NBA All-Star week, returning to Chicago for the first time since 1988, is about a whole lot more than an exhibition game and it’s periphery events. The week leading into the NBA showcase event consists of parties, events and something that publicists now like to refer to as “activations.”
Despite my status as an “influencer,” I still don’t know what an “activation” really is, but I do know that a lot of these events are for great causes. Plus, I have had a lot of fun playing with the best indoor basketball hoops at these parties. Yes, there are a lot of celebrities at these events, and basketball royalty everywhere you turn, and that gets all the attention, but there’s a deeper meaning to it all too. Let’s run through some of the NBA All-Star events coming to Chicago this week and what causes they support.
NBA family, supporting tens of thousands of Chicago children, gets their programs and events tipped off on Wednesday. They will be working with the Chicago Public School system and nearly 50 community-based organizations, including Center on Halsted and Greater Chicago Food Depository. The NBA’s programs will focus on promoting physical and mental wellness, treating addiction, dealing with social ills and working on helping to create safe spaces for those in need.
Led by the first-ever NBA All-Star Youth Leadership Council, a group of 20 high schoolers from throughout Chicago’s 77 different neighborhoods will collaborate with some of the city’s most prominent and benevolent non-profits. So there is a whole lot going on this week, well ahead of the game itself, which has a lot of prop betting available with or without a playbonuscode. One of the biggest and best single NBA All-Star events this week is being organized by none other than Isiah Thomas
The 12 time All-Star, member of the NBA’s 50th anniversary all-time team and West Side native is hosting a charity bowling event in conjunction with the Ladylike Foundation.
The organization, which promotes womanhood, is hosting their annual Celebrity Bowling Classic at Kings Bowl and Entertainment Friday night. Thomas, who played for the legendary Gene Pingatore at St. Joe’s in Westchester, will be joined by teammates and other celebrity friends to raise funds for this incredible cause.
Among the many stellar names slated to appear at the event are NBA Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore, DePaul legend Mark Aguirre, former The View co-host Star Jones, MLB Hall of Famer Dave Winfield and the shortest player in NBA history, Mugsy Bogues.
All in all, this week will see one of the biggest events the Chicago sporting universe has hosted in a very long time. A good time will be had by all, but more importantly, those good times will be for a great cause.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.
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