Wizards to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Wizards will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy on Monday, January 15, when the Detroit Pistons visit Capital One Arena for a game presented by Amtrak. Tipoff is 3:00 p.m. As part of the NBA’s MLK Day celebrations, the Wizards will wear a special shooting shirt that features Dr. King’s message that “the time is always right to do what is right.”  

Prior to the game, the team will hold a spoken word event at District E powered by Ticketmaster featuring Charity Blackwell, Orville the Poet and Konshens the MC. Wizards alumnus Etan Thomas will be in attendance to sign autographs as well as limited copies of his book ‘More Than an Athlete.’ Doors are open from 1:30-2:30 p.m.  

The Howard University Gospel Choir will sing the national anthem and entertain fans with a halftime performance, and Wizards guard Jared Butler will address the crowd prior to the game.  

To recognize those who have made an impact in the DMV, the Wizards previously announced a three-part DMV bobblehead series that will be celebrated throughout the season. On MLK Jr. Day, the team will honor civil rights icon and the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl co-founder Virginia Ali. A limited amount of Ali bobbleheads will be available for fans in attendance.  The bobblehead will feature the famous U Street institution’s iconic red and yellow signage and will showcase Ali serving Ben’s signature half smoke.  The base of the bobblehead will display the “Welcome to Washington, D.C.” highway sign.   


On December 14, Wizards guard Jordan Poole presented Ali with her bobblehead during her 90th birthday celebration at the Lincoln Theatre. To acknowledge and celebrate the many achievements of Ali, the Wizards will donate $10,000 on her behalf to the Ben's Chili Bowl Foundation


In celebration of Dr. King, the Wizards will partner students from Benjamin Banneker High School with Monumental Sports & Entertainment executives as part of Mentoring Month. Students will shadow the executives prior to and throughout the game. The students will also be recognized in-game. The team will also host elementary students from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School during the game, with each student taking home a ‘I am Martin Luther King, Jr.’ book by Brad Meltzer.  

The Wizards and Detroit Pistons will also come together for a private screening of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” on Jan. 14 courtesy of D.C. Public Libraries.