Tag Archives: Pistons

Detroit Pistons’ Historic Community Service with Samaritan’s Feet

Detroit Pistons’ Historic Community Service with Samaritan’s Feet

They’ll walk out in their shoes standing six feet tall because their role models touched them in a way they’ll never forget.” Manny Ohonme, president and founder of Samaritan’s Feet

Of all the community outreach being done as part of the NBA Cares ‘Week of Service,” I do believe the Detroit Pistons have -so far- held the best event…last week at the Boll Family YMCA in downtown Detroit, volunteers from the Palace, sponsors National City and Fathead made it possible for the Pistons and the nonprofit relief organization Samaritan’s Feet to positively impact nearly 2,000 children in three hours…this event was special for several reasons, aside from just giving away free socks and shoes to the kids, the Pistons got down on their knees and washed the kids’ feet before placing new, clean, free socks and shoes on their feet. According to my semi-rusty memory, this is only the second time I’ve seen any of our athletes washing children’s feet for charity. Last January the Grizzlies got down and scrubbed 350 little pairs of feet, which at the time was the largest event held in conjunction with an NBA team…but now, the hotties from the Motor City hold that distinction. “This is a monumental effort,” said Good Samaritan founder Manny Ohonme, “To actually see an entire team come support this and the staff and organization, this is the first time. This is a historical moment for us.” And really, a historical moment for all of us.

(Original story: NBA Cares)

Founded in 2003, Samaritan’s Feet made headlines in January 2008 when IUPUI coach Ron Hunter coached a game barefoot to bring attention to the charity and the organization’s goal of donating 10 million pairs of shoes to impoverished children worldwide in the next 10 years. Since then, Samaritan’s Feet has hosted “Shoes of Hope” distribution events across the country, including one in Detroit last spring during the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

NBA Preseason Giving

NBA Preseason Giving
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The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” (Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Most fans are excited for the NBA season to get underway, but I relish this time of year not just for the hoops, but for the preseason love our NBA hotties lavish on their communities…yesterday tipped off the 2009 NBA Cares Week of Service where every NBA team will host a variety of “hands-on service events through Oct. 26 in a collaborative effort to give back to children, families, and the community and to increase fan awareness about the importance of service.”

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Increasing my ‘fan awareness’ yesterday were the Memphis Grizzlies…Zach Randolph, Mike Conley(L), and DeMarre Carroll (R) danced with kids, read to them and gave away Grizzly backpacks during a Read to Achieve Event at Norris Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee …

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All week, NBA teams are making the rounds-joining with community members and partners in an effort to support health, education, and environmental awareness programs through several projects…I’ll try to keep up with all the action, which includes: The Detroit Pistons will distribute 1,000 pairs of shoes to children in partnership with Samaritan’s Feet…the Los Angeles Lakers and community volunteers will assemble holiday care packages for deployed U.S. service members in partnership with Operation Gratitude…the New Orleans Hornets will visit pediatric patients at a local hospital, host a three-day children’s book distribution at the Audubon Zoo, and tip off their Read to Achieve program by hosting 500 local fifth graders at Louisiana Children’s Museum for a writing workshop and 13 simultaneous Reading Timeouts…the Phoenix Suns and community volunteers will build bunk beds for Steve Nash and I and underprivileged children in partnership with Rebuilding Together…the Chicago Bulls will host “Operation Stock the Library” at Henry H. Nash Elementary School. Players will stock the school’s library with $8,000 worth of brand-new books to tip off the team’s Read to Achieve program…the Los Angeles Clippers will provide 1,600 local families with food and personal care items in partnership with Feed the Children…the Golden State Warriors will prepare and serve meals to 150 homeless children and families in partnership with CityTeam Ministries in Oakland…the New Jersey Nets will host a park clean-up day at Branchbrook Park in Newark, N.J. (I suspect that’s gonna be a long day)…the Oklahoma City Thunder will spend time with youngsters at an area homeless shelter…and the Orlando Magic will serve food to homeless children and families at the Christian Service Center in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.

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The NBA Cares Week of Service aligns with President Obama’s recent launch of the United We Serve initiative (www.serve.gov), which seeks to expand the impact of volunteer work in existing organizations and encourage individuals to make a difference in their communities. Fans can find out about volunteer opportunities and learn more about the NBA’s community partners by going to www.nba.com/nbacares. In the immortal words of Nike: JUST DO IT! Get out and volunteer to help our ballers improve the communities and make the kids smile!

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

The Charitable Side of Rasheed Wallace

The Charitable Side of Rasheed Wallace

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“A lot of people have seen [this side of me],” said Rasheed. “Like I said, I do this with and without the NBA. My wife and I do it sometimes. I do it with my own kids sometimes, so it’s all cool.”

I can’t get enough of Rasheed Wallace. It doesn’t matter what uniform he’s wearing, I will adore this man till the day I die…I love the attitude, heart, hustle and flow. I love the way he laughs and I love the way he taunts. There is only ONE Rasheed Wallace and he does it right. Contrary to what some may think of the fiery ex-Piston, the 14-year veteran made his first appearance this week as a Celtic…and it was all for the kids. The new Celtic spent Tuesday afternoon reading kids “Make Way for the Ducklings,” and afterward he took a duck boat tour of Boston with them.

“I’ve been doing it pretty much my whole career, with and without the NBA,’’ Wallace said. “It’s nothing new. It’s actually fun for me, to interact with kids – that’s my Achilles’ heel. I’m real big on kids and doing things with them…Every kid likes to be read to, or even just have an adult play with them a lot, even if it’s girls with tea parties or boys playing in the dirt…It’s all part of being a kid. It’s something we all want to do.”

But what I really love about Rasheed, is the fact that he flies under the radar in terms of charity work…he doesn’t do it for publicity, and he doesn’t do it to polish-up his image: “A lot of people have seen [this side of me],” he said. “I do this with and without the NBA. My wife and I do it sometimes. I do it with my own kids sometimes, so it’s all cool…I wanted to continue what I did in Detroit, what I did in Portland, what I do in Philadelphia, North Carolina, and what I did in Washington when I was there with the Bullets many moons ago. It’s something the kids look forward to, you know, to have a professional athlete — football, baseball, basketball, whatever — come to their school in their neighborhood and watch them interact, and interact with them.”

Love you Sheedy…keep up the good work~

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Shane Battier Reads to Achieve, Tayshaun Donates to Kids Kicking Cancer, Grizzlies Give Kids New Shoes (Or What We’ll Never See Lebron Doing)

A FEW OF MY OFF-COURT NBA ALL STARS

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Generally, you’ll have me at ‘Rockets’ due to the number of good-guys on the roster…and yesterday one of those mighty-mighty-fine men, Shane Battier, was at the Children’s Museum in Houston. At first I was certain that he had been “added” as an exhibit until I saw him reading to the kids and learned that he was there for the Read to Achieve event. Little to no media coverage so I thought I’d do it here. The NBA’s Read to Achieve program is a year-round campaign which helps young people develop a life-long love for reading…which isnt really too hard when you got guys like Shane reading to you.

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And pinky props to Piston Tayshaun Prince (and his wife Farah) for chanting the mantra ‘Power, Peace, Purpose’, after presenting a scholarship check for $2,500 to Kids Kicking Cancers as part of the Pistons Read to Achieve Tour.

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Just a lil love for Grizzlies Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Elliot Perry, Kyle Lowry and Hakim Warrick for taking part in the Samaritan’s feet shoe distribution at Street Ministries yesterday in Memphis…actually, I’m giving more than just a lil love to these guys because they not only fitted kids for sneakers, but also handed out kicks to the kids AND (gulp) even washed their feet. This is the first time I’ve ever come across any of our ballers or athletes actually washing kids’ feet. (Like to see Lebron do that)…again, massive hugs to the Grizzlies.

Hope to see you here: Tomorrow is the 2009 Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge to benefit bone marrow patient and family services at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Mia Hamm Foundation. Celebrities expected: Nomar Garciaparra [LA Dodgers], Mia Hamm [Soccer Hall of Famer], Tony hawk, Maksim Chmerkovski, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Zachary Levi, Josh Henderson, C. Thomas Howell, Ryan Sheckler, Sal Masekela, Marcus Allen, Benji Madden, Angus T. Jones, Dule Hill, Anthony Lapaglia, Andrea Bowen, Chris Richardson, Josh Hutchenson, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Rivers Cuomo, members of the U.S. Olympic Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams and many others. Home Depot Center, 18400 Avalon Blvd., Carson, CA.

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Celebrity Athletes in 2008

Celebrity Athletes in 2008
2008 has been a great year for some of our favorites. Yes, I made a vow to take the month off but unfortunate I can’t stay away…too many of our guys are out there playing Santa, making cookies with kids and spreading the holiday cheer…I couldn’t possibly cover all the action, just a few memorable moments that made my estrogen spike and my man question my sanity…

Rafa is sitting tight at number one after sending the Swiss Mister down the rankings ladder and finally clinching his spot atop the world rankings…Our kitten Camilo Villegas grabbed a few headlines, several trophies and a shit load of estrogen en route to 2009…Lewis Hamilton became the youngest champion in Formula One history and owned the word “class” while kicking ass in the face of racism…we fell in love with Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt while raising awareness for genocide…Men’s USA Basketball did us proud and brought home the gold…and we, the people, elected one of the hottest ballers alive to be Our President. All in all, I would say a mighty good year.

Ideally, I would elaborate on Carmelo Anthony’s ‘Very Melo Holiday Event’ which was held in Denver…however, I am at a loss for words. Only one comes to mind…Geez-Us. Carmelo Cares people and don’t ever doubt it. “It’s important to me to make a significant impact on the communities that have positively affected me. My family and I are committed to growing my Foundation so that we can continue to help families in need.”

Another Nugget up to do-gooding…Chauncey Billups, along with Ray and Rodney Billups-spread some holiday cheer during a holiday event for families at the Hiawatha Davis Rec Center in Denver.

Shane Battier gets mad props for helping this little kid from Casa De Esperanza pick out some toys during the Houston Rockets Season of Giving in Houston…and gotta give a massive hug to the most underrated ‘giver’ in the League-Ron Artest…Ron-Ron made cookies during the Rockets event and passed out gifts along with Luther Head, Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey…

And this is the fifth year in a row that the NBA has teamed up with ‘Feed the Children’… This years event in Detroit saw five Pistons -Kwame Brown, Allen Iverson, Jason Maxiell, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace- stepping in as the Fab-Five for this years ‘Miracle in Motown’ where they fed five thousand families…For me, the Pistons embody something that transcends basketball. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any controversy, jail time or scandal involving the Motown boys that would deem them unworthy of praise, so correct me if I’m wrong-until then, they get my vote for sincerity, good will and never saying no when asked to help others.

Have a safe and happy holiday season…remember to check out all the celebrity philanthropy we’re covering at Look to the Stars…have a rocking new year, hug a child and I’ll see ya in (yikes) ’09.

As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo

Pistons Make Wish Come True; Olympic Athletes Make Dreams Come True, Carmelo Anthony Hangs with Michael Phelps, and Luke Wilson’s Silver Lining

TRENDY TUESDAY

As we sit around watching real-fake-live coverage of the Olympian-hotness, I feel it’s important to give some props to former Detroit Piston John Long and head coach Michael Curry…the two mighty-fine men spent Monday hanging out with Spencer and his buddies. Spencer was the recipient of the ‘Afternoon with the Pistons, A Wish Come True’ event…and with that off my chest, I can feel good about a bit o gratuitous Delinda style coverage of some Olympic babes….


After the Men’s US Swim Babes stunned France in the 4×100 freestyle on Monday night, Michael Phelps went on to etch his name alongside Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis as one of the “winningest Olympians ever” with his third gold medal and third world record in as many days. In winning the 200-meter freestyle Tuesday, Phelps ran his career Olympic total to nine golds…

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Speaking of Phelps, seems like he and Carmelo Anthony are chill. Sweet Melon is writing an Olympic diary for the NY Times. In part, he spoke about his new buddy Michael Phelps…”I’m amazed at what he can do in that water. He’s like a shark. I’ve never seen anyone swim like that before. Swimming never caught my eyes before I saw him.” Last week, Melo licked his lips and wrote about hanging with Phelps: “I got a chance to talk with him last night at the Olympic Village. I met him before just growing up, but I hadn’t met him since he won those six gold medals in 2004. So his whole life has changed. He’s not from the same neighborhood as me, but we’ll claim him…This is my first time to really get a chance to mingle and interact with him. We talked about spots back home, but we were talking about getting out to each other’s events. He’s going to bring some golds back to Baltimore and I’m going to bring a gold back. They can have our parade together in Baltimore.”


Granted, I can’t sit still long enough to watch each and every real-fake-live-broadcast event…but I’m trying to keep an eye on several noteworthy morsels…one of which, as we all know, is a particular Tapa. Our Rafael Nadal has burned through Italian beast Potito Starace and Lleyton Hewitt as he inches his way towards gold…

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Meanwhile, let’s take our eyes of Beijing for a minute and give some props to actor Luke Wilson. He, along with Swedish golf-babe Johan Edfors, have teamed up to co-design the new ‘Chrome’ line for Puma. “Johan wears the splashy stuff,” Wilson says…the two collaborated on a line to suit both the ‘extroverts’ and ‘introverts’ on the greens..sexy bold colors for Edfors and muted cardigans for Wilson. “I like the real meticulous look of guys like Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. They had their own tailors making their clothes back then,” Wilson says. For more info and some great photos of the new line, check out the LA Times.

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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com