MEMPHIS, TENN. (March 1, 2010) â€“ In recognition of Hoops for St. Jude, a season-long fundraising program benefiting St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research HospitalÂ®, the National Basketball Association is celebrating Hoops for St. Jude Week. From March 1-7, league players, coaches and basketball fans will help raise awareness and funds for St. Jude, one of the worldâ€™s premier pediatric cancer research centers.
NBA players Pau Gasol, Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, Shane Battier, Steve Blake and Kevin Love teamed up in December for Hoops for St. Jude by pledging to donate to St. Jude for each point scored throughout the NBA season. Each player will donate a minimum season-end gift of $20,000. In addition, the Denver Nuggets Head Coach George Karl joined the team and donated $20,000 to St. Jude. After announcing his recent diagnosis of throat and neck cancer, Coach Karl is encouraging NBA fans to support him by joining the Hoops for St. Jude team.
â€œI am ready to fight this battle and beat cancer. One of the greatest things I can do as I battle this terrible disease is to help children who are facing the same struggles,â€ said Karl, who is also a prostate cancer survivor. â€œJoining Hoops for St. Jude was an easy decision for me months ago and now Iâ€™m even more proud of my dedication to St. Jude. Basketball fans should support this great cause because we never know when cancer will touch our lives and the lives of our loved ones.â€
NBA fans can join their favorite NBA stars in support of St. Jude by visiting www.hoopsforstjude.org. They can bid on auction items and make a one-time or monthly donation. Fans also can pledge per point scored by any Hoops for St. Jude team member during the remaining 2009-2010 NBA season. With a donation of $20 or more, fans will receive a commemorative Hoops for St. Jude lapel pin.
Hoops for St. Jude Week highlights include:
Â· Coaches Support Their Own: NBA coaches throughout the league will wear Hoops for
St. Jude lapel pins during the week in support of Coach Karl.
Â· Bid for Hope: Thirty NBA stars including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille Oâ€™Neal and Dwight Howard have donated autographed items for an eBay auction to run March 1-7 at www.hoopsforstjude.org.
Â· TNT and NBA TV Supports Hoops: NBA broadcast partners TNT and NBA TV will
help bring awareness of the program through special broadcast segments. TNTâ€™s special
segments will include a George Karl profile to air on Thursday, March 4.
Â· Schools Joining the Hoops Team: In conjunction with the week-long celebration, students
around the country will begin participating in the school-based Hoops for St. Jude program
which encourages physical activity through basketball fundamentals while raising funds for
St. Jude. George Karl designed the special curriculum for participating schools.
Â· Team Members Videos Released: Exclusive videos will be released on March 1 at
www.hoopsforstjude.org featuring the players and Coach Karl encouraging NBA fans to
donate to St. Jude.
Hoops for St. Jude evolved out of the partnership between the NBA Summer League and
St. Jude in 2008. NBA coaches and executives are introduced to the St. Jude mission during the
NBA Summer Leagueâ€™s annual Tip-Off Dinner. For more information about the program, visit
About St. Jude:
St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding
cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only
pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer
Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely
shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only
pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No
child is ever denied treatment because of the familyâ€™s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially
supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit