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Memphis, Tennessee - January 10, 2011 – NBA stars Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and David Lee are teaming up with other top players around the league for the annual Hoops for St. Jude fundraising campaign benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Returning ambassadors Pau Gasol, Rudy Gay, Kevin Love, Steve Blake and veteran coach George Karl complete this season's lineup. St. Jude will also partner with NBA Cares this season for Hoops for St. Jude Week to be held March 4-11, which raises national awareness and funds for the hospital.
"I learned of the amazing work of St. Jude when I joined the Thanks and Giving program last year. I was honored to meet some young patients who are winning the fight against cancer and sickle cell disease," said Wade. "Joining Hoops for St. Jude presented another chance for me to support the hospital by combining my love for basketball with an opportunity to give hope to children with cancer and other deadly diseases."
All players and Coach George Karl have committed to donating a minimum of $20,000 each to St. Jude, the nation's top children's cancer hospital. Hoping to make this a three-point play, NBA Cares and the Hoops for St. Jude team are asking fans to join the game and visit www.hoopsforstjude.org to make a one-time or monthly donation to St. Jude, where no child is ever denied treatment because of a family's inability to pay.
"I believe in giving back and helping children. Hoops for St. Jude does both. Whether a child with cancer is from Orlando or across the globe, St. Jude is making tremendous strides in saving children from this terrible disease," said Howard. "NBA players are tough but children fighting cancer are tougher. I believe the children of St. Jude are the real superheroes."
"Continuing my support of Hoops for St. Jude was an easy decision for me," said Gasol. "St. Jude is committed to the fight against childhood cancer not only in the United States but around the world. I hope all NBA fans join the Hoops for St. Jude team in helping to give hope to thousands of children who are looking for a victory against cancer."
2010-11 Hoops for St. Jude Team
Steve Blake, Los Angeles Lakers
Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
George Karl, coach of the Denver Nuggets
David Lee, Golden State Warriors
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
In addition, to recruit future basketball stars to support St. Jude, Karl designed a special curriculum for elementary and middle school physical education classes in a school-based Hoops for St. Jude program. Students participating can learn key basketball fundamentals from a veteran NBA coach while raising funds for St. Jude
"I want to extend my gratitude to the NBA family and students across the country that are supporting the Hoops for St. Jude program," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "We hope NBA fans also will embrace our mission of
finding cures and saving children by joining the Hoops for St. Jude team as we fight childhood cancer and other deadly diseases."
For more information, to make a donation or to learn how schools can get involved, visit www.hoopsforstjude.org.
About St. Jude
St. Jude Children'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, Tennessee, 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 family's inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. In 2010, St. Jude was ranked the most trusted charity in the nation in a public survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a highly respected international polling and research firm. St. Jude was also named the nation's top children's cancer hospital in the 2010-11 Best Children's Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.
About NBA Cares
NBA Cares is the league's social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA's long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated than $145 million to charity, completed more than 1.4 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 525 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, in 22 countries on five continents. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.