In collaboration with the Department of Defense, the NBA continues its Commitment to Service initiative that allows NBA players, coaching and teams to work side-by-side with our nation’s military to better communities across the country. Teams and their current and former players are partnering with local installations and a variety of military and veteran-serving organizations for several activities, including leadership seminars, community service events and basketball-focused fitness activities for active and retired service members and their families.
The Atlanta Hawks will host a group of veterans and their families to share their experiences and insights on life after serving. The Hawks will also continue their “Crown and Courage” Program for military members, where service men and women receive complimentary seats and are honored in-arena.
The Boston Celtics will celebrate Hoops for Troops Week by honoring military veterans each game through their Heroes Among Us program. The Celtics also invited 16 family members from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to participate in pre-game shoot around, fan tunnel and a special meet & greet with NBA Referees and Retired United States Army General Martin Dempsey.
The Cleveland Cavaliers visited Wright-Patter Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio where they met with commanders, toured the base, and played their annual Wine & Gold Scrimmage on the airplane hangar in front of military service members and fans. The Cavaliers will also host a “Salute to Service Night’ at the Quicken Loans Arena during Hoops for Troops Week.
The Indiana Pacers partnered with the USO of Indiana to honor local soldiers through the Sideline Soldiers program, which allows military personnel and their families to serve as VIP guests at Pacers games. Each Sideline Soldier and their family participates in a pregame meet & greet with Pacers player Thaddeus Young, receives complimentary tickets and are in-game recognition.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
The Los Angeles Lakers and former Laker Robert Horry hosted 50 United States service members for drills, games and provided them with Lakers gear and tickets. Los Angeles Lakers alumni James Worthy and Metta World Peace will also host pre-game basketball clinics with United States soldiers. The Lakers launched the USA Junior Lakers youth basketball program for on-base families and Junior Lakers players.
In honor of Veterans Day, Miami HEAT legends Pat Riley, Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice and Shane Battier will surprise veterans with a newly renovated home.
The Philadelphia 76ers have teamed up with NBA referees will honor children of fallen military members at home games as the “Strong Kid of the Game”, and participate in the Captain’s Huddle, ball kids, and game ball delivery to the referees.
Josh Jackson and Ryan Anderson will visit Luke Air Force Base and a local veterans hospital. Suns players and employee volunteers will also team up with Habitat for Humanity to restore an American Legion Outpost.
The Utah Jazz will host a “Commitment to Service Event” with both Jazz players and active military members and their families at Dave & Buster’s for a celebration of their sacrifices to our country.