Rose, Johnson, Horford Headline 'Hoops for Troops' USO Tour to Hawaii
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
By Christian Pelusi
An impressive array of pro basketball stars, led by 2011 league MVP and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, will take their talents to Hawaii from Oct. 23-28 on a four-stop tour to lift the spirits of troops and their families.
“Hoops for Troops” will team Rose with five-time All-Star and Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson, 2010 Rookie of the Year and Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, Charlotte Bobcats guard D.J. Augustin, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford, Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez, New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez, Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee, Miami Heat guard Mike Miller. It is the first USO/Armed Forces Network tour for all of the players and will include at least two clinics and one-on-one matchups with servicemen and women, as well as autograph and photo sessions.
For Rose, it is a welcome chance to bring a little fun and joy to our nation’s servicemen and women.
“I am honored to take part in a USO tour and greatly appreciate the USO’s efforts in organizing this trip,” Rose said in a statement. “I am so thankful for the great sacrifices the service members and their families make for our country and it is a truly special opportunity to give back by sharing our love of basketball with them.”
USO President Sloan Gibson thanked all parties who made the tour possible.
"There is no better way to celebrate our 70 years of providing entertainment to troops than by deploying nine of today's most recognizable basketball players on a USO tour to Hawaii,” Gibson said in a statement. “All of our tours generate a great level of excitement among troops and their families and sport-themed tours like this are certainly among the top of the list. We are excited by all the smiles this tour is sure to deliver by making this happen for our friends in Hawaii."
This USO tour was made possible with help from East West Private, a Cincinnati-based company that aims to serve as a bridge between Asian companies looking to expand in the United States, and Wasserman Media Group, a sports marketing and entertainment company with global expertise in athlete management, consulting, media rights, partnership and business development and action sports.
The tour continues a rich partnership between the USO and pro basketball. Most recently, Hall of Famer Karl Malone visited deployed troops in the Middle East last August and also spoke at the USO Gala held in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.
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