NBA Cares All-Star efforts tip off in Toronto on Thursday, Feb. 11

Inaugural Jr. NBA Day highlights more than 35 events impacting tens of thousands of local youth and families


NEW YORK – The NBA Cares All-Star efforts tip off Thursday, Feb. 11, when the NBA family will work with more than 250 schools and community organizations to give back to the city of Toronto.  More than 35 community events will take place over four days, impacting tens of thousands of local youth and families.

On Friday, Feb. 12, the Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour will host its first-ever Jr. NBA Day at Enercare Centre for more than 2,500 children from the Peel District School Board, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board, York Region District School Board, and York Catholic District School Board.  The 2016 NBA All-Stars will join current and former NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League players to lead Jr. NBA basketball clinics on more than 40 courts and baskets.  Each of the kids in attendance will be fully outfitted by Under Armour, including sneakers, T-shirts, shorts, and socks.

The Jr. NBA, the league’s youth basketball participation program that teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game, launched its expanded efforts in October 2015 with the goal of reaching five million youth in the U.S. and Canada over a two-year period.  Earlier this season, the Jr. NBA “Rookie Division” launched in Canada to engage boys and girls ages five to seven with the support of BMO Financial Group, the Official Bank of NBA Canada and an official partner of the Jr. NBA program in Canada.  YMCA Canada, on behalf of its nationwide network of YMCAs, is partnering with the Jr. NBA and has registered to be part of its network.  YMCA Canada will also launch a new public service campaign featuring Canadian-born NBA players to promote opportunities for kids to forge new friendships and learn essential life skills through the game of basketball.

Also on Friday, nearly 1,000 members of the NBA family and NBA All-Star guests will roll up their sleeves to sort and repack 110,000 pounds of food donations to benefit more than 30,000 Canadians in need.  The project, in partnership with Daily Bread Food Bank, will take place with the support of SAP and State Farm® as part of the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service.

The NBA Cares All-Star efforts get underway Thursday, Feb. 11, when current and former NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League players lead basketball and fitness clinics at 10 schools throughout Toronto as part of the NBA All-Star FIT Celebration.  With support from Kaiser Permanente, the NBA will work with the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board to host basketball clinics focusing on the importance of healthy living while teaching the fundamentals of the game.

The fifth annual NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game & Clinic highlights the community events on Saturday, Feb. 13.  The Unified Basketball Game will feature NBA legends, WNBA players and legends, and 12 Special Olympics athletes from around the world competing in a 40-minute demonstration game at Enercare Centre as part of NBA Centre Court.  Also on Saturday, NBA Cares will partner with The Remix Project, a youth-led arts organization that helps level the playing field for young people from underserved communities, to host a leadership panel featuring prominent figures in sports and entertainment.

The NBA will partner with Make-A-Wish® and The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada to grant wishes to five families at NBA All-Star 2016, including meet-and-greets with NBA All-Star participants and a host of other activities.  Current and former NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League players will also visit young patients at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (SickKids).

The community service efforts continue Sunday, Feb. 14, when members of the NBA family and Wheelchair Basketball Canada host an NBA Cares Wheelchair Basketball Clinic at Enercare Centre for 30 local youth with and without disabilities.

NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues.  This season, as part of the 10th anniversary of its creation, NBA Cares is renewing its commitment to communities around the world by inspiring play and teaching basketball’s values to more than 15 million youth, providing an additional 3 million hours of hands-on service to others, and leaving a lasting legacy in communities by building 1,000 more safe places to live, learn or play by 2025.