This past weekend was a big weekend for the NBA and all of America. With it being Veterans Day weekend, the league teamed up with the Department of Defense to honor those who are serving in the military, as well as their families. As part of NBA Cares Hoops for Troops, teams from around the league hosted events in-arena and in the community to recognize active and retired service members. NBA and WNBA players and legends visited military medical centers, and NBA players wore special adidas on-court apparel to commemorate the holiday.
NBA Cares Hoops for Troops is a year-round initiative in collaboration with the Department of Defense, USO and other military and veteran serving organizations. They featured many events and activities that were led by teams, players, and legends to thank the military men, women and families.
On November 8, 2012, NBA and WNBA players and legends spent some time with active military, veterans and their families. In San Antonio, NBA Legend Bruce Bowen and WNBA Legend Marie Ferdinand-Harris paid a visit to the Brooke Army Medical Center and the Center for the Intrepid as their way of saying thank you. NBA Legend Buck Williams and WNBA Legend Teresa Edwards spent some time at the Fisher House and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, while members of the Washington Wizards, John Wall and Trevor Booker, paid a visit to the Soldier & Family Activities Center at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
Aside from the league events there were also many team events. In Miami, Chris Bosh and members of the Heat took part in preparing care packages at American Airlines Arena for the men and women stationed overseas. In Milwaukee, Tobias Harris, Ekpe Udoh and John Henson visited veterans at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. In Minnesota, the Timberwolves launched their regular season with the Heroes United Program honoring Sergeant Patrick Loch of Litchfield, Minnesota, during their game last Friday against the Sacramento Kings. In Orlando, the Magic hosted their ninth annual Seats for Soldiers Night. Military outfits that participated this year were the Patrick Air Force Base; Orlando Vet Center; Wounded Warrior Project ®; Orlando Marine affiliate; Orlando Army affiliate; Florida National Guard; Operation Gratitude and Operation Giveback. The Wizards did it a little differently in D.C. with their annual Salute to the Stars event. Members of the Wizards such as John Wall, rookie Bradley Beal and Emeka Okafor honored the service men, women and families by serving as celebrity waiters at this event.
Many teams throughout the league hosted in-arena events on game nights throughout the weekend. From November 9-12, the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards hosted Military Appreciation Nights during their respective home games which featured ticket donations to active military and veterans, pre-game and in-game activities to honor area service members, and on-court recognition of military heroes.
The Chicago Bulls were a part of a community initiative before the weekend, as they teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project ® on November 5, 2012, to honor more than 30 local heroes and their families at the Stars and Strikes event at Pinstripes bowling alley in Northbrook. The Cleveland Cavaliers are doing things a little later, as they are visiting patients at the Louis Stoked VA Medical Center today, and will host their Salute the Military Night on Saturday, November 17, 2012. Tickets to the game will be 50% off select prices for all active duty and retired military members and their immediate family. The Cavaliers will also donate $1 from each single game ticket sold to the Wounded Warrior Project ®.
The NBA supports the military all year-round as players from around the league host events and activities throughout the season, including Seats for Soldiers to honor service members. The league and its teams also provide year-round support to military and veteran serving organizations such as the USO and the Wounded Warriors Project® in an effort to give back to the troops.
To learn more about NBA Cares Hoops for Troops, visit http://www.nba.com/cares/hoopsfortroops.html