Team Hollywood, a celebrity street basketball team, composed of former NBA players, retired Harlem Globetrotters and talented streetballers, will hit the court at the Providence/Ball Family Center, 8601 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday, June 28 at to . The game is free and open to the community. Limited gift prizes will be distributed. One of the event sponsors is Ceragem at 9545 West 87th Street, Overland Park, Kan. As part of the Team’s Kansas City tour, athletes will stop at Providence Medical Center to visit with pediatric patients and newborn parents on Friday, June 27.
According to Mary Ellen Clark, Providence Saint John Foundation executive director, the hospital was approached by Team Hollywood to participate as part of their summer ''Giving Back'' tour. Team Hollywood travels to hospitals, children's centers and schools throughout the country. Clark and her staff then reached out to its partner—the Providence YMCA—as a perfect location venue.
“We are especially thrilled to have Clay Johnson, a former NBA player of the championship Los Angeles Lakers, attend,” she says. “There are so many sport figures and individuals in the media who get our children’s attention, and some of them fall off the pedestals we've put them on. It's a wonderful opportunity to have individuals of this caliber come to our community and want to do something for someone else, and to build and inspire our youth. We are hopeful this will be the start of a great relationship.”
Pete Adams, president, started Team Hollywood as a result of working with members of the Harlem Globetrotters. His aim was to give underprivileged kids a chance to witness and interact with professional athletes. Depending on the venue they are at, the players perform a variety of basketball tricks and always encourage crowd participation. They also play straight-up competitive games against college teams and other top athletes. Team Hollywood has traveled around the U.S. for the last 10 years.
The following players are part of this weekend’s team:
Clay Johnson—Clay, who is the team captain, has been a member of Team Hollywood for four years. Clay played three years in the NBA and two years with the Los Angeles Lakers, and won a NBA Championship. He also played one year with the Seattle Super Sonics. Clay continuously gives back to his local community by having a Celebrity weekend that focuses on youth, free basketball games, clinics and concerts. Clay is very health conscious and teaches young people about healthy eating choices.
Mark Latino Heat—It has been stated he is Latin America's favorite street ball player. He lives between El Paseo and Dallas, Texas. He has played with Team Hollywood for four years. Latino Heat is a boxer and trains young people aspiring to become boxers. Latino Heat is the proud father of a young son, and his goal is to take care of his family. He always tells kids, “Don't be afraid to have dreams.”
J.J. Smith— J.J. has been with Team Hollywood for about a year. J. J. spent two years as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Football team. Prior to the NFL, J.J. played for Kansas State University. J. J. is a sports analyst for Kansas City Metro Sports. He holds football clinics and camps where he teaches speed and agility to young people. J.J. continues to give back to the community by providing schools with new football equipment and uniforms.
Squirt—Squirt has been with Team Hollywood for two years. Squirt is well known for his crafty offense and his dunking abilities. Squirt resides in Kansas City, Mo. and aspires to become a youth speaker and to inspire kids. He has been playing basketball since he was 14 years of age. Squirt is a former player of And1 streetballers and tells young people to “Always try hard to be the best you can be.”
Marquise—Marquise has been with Team Hollywood for about four months. Marquise is formerly of the And 1 streetballers. Marquise is well know for his finesse on the court and his ability to be an offensive power house. He is an advocate for youth and gives of his time mentoring young people, teaching them to stay in school, make good choices and set goals.
Herschel "H2O"—Herschel is one of the newest members of Team Hollywood. He has been with the team for three months. Herschel is from Minneapolis, MN. He is known for his dynamic three point shooting ability. He is devoted to his family and aspires to make them proud of him by excelling in basketball. Herschel works with young people and teaches them how to develop their shooting skills.
E.J. Whitley—E.J. has been with Team Hollywood for a year. He is a football player who formerly played ">center in the ">NFL for the ">Dallas Cowboys and played ">college football as an ">offensive tackle for the ">Texas Tech Red Raiders. E.J. was selected in the ">2006 NFL Draft as the 224th overall pick by the Cowboys, who liked his versatility in being able to play any offensive line position. He also played in the movie "Any Given Sunday.”
For more information about the basketball game on Saturday, call the YMCA at 913-378-9622.