"Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night" will be held by the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 5:30pm during its game against the Indiana Pacers at the world famous STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles. The historic event is the first of its kind to be held by the LA Clippers.
UCLA Basketball alumnus Raymond Townsend '78, the first and only Filipino basketball player to ever play in the NBA, is teaming with the LA Clippers to produce a unique celebration of Filipino culture and heritage while promoting the game of basketball, one of the most popular sports in the Philippines and among Filipinos worldwide.
"It is my desire to bring the NBA to our Filipino communities to honor our rich heritage," says Raymond Townsend. "I was fortunate enough to realize my dream of playing basketball in the NBA, and my hope is to support the youth in our community and encourage them to follow their dreams as well."
Townsend, whose mother Virginia Marie Rugnao hailed from Taal, Batangas in the Philippines, was a first round NBA draft pick in 1978, and played in the NBA from 1978-1982 for the Golden State Warriors and then the Indiana Pacers. Townsend also played college basketball at UCLA from 1974-1978, and was a member of the 1975 UCLA Basketball National Champions under legendary Coach John Wooden.
The theme of Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night is "Follow Your Dreams", and will highlight an array of talented young performers from the Filipino community during pre-game festivities and at halftime. Philippine cultural dances will be performed by Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts, while the national anthem will be performed by nine-year-old Filipina singing sensation Ciana Pelekai. The evening will also feature "Follow Your Dreams" video vignettes played on the scoreboard video screen, featuring Filipino celebrities who have realized their dreams in several fields.
The evening starts with a meet and greet reception from 5:30pm - 6:30pm at the City View Terrace inside STAPLES Center. The meet and greet will be attended by Filipino cultural performers, celebrities, basketball legends, and Raymond Townsend himself. Attendees will have the opportunity for autographs and photos throughout the reception. Pre-game entertainment begins at 6:30pm, with tipoff at 7:30pm.
Discount tickets are available in special Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night seating sections, for $15 (upper level center), $35 (200's level), and $47 (lower level 100's) by visiting http://www.filipinohoopsandheritage.com/Filipino_Hoops/Welcome.html