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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

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Athletes, warriors come out for NBA All-Star Weekend

By Cpl. Tiffany Edwards | | February 18, 2014

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(From left to right) U.S. Coast Guard EM PO2 Stephen Tutweiler, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Meagan Parrott, U.S. Navy RP Seaman Richard Montgomery, U.S. Marine Sgt. Efrain Broutan, U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Fotini Nixon, are recognized for their service during the NBA All-Star Game inside the Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, La., Feb. 16, 2014. The Armed Forces community had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend to highlight the military presence in the New Orleans area and support community outreach events. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Schlueter/Released)

(From left to right) U.S. Coast Guard EM PO2 Stephen Tutweiler, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Meagan Parrott, U.S. Navy RP Seaman Richard Montgomery, U.S. Marine Sgt. Efrain Broutan, U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Fotini Nixon, are recognized for their service during the NBA All-Star Game inside the Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, La., Feb. 16, 2014. The Armed Forces community had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend to highlight the military presence in the New Orleans area and support community outreach events. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Schlueter/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Schlueter)


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NEW ORLEANS- A joint service color guard presents the colors during the National Anthem before the NBA Rising Stars basketball game at the Smoothie King Center, Feb. 14, 2014. The Armed Forces community had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend to highlight the military presence in the New Orleans area and support community outreach events. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class William Benson.

NEW ORLEANS- A joint service color guard presents the colors during the National Anthem before the NBA Rising Stars basketball game at the Smoothie King Center, Feb. 14, 2014. The Armed Forces community had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend to highlight the military presence in the New Orleans area and support community outreach events. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class William Benson. (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class William Benson)


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U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, 2nd Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is honored during the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star Game inside the Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, La., Feb. 16, 2014. The Armed Forces community had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend to highlight the military presence in the New Orleans area and support community outreach events. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Schlueter/Released)

U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, 2nd Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is honored during the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star Game inside the Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, La., Feb. 16, 2014. The Armed Forces community had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend to highlight the military presence in the New Orleans area and support community outreach events. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Schlueter/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Schlueter)


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ALGIERS, La. – Volunteers with NBA Cares pose in front of a renovated house, Feb. 14, 2014. NBA Cares, a community-outreach initiative that focuses on community development, education and health, hosted an All-Star Day of Service that was staffed by volunteers from local areas, visitors from across the country and service members from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as current and former NBA athletes. Volunteers renovated houses for veterans and low-income families in the Algiers Point neighborhood of New Orleans. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards)

ALGIERS, La. – Volunteers with NBA Cares pose in front of a renovated house, Feb. 14, 2014. NBA Cares, a community-outreach initiative that focuses on community development, education and health, hosted an All-Star Day of Service that was staffed by volunteers from local areas, visitors from across the country and service members from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as current and former NBA athletes. Volunteers renovated houses for veterans and low-income families in the Algiers Point neighborhood of New Orleans. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards) (Photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards)


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ALGIERS, La. – Warren Brown, a New York native visiting New Orleans during NBA All-Star Weekend, and (ret.) Army Master Sgt. Kenneth Nixon, repair a porch on a house being renovated by the NBA Cares outreach event, Feb. 14, 2014. NBA Cares, a community-outreach initiative that focuses on community development, education and health, hosted an All-Star Day of Service that was staffed by volunteers from local areas, visitors from across the country and service members from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as current and former NBA athletes. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards)

ALGIERS, La. – Warren Brown, a New York native visiting New Orleans during NBA All-Star Weekend, and (ret.) Army Master Sgt. Kenneth Nixon, repair a porch on a house being renovated by the NBA Cares outreach event, Feb. 14, 2014. NBA Cares, a community-outreach initiative that focuses on community development, education and health, hosted an All-Star Day of Service that was staffed by volunteers from local areas, visitors from across the country and service members from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as current and former NBA athletes. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards) (Photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards)


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NEW ORLEANS – Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia greets Sgt. Michael Michelli, fiscal noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve and Cpl. Jessica E. Wirth, helicopter mechanic with Marine Aircraft Group 49, Detachment C, HMLA 773 Det. A, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, MARFORRES, during the NBA All-Star Game, Feb. 16, 2014. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the senior noncommissioned officer of the armed forces was recognized at the beginning of game as the honored guest and official representative of the U.S. military. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards)

NEW ORLEANS – Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia greets Sgt. Michael Michelli, fiscal noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve and Cpl. Jessica E. Wirth, helicopter mechanic with Marine Aircraft Group 49, Detachment C, HMLA 773 Det. A, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, MARFORRES, during the NBA All-Star Game, Feb. 16, 2014. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the senior noncommissioned officer of the armed forces was recognized at the beginning of game as the honored guest and official representative of the U.S. military. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards) (Photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards)


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NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Hawkins prepares to take a shot during the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge Practice at the Earnest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, La., Feb. 14, 2014. The NBA invited members of the Armed Forces community to participate in its All-Star weekend activities to highlight the military’s presence and support in the New Orleans area. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Chantell Black)

NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Hawkins prepares to take a shot during the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge Practice at the Earnest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, La., Feb. 14, 2014. The NBA invited members of the Armed Forces community to participate in its All-Star weekend activities to highlight the military’s presence and support in the New Orleans area. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Chantell Black) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Chantell Black)


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ALGIERS, La. – Petty Officer 2nd Class William Wesley, a navy aviation support equipment technician with the Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Site New Orleans, paints a window frame on a house being renovated by the NBA Cares outreach initiative, Feb. 14, 2014. NBA Cares, a community outreach initiative that focuses on community development, education and health, hosted an All-Star Day of Service that was staffed by volunteers from local areas, visitors from across the country and service members from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as current and former NBA athletes. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards)

ALGIERS, La. – Petty Officer 2nd Class William Wesley, a navy aviation support equipment technician with the Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Site New Orleans, paints a window frame on a house being renovated by the NBA Cares outreach initiative, Feb. 14, 2014. NBA Cares, a community outreach initiative that focuses on community development, education and health, hosted an All-Star Day of Service that was staffed by volunteers from local areas, visitors from across the country and service members from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as current and former NBA athletes. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tiffany Edwards) (Photo by Cpl Tiffany Edwards)


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NEW ORLEANS, La. --

Athletes and warriors from across the nation joined forces for the greater good during the 2014 National Basketball Association All-Star Weekend, rebuilding communities and honoring the nation’s armed forces during a weekend of volunteer service and friendly competition.

The weekend kicked off with the Rising Stars Challenge Practice, Feb. 14, 2014, which was open exclusively to service members and veterans in New Orleans and surrounding areas, giving them the chance to interact with freshman and sophomore NBA players. The practice was immediately followed by the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service that placed service members, NBA players and volunteers at different areas of New Orleans to complete renovation projects. That evening, a joint service color guard was in the national spotlight, opening the Rising Stars Challenge game.

The NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service was staffed by volunteers from local areas, visitors from across the country and service members from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as current and former NBA athletes. NBA Cares, a community outreach initiative that focuses on community development, education and health, hosts these days of service across the country in conjunction with major events. This particular event included six home renovations in the Algiers Point community of New Orleans, cleaning and revitalizing Joseph S. Clack High School in the Treme neighborhood and constructing a new playground at the Knowledge Is Power Program New Orleans Leadership Primary School.

According to Marine Capt. Samuel Baumer, the Marine Forces Reserve 4th Marine Logistics Group adjutant, the Department of Defense provided 100 military service members to assist during the NBA All-Star Day of Service.

“It’s good for the local community and the neighborhood as a whole,” said Baumer. “The service members get to see a different side of the community and interact with the locals, meet their neighbors as well as fellow volunteers. It gives them a chance to show the community that we are here for them and that we are all on the same team, working toward the same goals.”

The weekend’s culminating event, the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 16, recognized Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the senior non-commissioned officer of the armed forces during the national anthem. The half-time show also featured a tribute to all five branches of the U.S. military. Battaglia said that relationships like the one the Department of Defense shares with professional sports entities like the NBA are crucial in maintaining the military’s relationship with the American people. The weekend’s volunteer event was a prime opportunity for communities to see role models from both the arena and the battlefield come together for a common goal.
 
“It wasn’t just the service members that were reaching out to the communities, it was also the NBA through their non-profit, NBA Cares, as well as the homebuilder associations and community volunteers,” Battaglia said. “It was just great to see everything come together.”

Battaglia added that the military cherishes the similarities it shares with professional sports entities like the NBA, because of the guidelines of professional conduct and personal development both are known for.

“As you can see, the NBA is so military friendly, in the way they have invited us to participate in the events featured this weekend; we are excited to be alongside the NBA and all the good things they do, not just for our military service members but for families and youth development as well,” Battaglia said. “There’s more to it than just the game, there is the way you conduct yourself, with sportsmanship and serving as a role model.”

This weekend allowed many current and former NBA role models to make appearances alongside their military counterparts. Former NBA and gold-medal Olympian basketball player Samuel Perkins attended the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, giving him a chance to meet fans and help shed light on the issues facing low-income communities across America.

“The NBA has very good initiatives, and one of those initiatives is NBA Cares,” Perkins said. “It’s a good thing to have such a diverse group of people come together for the same cause, to help those individuals who are in need.”

Many service members have adopted New Orleans as their home, and they intend to do what they can to give their neighbors a helping hand. Army Maj. Glen McCray of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, believes it is crucial for service members to go the extra mile to be a part of the local culture and to lend a helping hand.

“We should do it to let the members of the community know that they are not by themselves,” McCray said. “Oftentimes people will feel that they are facing these trials alone, and that’s where we can step in and show them that isn’t the case.”

According to Petty Officer 2nd Class William Wesley, a Navy aviation support equipment technician with the Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Site New Orleans, the opportunities presented to the military by the NBA were too good to pass up.

“It’s another chance to let them know that service members stand behind them, just as they stand behind us,” Wesley said. “We’re one big family, so we’ll do whatever we can to help, and we’d like to thank the community for giving us that opportunity.”

Image2014 NBA All Star Game Image2014 NBA All-Star Game Imageair force Imageairmen Imagearmy ImageDepartments of Defense ImageDoD ImageMARFORRES Imagemarine corps ImageMarine Forces Reserve Imagemarines Imagenavy ImageNBA ImageNBA All Star ImageNBA All Star weekend ImageNBA All-Star ImageNBA All-Star Game ImageNBA All-Star Game ImageNBA All-Star Weekend ImageNew Orleans ImageRebuilding Together ImageRising Stars Challenge Practice ImageSailors ImageSoldiers