Aug. 3, 2011
UCLA basketball alumni Toby Bailey, Rod Foster, Michelle Greco, Billy Knight, Natalie Nakase, Allison Taka and Earl Watson are amongst the participants in this Saturday's "Play for Japan" charity basketball event, which will be held Aug. 6 at West Los Angeles College beginning at 12 pm.
The event begins with a coaches clinic from 12-1:30 pm that will include special guest coaches Reggie Theus (Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach) and Rasheed Hazzard (LA Lakers assistant coach). A kids skills clinic, coached by Foster, will follow from 2-5 pm for boys and girls ages 6-14.
The day will be highlighted with a celebrity basketball game that begins at 5:30 pm. The game will pit a team of outstanding Japanese-American players against current and former NBA, WNBA and overseas professional players. Included amongst the professional players in the line-up are Toby Bailey (Phoenix Suns, UCLA), Michelle Greco (Seattle Storm, UCLA), Natalie Nakase (San Diego Siege, UCLA), Jeremy Tyler (Golden State Warriors), Lamond Murray (Los Angeles Clippers, Cal), Jordan Hamilton (Denver Nuggets, University of Texas), and Darin Maki (Saitama Broncos, CSU Dominguez Hills). Also playing will be Knight and Taka. Current Utah Jazz guard and UCLA alum Earl Watson will be one of the coaches for the celebrity game.
During the halftime show of the celebrity game, there will be special performances by "We Are Heroes" of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew and DJ Phatal. Players will be available for a meet and greet following the game.
General admission to the celebrity basketball game is $10 per person. Coaches clinic costs $40 each and kids clinic is $35 each. Ticket reservations can be made by emailing playforjapan11(at)gmail.com. The deadline for registering for the clinic is Wednesday, Aug. 3.
Play For Japan is an organization created by three members of the Japanese American community, Shaun Inouye, Natalie Nakase, and Kristin Egusa, who were working for a professional basketball team in Tokyo, Japan when the tragic March 11th earthquake occurred. Due to this horrific disaster, the three returned home to the U.S. and have since been working to find ways to help Japan. For more information, visit www.play4japan.org.