NEW YORK – As part of NBA All-Star 2023, the NBA family will engage with the greater Utah community through five days of social impact and youth basketball events that will unify communities through service, philanthropy and teaching the values of the game of basketball. Social impact programming will focus on youth, education, food insecurity and economic inclusion. Also throughout NBA All-Star, the league will continue using its platform to create opportunities for students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Together, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) will contribute more than $3 million to the Utah and HBCU communities.
NBA All-Star Game Beneficiaries
The league’s community initiatives will culminate during the NBA All-Star Game where Team LeBron and Team Giannis will collectively donate nearly a million dollars for local youth and family-serving organizations. Team LeBron will play for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah – an organization whose mission is to create and support mentorship that ignites the power and promise of youth; and Team Giannis will play for Raise the Future – an organization that connects youth waiting in foster care with adults who become stable forces that last a lifetime. Youth from the two groups will be integrated into programming throughout All-Star, including practice, the pregame draft, and attending the game to cheer on their respective teams.
NBPA Foundation Legacy Grants
The NBPA Foundation will donate grants to several local organizations that support reducing mental health stigma and increasing access to mental health services.
2023 RUFFLES® All-Star Celebrity Game
During the 2023 RUFFLES® All-Star Celebrity Game, the Ruffles 4-point Ridge Line, a 4-point line resembling the ridges in Ruffles potato chips, is back to support a good cause. For every shot made from behind the line, Ruffles and the NBA will donate $4,000 to support 5 For The Fight, a Utah Jazz non-profit partner who, in partnership with Howard University, has launched the 5 For The Fight Cancer Research internship to help increase the number of diverse, emerging scientists working on cancer research.
2023 STARRY 3-Point Contest
If any player scores 30 points in a single round during the Starry 3-Point Contest on Saturday, Feb. 18, Starry will make a $300,000 donation to the NBA Foundation.
NBA Cares Learn and Play Center Dedication – The NBA, teaming up with State Farm, will continue its mission to use the power of basketball to bring people together and create a lasting, positive impact in the community with the dedication of a new NBA Cares Learn and Play Center at Lincoln Elementary School in South Salt Lake on Feb. 16. The NBA and State Farm will unveil a newly renovated STEM education space inclusive of new technology, books and other resources. In addition, enhancements to the school’s gymnasium will also be unveiled, including new basketball hoops, equipment, lighting and updated flooring – all to help create a brighter, cleaner, safer space for youth in the community.
15th NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service – On Feb. 17, more than 500 NBA volunteers, including current players, legends, guests, community partners as well as partner support from Nike and SAP will give back to the state of Utah through hands-on service projects focused on alleviating food insecurity and providing essential items for those in need. Working in partnership with Utah Food Bank, Bishop’s Central Storehouse and Volunteers of America Utah, volunteers will assist with sorting and repacking food donations to distribute items to those in need and packing essential item donations to support low-income students and families.
Leading up to NBA All-Star, members of the NBA family will visit with youth members at Encircle and the Utah Pride Center on Feb. 15 as part of the league’s commitment to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. At Encircle, which offers resources to help youth and young adults of the LGBTQ+ community thrive, guests will take a tour of the facility and participate in a friendship circle. At Utah Pride – a center which unites, empowers and celebrates Utah’s diverse LGBTQ+ community by providing a safe and welcoming space for education, partnerships, services and events which advance our collective health, wellness and success – NBA Legend, LGBTQ+ advocate and NBA Cares Ambassador Jason Collins, former WNBA player and NBA Senior Vice President of Player Development Jamila Wideman and others will engage with youth about their respective journeys.
In line with the Jazz and the NBA’s year-round efforts to make our game more accessible to fans living with sensory needs, the NBA will also partner with KultureCity to distribute sensory bags and make available the team’s sensory room for fans in attendance throughout the weekend at Vivint Arena.
On Sunday, Feb. 19, the NBA and Utah Jazz will also host a clinic for wheelchair-bound youth in collaboration with Wheelin’ Jazz for participants in the Junior Jazz Wheelchair basketball league; and a Sensory Inclusive Clinic in collaboration with community organizations ABI, Spectrum Academy, and Unified Champion Schools, centered on creating an inclusive and fun environment on the court.
HBCU Classic and other Initiatives
As previously announced, on Saturday, Feb. 18, the Grambling State University and Southern University men’s basketball teams will face off in the second NBA HBCU Classic presented by AT&T at 4 p.m. ET/2 p.m. MT at the Jon M. Huntsman Center, which will be simulcast on TNT, ESPN2 and NBA TV. As part of the NBA’s and AT&T’s respective ongoing commitments to HBCUs, they will make donations to each school to support the student experience. Additionally, the NBA will create professional development opportunities including an event internship program for HBCU students from multiple institutions.
The NBA Foundation will donate $500,000 to Braven, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the United Negro College Fund and The University of Utah’s HBCU Impact and Black Cultural Center Program. Funding will help expand programming and critical resources for HBCU students and alumni as part of the Foundation’s mission to create economic opportunity for Black youth.
Economic Inclusion and Uplifting Black-Owned Businesses
Access: Business to Business Development – As part of its ongoing commitment to engage with and support local diverse-owned businesses during NBA All-Star 2023 and beyond, the NBA in collaboration with the Utah Jazz and Living Color Utah will host an All-Star Business to Business (B2B) Development Event on Feb. 16. The theme of this year’s event is “access,” and the program will focus on providing attendees the information needed to access support services and business opportunities. The event will feature a series of moderated panels and networking opportunities for attendees.
NBA Foundation Pitch Competition – The NBA Foundation aims to grow the next generation of Black entrepreneurs and tech leaders by providing the tools, resources and funding for innovative ideas through the NBA Foundation Pitch Competition on Feb. 16. In collaboration with the National Black MBA Association and Utah Black Chamber of Commerce, the Foundation will host a live pitch competition highlighting Black entrepreneurs in the Salt Lake City community and across the country. Eight entrepreneurs will present their businesses, platforms, and technology to a panel of NBA and business executives for a chance to win cash prizes.
NBA All-Star Rewards Program – With a focus on economic inclusion and supporting the city’s recovery efforts from the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the NBA has included more than 130 diverse-owned businesses as part of the NBA All-Star Rewards Program. Launched in late 2022, the program encourages fans to patronize locally owned restaurants and retail businesses for the chance to win tickets to attend All-Star events and other exclusive prizes.
Sustainability – Throughout NBA All-Star, the NBA will educate and empower fans, and the broader Salt Lake City community to find innovative solutions to address environmental issues facing Salt Lake City. The NBA will partner with Clever Carbon to encourage fans to take a brief quiz to understand their carbon footprint, as well as engage with the University of Utah’s SPARC Lab to fund on-going programs aimed at educating local youth around the importance of air quality. The NBA will also donate funding and work with Midvale Elementary School to enhance the school’s outdoor food pantry and garden area. In addition to collecting and measuring data to better understand its carbon footprint, the NBA will work with accredited partners to track, reduce and offset identifiable and unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions tied to NBA All-Star.
Jr. NBA-Junior Jazz Virtual Clinic – The Jr. NBA and Junior Jazz will host a virtual youth basketball clinic for elementary school age boys and girls from throughout Utah focusing on teaching the fundamentals as well as core values of the game. Participants will take part in a series of drills focused on the fundamentals of the game as well as mental performance to showcase ways to use basketball to improve emotional and physical wellbeing.
Jr. NBA Day – The Jr. NBA will host up to 1,500 local youth across six school districts for the 6th Jr. NBA Day at NBA All-Star. Members of the NBA family, including current and former NBA and WNBA players, will join Jr. NBA coaches to lead youth through a wide range of on-court activities and exercises that celebrate the game of basketball.
Jr. NBA Coaches Development Workshop – 100 local youth basketball coaches will participate in a Jr. NBA Coaches Development Workshop which will offer tools and resources to help coaches support their players on and off the court. The workshop will feature a variety of sessions with a focus on the Jr. NBA curriculum, on-court movement and mechanics, and mental performance. Additionally, Positive Coaching Alliance will offer insights on cultivating inclusive environments in youth sports.
Her Time To Play Clinic – Girls ages 8 and older will participate in a Her Time To Play clinic alongside WNBA players featuring on-court drills and exercises as well as workshops centered on social-emotional wellbeing. Her Time To Play is an initiative dedicated to championing girls and women through sport and providing them with a forum to connect, collaborate, and actively engage with the game of basketball and one another.
Special Olympics Unified and Big Brothers Big Sisters Clinic – 200 Special Olympics youth athletes and 200 mentor/mentee pairs from the Big Brother Big Sisters of America organization will participate in a Jr. NBA basketball clinic focusing on fundamental skills.
Junior Jazz-Jr. NBA 5v5 Tournament – Up to 180 youth in grades 5 and 6 will compete in a Junior Jazz-Jr. NBA 5v5 Tournament. There will be nine teams each in the boys’ and girls’ brackets (18 total).
Jr. NBA Skills Challenge – The Jr. NBA Skills Challenge is a national competition that provides boys and girls ages 9-13 the opportunity to showcase their fundamentals through a dribbling, shooting, passing and defensive skills competition. Building on the excitement of NBA All-Star 2023, up to 300 local youth will have the opportunity to showcase their skills to compete for a chance to advance to the National Finals.
On Saturday, Feb.18, the NBA and Utah Jazz will host a Jr. NBA STEM Clinic, to highlight the intersection of sports and STEM; Junior Jazz Fun Shot Finals, a shooting competition between local youth players; and a Respect the Game referee event, which will teach local youth about officiating career paths and include a clinic for officials who are working in the local basketball community.
National Basketball Social Justice Coalition
Clean Slate Summit – Last month on January 24, also as part of the NBA’s social impact in Salt Lake City, the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, Utah Jazz, Clean Slate Utah and Rasa hosted a Clean Slate Expungement Summit to increase awareness of Utah’s Clean Slate legislation and help hundreds of Utahns with criminal records apply to get their records cleared.
About NBA All-Star 2023
NBA All-Star 2023 in Salt Lake City, hosted in conjunction with the Utah Jazz, will bring together the most talented and passionate players for a global celebration of the league. The NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Vivint Arena, home to the Utah Jazz. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 21st consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 38th year of NBA All-Star coverage. Vivint Arena will also host NBA Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 17 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 18.