKinley, Director, Event Management & Production
Day-to-day role and responsibilities: I oversee all event logistics from start to finish for Suns game days including gathering and disseminating it out to all departments around the organization to execute their necessary initiatives successfully. Jill of all trades, my team and I assist with most behind-the-scenes needs around Footprint Center.
All-Star Experience: I was with the Suns and worked the 2009 NBA All-Star game in Phoenix and also worked the 2014 WNBA All-Star game in Phoenix, but this is my first one outside of Phoenix and assisting the league
Tenure in the NBA: Since 2007, time flies but I've been fortunate to be involved with a wide breadth of experiences.
What was your role at the 2022 All-Star Weekend: Assisted NBA Event Management team at the Wolstein Center with initial setup during the week, event execution and load-out for the All-Star and Rising Stars Media Days, All-Star Celebrity Game, HBCU game, G-League game and Social Responsibility events. Due to the doubleheader game days we executed at a high level last year with the Suns/Mercury seasons, the league wanted to use the learnings we had from that to assist with executing some of their All-Star dual event days.
TJ WALKER, COORDINATOR OF LIVE PRESENTATION
"It meant a lot to be selected. It was fun to meet and learn from colleagues around the league. I was chosen because of the great team we have in Phoenix. From the most talented dancers, dunkers, colleagues in the control room, our Suns Entertainment team is some of the best in the business and it was an honor to represent them in Cleveland."
- TJ Walker, Coordinator of Live Presentation
Day-to-day role and responsibilities: I'm very much behind-the-scenes helping coordinate "the show" – aka our entire game presentation at Footprint Center. Supporting the audio, visual, entertainment and promotional activations in real-time during home games. I'm also tasked with sitting at the table and directing the show for the Phoenix Mercury. It's been special to develop the stellar atmosphere for both these organizations that we've been recognized for at the arena and excited to continue sharing that with our fans.
All-Star Experience: This was my first All-Star game; it was special to be a part of it!
Tenure in the NBA: I joined the Suns in 2017, looking forward to what the future holds.
What was your role at the 2022 All-Star Weekend: I played a similar role throughout All-Star weekend as my day-to-day but across a wide area of events. I assisted in the coordination and execution of all promotions and player introductions at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse for the Rising Stars, Slam Dunk, Three-Point and Skills contests as well as the All-Star Game on the final day.
Shawn, Marlo, TJ and the Phoenix Suns return to Footprint Center for the first time following the All-Star break on Friday Feb. 25 when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans at 7 p.m.