More than 6,000 students from around Las Vegas and Clark County, Nev., will receive VIP treatment during the first major competition of NBA All-Star 2007, the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. On Friday, Feb. 16, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, T-Mobile, along with NBA Cares, will host several thousand students who will fill the lower bowl of the arena for a special night of watching some of the best basketball players in the world.
T-Mobile and its national community outreach program, T-Mobile Huddle Up, teamed with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, the Clark County School District and the After-School All-Stars to reward students ages 11 to 15 with the chance to experience the game close up and free of charge. Students were able to qualify to attend the event and become T-Mobile Huddle Up All-Stars by meeting established criteria in the areas of school attendance, leadership, community services and the number of books read. The game, televised nationwide on TNT at 6:00 p.m. PT, will feature the NBA’s top first-and second-year players.
“For T-Mobile, this event is not about entertaining executives or business partners, it’s all about the kids and their appreciation for the game,” said Robert Dotson, president and CEO, T-Mobile USA. “Until the final bucket is scored, they’ll still be cheering…all from the best seats in the house. We hope it’s an exciting experience they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
The students and their chaperones will be picked up at pre-designated locations around Clark County and taken by bus to the Thomas & Mack Center. They will be welcomed by NBA staff and escorted to their prime seats inside the arena. There, they can enjoy the game, eat dinner and engage in special activities that are planned throughout the evening.
One youth representative from each of the three youth service partners will have the privilege of presenting the Rookie Challenge MVP award at the end of the game and appearing on national television.
The T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam will be televised live on TNT and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio. In addition, NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages. Toronto Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani, the first overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Andrew Bogut, the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, lead a list of 18 players selected to play in the contest.
T-Mobile Huddle Up is T-Mobile USA’s community outreach program connecting kids to positive people, places and programs. T-Mobile Huddle Up focuses on addressing the critical need for safe, high-quality afterschool programs for kids nationwide.