Utah Jazz Community Outreach

Jazz and Verizon to Host Clinic for Local Youth Led By Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward Click for Slideshow

Jazz and AT&T Team Up to Beautify Downtown Salt Lake City

The Utah Jazz and AT&T have teamed up on a mural that will be installed on the exterior of the Artspace Bridge Projects in downtown Salt Lake City. The community art project was created by local residents and youth from The Road Home shelter with an assist from Jazz forward and artist Jeremy Evans. The project highlights community building through the power of art and is part of the Jazz and AT&T’s shared commitment to youth development and community enrichment.

“I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember. This project is a great way to encourage creativity among local youth while helping to beautify our city,” said Evans. “I enjoyed working with the group to create something that they can be proud of and that will be on display for the entire community to enjoy for years to come.”

Art Access, a non-profit organization that offers inclusive arts programming for Utahns with disabilities and those with limited access to art, helped to facilitate the project. The organization will also receive a $10,000 donation courtesy of AT&T’s “Assisting the Community” program, which features a $5 donation from AT&T for every assist made by the Utah Jazz during the 2013-14 season.

The completed mural, measuring 12-by-5 feet and comprised of more than 200 ceramic tiles, will be unveiled during a special public ceremony at the Artspace Bridge Projects later this spring.

Jazz and Verizon to Host Clinic for Local Youth Led By Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward Click for Slideshow

Jazz and Verizon to Host Clinic for Local Youth Led By Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward

Jazz players Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward recently led a basketball clinic for 50 boys and girls from the Guadalupe School Zions Bank Basketball Center. The clinic, made possible through the generous support of Verizon, featured basketball fundamentals and fun.

The youth participants were also treated to photos and autographs from the Jazz players, t-shirts and snacks. The event underscored the Jazz and Verizon’s shared commitment to health and wellness and community outreach.

Since 1966, the Guadalupe School in Salt Lake City has provided hope to thousands of Utah’s children and adults through the transforming power of education. The non-profit organization teaches economically disadvantaged children and non-English speaking adults the vision and skills needed to live productive, rewarding lives. The Guadalupe School offers five different programs, each designed to reach individuals and families living in poverty.

Jazz Players Visit Local Schools as part of “Be A Team Player - Read!” ContestEnlarge Image

Jazz Players Visit Local Schools as part of “Be A Team Player - Read!” Contest

Utah Jazz players recently visited 11 elementary schools along the Wasatch Front as part of the 16th annual “Be A Team Player – Read!” contest. The month-long challenge, which concluded on Feb. 18, required local students to chart and report their out-of-school reading minutes. More than 20,600 students from 38 elementary schools participated in this year’s contest and read a combined total of 16,023,472 minutes.

With continued support from Scholastic Book Fairs, Russell’s Ice Cream and Med One Capital, the 10 participating schools that logged the most minutes read per student were awarded a special visit from Jazz players, along with an ice cream party for the entire student body.

The winning schools are as follows (in alphabetical order): Arches Academy (Orem); Canyon Rim Academy (Salt Lake City); Channing Hall (Draper); Lincoln Academy (Pleasant Grove); Middle Canyon Elementary (Tooele); Northlake Elementary (Tooele); Pony Express Elementary (Eagle Mountain); Ridgeline Elementary (Highland); St. Olaf Elementary (Bountiful); and Syracuse Arts Academy (Syracuse).

As a special bonus this year, Woods Cross Elementary was also selected via a random drawing to receive a player visit. The Jazz also awarded the 10 runners up with a team autographed basketball.

“Be A Team Player – Read!” encourages students to develop a life-long love of reading, while emphasizing the importance of literacy and the value of teamwork.

Larry H. Miller Group Assembles 42,120 Meal Packets to Assist Philippines Relief EffortsEnlarge Image

Larry H. Miller Group Assembles 42,120 Meal Packets to Assist Philippines Relief Efforts

Prompted by owner Gail Miller’s desire to help families in need, the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies recently conducted a Philippines relief service project on the EnergySolutions Arena concourse in partnership with Stop Hunger Now. The region was recently devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, which caused catastrophic damage and affected more than 9.5 million people.

As part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving, more than 130 volunteers, with an assist from Jazz Bear, rolled up their sleeves and assembled a total of 42,120 meal packets to be delivered to families in the Philippines. The two-hour event demonstrated the incredible power of teamwork in life off of the basketball court.

“Our family and our employees are passionate about giving back to those in need,” said owner Gail Miller. “The tragic situation in the Philippines is something that touched us deeply and we wanted to help the millions of people who were impacted in a tangible way. With volunteer assistance from our company employees, Jazz season ticket holders and corporate partners, we teamed up with Stop Hunger Now to provide much-needed meals to those affected.”

Volunteers included employees of the Utah Jazz, EnergySolutions Arena, season ticket holders and corporate partners, as well as group employees from the Salt Lake Bees, Saxton Horne, Total Care Auto, Prestige Financial, Megaplex Theatres and Larry H. Miller dealerships along the Wasatch Front.

Founded in 1998, Stop Hunger Now has distributed more than 100 million meals to disaster victims and other hungry and vulnerable people in 65 countries.

Jazz Makes Special Visit to Patients at St. Jude Children’s HospitalClick for Photo Gallery

Jazz Makes Special Visit to Patients at St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Jazz players and coaching staff recently delivered smiles and gifts to patients and families at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in an effort to brighten their holidays.

Just after landing in Memphis, Tenn., during the team’s five-game road trip, players and coaches headed straight to St. Jude to bring some cheer to the boys and girls who weren’t able to spend the holidays at home this year. During the visit, Jazz players and coaches spent one-on-one time with the children, working on Christmas craft projects, singing carols and distributing Jazz gifts.

“Visiting with the kids at St. Jude Children’s Hospital was very special,” said Jazz guard/forward Gordon Hayward. “The impact that St. Jude makes is amazing and seeing the children’s courage and optimism while facing such challenging illnesses was truly inspiring.”

This holiday season, the Utah Jazz hosted nearly 20 community outreach events as part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving. Activities included the annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless, local hospital visits, a Philippines relief service project, Bear Hugs for Kids Christmas shopping events, and more. Fans can learn more at www.nba.com/nbagivebig.

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Utah Jazz Players and Coaches Visit Local Children’s HospitalsClick for Photo Gallery

Jazz Players and Coaches Bring Holiday Cheer to Local Hospitals

As part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving, Utah Jazz players, coaches, America First Jazz Dancers and Jazz Bear recently made their annual Christmas visits to hospitals throughout Salt Lake City.

Jazz personnel spent one-on-one time with patients at Primary Children’s Medical Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Salt Lake City and George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, bringing holiday cheer and 400 autographed basketballs. During the visits, players and coaching staff went room to room, giving high-fives, hugs and posing for photos with patients and their families.

At Shriners Hospitals for Children – Salt Lake City, guard John Lucas III met with several patients, including a young basketball player who was working to recover from surgery and get back on the court. Lucas provided her with some words of encouragement and invited her entire family to be his guests at an upcoming Jazz game.

Visiting with patients at Primary Children’s Medical Center also had a profound impact on Jazz Head Coach Tyrone Corbin. When asked about the experience, Coach Corbin said, “It’s a little thing, but to hear from the nurses or the doctors that a kid who hasn’t smiled in a long time smiles when the players walk in, it means something.”

This holiday season, the Utah Jazz hosted nearly 20 community outreach events as part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving. Activities included the annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless, a Philippines relief service project, Bear Hugs for Kids Christmas shopping events, and the 29th Annual Christmas Carole Sing-Along. Fans can learn more at www.nba.com/nbagivebig.

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Bear Hugs for KidsClick for Slideshow

Bear Hugs for Kids

As part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving, Jazz Bear treated 250 Salt Lake City boys and girls to a holiday shopping excursion. With support from the Utah Jazz, Cyprus Credit Union, Firemen & Friends for Kids and Larry H. Miller Charities, the 14th annual event gave underprivileged youth the opportunity to purchase items for themselves and their families.

Utah Jazz Serves More Than 4,000 Meals During 15th Annual Thanksgiving CelebrationClick for Slideshow

Utah Jazz Serves More Than 4,000 Meals During 15th Annual Thanksgiving Celebration

EnergySolutions Arena was bustling with holiday cheer on Wednesday, Nov. 27, when the Utah Jazz hosted the 15th annual ‘We Care – We Share’ Thanksgiving Dinner. In collaboration with the Salt Lake City Mission and Utah Food Services, the celebration provided more than 4,000 meals to Salt Lake City’s homeless and low-income residents.

Members of the Miller family and Jazz front office staff worked side-by-side with Jazz players and coaches to serve hundreds of pounds of food to individuals in need. Guests dined on traditional Thanksgiving fare such as turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, while listening to music provided by the Salt Lake City Mission. The mission also provided guests with transportation to the arena and a selection of warm winter clothing for those in need.

Serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless is a long-standing tradition for the Utah Jazz. The team will continue its community service efforts in December with a variety of NBA Cares Season of Giving initiatives, including hospital visits, Bear Hugs Shopping for Kids and more, all in an effort to give back to those in need this holiday season.

GettyReady with Help from West High SchoolClick to Enlarge

GettyReady with Help from West High School

On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, 60 West High School students gathered on the court at EnergySolutions Arena for a recitation of President Lincoln’s famous speech prior to the Jazz taking on the Golden State Warriors. The event was held as part of the Jazz family’s ongoing commitment to education and supported the mission of GettyReady, a Utah-based non-profit established to encourage learners of all ages to memorize, study and apply the Gettysburg Address.

With an assist from Jazz guard John Lucas III, students from West High School, Larry H. Miller’s alma mater, were joined on-court by Jazz Bear to commemorate the address in front of thousands of Jazz fans. The public recognition served as a reminder of the nation’s founding doctrine of freedom and the enduring, timeless principle that all human beings are equal.

“I was thrilled to help honor the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address,” said Lucas. “Celebrating this text, which still holds great significance in our daily lives, provided a great educational opportunity for local students and fans of all ages.”

Following the recitation, all 60 students stayed and watched the game as guests of Jazz players Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Throughout the 2013-14 season, Favors and Kanter are each personally donating 60 tickets to every home game to provide community members with an opportunity to come and enjoy a game.

The occasion marked one of many educational events for local youth hosted by the Jazz. Community outreach is part of the fabric of the Utah Jazz organization and giving back remains a priority year-round.

Utah Jazz Honors Scout Contest WinnersClick to Enlarge

Utah Jazz Honors Scout Contest Winners

The Utah Jazz is a long-standing supporter of Boy Scouts of America and for many years has provided contest incentives to encourage ticket sales to Scout-O-Rama, an annual fundraising event. In 2013, scouts from the Great Salt Lake Council competed for prizes that were awarded based on the number of tickets sold.

Utah Jazz team president, Randy Rigby welcomed the winners of the competition who were honored during a ceremony held prior to a Jazz preseason game. Elijah Uriarte placed first in ticket sales, Jordan Soholt placed second and Racer Phillips placed third. Great Salt Lake Council leaders David McCammon and Rob Thorup assisted with the awards presentation.

The Utah Jazz is proud to be affiliated with Boy Scouts of America and recognizes the positive influence this outstanding institution has had on youth over the years.

Utah Food Bank - Beating Hunger by a MileClick for Slideshow

Utah Food Bank - Beating Hunger by a Mile

On September 6, 2013, the Jazz helped the Utah Food Bank "Beat Hunger by a Mile." Rudy Gobert, Jazz Bear & other Jazz personalities helped by collecting food donations that lined the streets all the way from the City and County Building to the State Capitol.

Jazz Player Clinic for YouthClick for Slideshow

Jazz Player Clinic for Youth

Utah Jazz draft picks Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert and Raul Neto hosted youth from Farmington Jr. Jazz at a basketball clinic when they were in Salt Lake City following the 2013 draft. The rookie players were assisted by members of the Jazz coaching staff.

The basketball clinic was held at the Jazz practice facility, Zions Bank Basketball Center, where 32 students participated in the class. The youth started the clinic with a warm-up session and then focused on learning fundamental skills through a series of basketball drills. Participants toured the team’s locker room and then stopped at the facility’s media center, where the youth were able to ask the players questions. At the end of the clinic, each child received a complimentary Jazz yearbook to take home.

Utah Jazz and AT&T Assist Salt Lake City Reforestation EffortsClick for Slideshow

Utah Jazz and AT&T Assist Salt Lake County's Reforestation Efforts

Through AT&T’s Assist the Community program, AT&T donated $5 toward community reforestation efforts for each assist made by a Jazz player during the 2012-2013 season. The Utah Jazz and AT&T commemorated the culmination of the program by dedicating a day for reforestation efforts in the greater Salt Lake area.

On April 9, in partnership with TreeUtah and Salt Lake County’s Million Trees project, AT&T and the Jazz hosted a community tree-planting event at the Kennecott Nature Center in Murray, Utah. Utah Jazz representatives Craig Bolerjack, the Jazz Bear and the Nu Skin Jazz Dancers, along with a team from AT&T and more than 45 students from Murray High School, planted trees to help achieve the goal of planting one million trees in Salt Lake County by 2017.

That evening, the first 10,000 fans in attendance for the Jazz vs. Thunder game received free tree saplings, courtesy of AT&T. During a halftime ceremony, AT&T’s Marty Clark presented a $10,000 donation to TreeUtah and Salt Lake County with funds raised via AT&T’s Assist the Community program.

TreeUtah provides grants, resources and educational information to encourage the planting of trees throughout Utah. Million Trees is a program that originated as a 10-year plan to plant one million trees in Salt Lake County by 2017. AT&T and the Jazz are proud to partner with these organizations in their efforts to improve the health and well-being of citizens and communities in Utah through reforestation.

Utah Jazz Coaches and Trainers Support Local Boys & Girls ClubsClick to Enlarge

Utah Jazz Coaches and Trainers Support Local Boys & Girls Clubs

Since the 2008-09 season, Utah Jazz coaches and trainers have provided local children the opportunity to attend Jazz basketball games via the National Basketball Association’s Coaches for Kids initiative. Through the program, NBA coaches, assistant coaches, general managers and athletic trainers donate to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, enabling thousands of youth across the nation to attend NBA games.

Participants in the Jazz Coaches for Kids program are drawn from Boys & Girls Clubs located along the Wasatch Front. This season included, Jazz coaches and trainers will have hosted a total of more than 3,000 youth at Jazz home games over the past five years.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America traces its roots back to 1860, when several women in Connecticut decided to offer boys who roamed the streets a positive alternative. The organization has since expanded to include girls and is located in communities throughout the nation.

Utah Jazz Players Greet Local FansClick for Slideshow

Utah Jazz Players Greet Local Fans

In mid October, Utah Jazz players visited local malls to mingle with fans as part of the team’s Hit the Streets community outreach event. Dividing into small groups, they stopped by Fashion Place, Valley Fair and South Towne malls. Team members greeted shoppers, met with fans and posed for photos as they strolled down the concourse. Complimentary Jazz logo decals were distributed as well.

Utah Jazz Community Basketball Court Opens at Neptune ParkClick to Enlarge

Utah Jazz Community Basketball Court Opens at Neptune Park

On Wednesday, April 25, the Utah Jazz held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Neptune Park (473 West 400 North) in Saratoga Springs, Utah, to celebrate the opening of a new Jazz community basketball court. Members of Jazz management, the Jazz Bear and city officials took part in the celebration.

The new court measures 100 feet long and 70 feet wide, and consists of one seamless slab of concrete. Boundary lines are in team colors, and a large Jazz logo is located at center court. Six basketball standards surround the perimeter, allowing numerous groups to play simultaneously.

Funding for the project was provided by Saratoga Springs and by Larry H. Miller Charities, a nonprofit foundation representing the charitable arm of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.

Jazz President Randy Rigby said, “The Jazz is thrilled to continue its tradition of collaborating with local cities on the construction of community basketball courts, and the team is grateful for the support of Larry H. Miller Charities and Saratoga Springs. We hope the public will enjoy using this new facility for years to come.”

This is the ninth community basketball court that the Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Charities have helped build along the Wasatch Front. Other courts are located at: Sugarhouse Park (Salt Lake City), Smith Fields Park (Draper), Fisher Park (Clearfield), Taylorsville Recreation Center (Salt Lake City), Redwood Recreation Center (Salt Lake City), Veterans Memorial Park (Salt Lake City), Miller Park (American Fork), and Palmer Court, a private facility that provides affordable housing to low-income individuals and families in the Salt Lake City area.

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Utah Jazz Players Read at Local Elementary SchoolsClick for Slideshow

Utah Jazz Players Read at Local Elementary Schools

Cheers rang down the hallways of 10 local elementary schools in late February as Utah Jazz players visited winners of the team’s annual reading contest, Be A Team Player – Read. Nearly 21,500 students from 35 elementary schools participated in the contest this year, with a combined total of more than 17.2 million minutes read.

Students busily buried their heads in books for four weeks during January and February as they charted their out-of-school reading minutes. The top 10 participating schools with the most minutes read per student were rewarded with a visit from a Jazz player and an ice cream party for the entire student body.

The winning schools were: Channing Hall, Draper; Lincoln Academy, Pleasant Grove; Meridian School, Orem; North Point Elementary School, Lehi; Northlake Elementary School, Tooele; Saint John the Baptist Elementary School, Draper; Saint Olaf Catholic School, Bountiful; Snow Springs Elementary School, Lehi; Syracuse Arts Academy, Syracuse; and The Ranches Academy, Eagle Mountain (schools listed in alphabetical order).

Be a Team Player – Read focuses on increasing literacy skills in children and is held in conjunction with NBA Cares, the league’s global community outreach initiative. The program was sponsored by the Utah Jazz, Scholastic Book Fairs, Russell’s Ice Cream, Sizzler, Great Clips and Med One Capital, and this year marked its 15th year of implementation.

Utah Jazz Supports Wheelchair Basketball TeamClick to Enlarge

Jazz Coaching Staff Holds Basketball Clinic for Jr. Wheelin’ Jazz

In November, coaching staff from the Utah Jazz hosted a basketball clinic for the Neuroworx Jr. Wheelin’ Jazz. The Jr. Wheelin’ Jazz is a member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) Junior Division and consists of players between the ages of 13-21 who live along the Wasatch Front.

Team members met at the Jazz practice facility and received a tour of the locker room prior to the clinic’s start. Mark McKown, assistant coach/player development, began the session by leading participants in a brief warm-up. Utah Jazz Head Coach Tyrone Corbin and assistant coaches Scott Layden, Jeff Hornacek and Sidney Lowe then ran a series of drills aimed at teaching fundamental basketball skills. Family and friends attended and watched from the sidelines to offer their support.

In only its second year of competing at the national level, the Jr. Wheelin’ Jazz entered the 2011 NWBA tournament ranked eighth in its division and finished at fifth. Team member Eliza McIntosh recently broke the world record for the longest continuous wheelie in a wheelchair (10.016 miles) by logging 12.447 miles.

Utah Jazz community relations programs have benefited a wide range of local organizations, including children’s hospitals, senior centers, schools and many charitable groups

Utah Jazz Helps Local Children’s HospitalClick to Enlarge

Utah Jazz Helps Local Children’s Hospital

In February, Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby and the team’s mascot, Bear, helped Primary Children’s Medical Center open a new Jazz-themed interventional radiology suite. Rigby and Bear participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Primary Children’s new chief executive officer, Katy Welkie, hospital staff and 11-year-old patient Hunter Shipman.

The team, in conjunction with Primary Children’s, renovated the radiology suite into a child-friendly environment that features the Jazz logo and colors, oversized player and mascot photos, autographed ceiling tiles, signed memorabilia and video greetings from Jazz players.

Rigby said, “The Utah Jazz values its long-standing relationship with Primary Children’s Medical Center and is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate on a project that will benefit so many children. Our goal was to create a comfortable and welcoming environment that would help young patients feel at ease.”

The Utah Jazz has supported Primary Children’s for many years by participating in fundraising events, contributing donations, and offering donated tickets to patients and their families. Shortly after the franchise moved to Utah, Jazz coaches and players began visiting children at the hospital each December, a tradition that continues today.

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Jazz Coaches Hold Basketball Clinic for Underprivileged YouthClick to Enlarge

Jazz Coaches Hold Basketball Clinic for Underprivileged Youth

In early March, Utah Jazz personnel and coaching staff held a private basketball clinic for underprivileged youth at the team’s practice facility, Zions Bank Basketball Center. Participants were selected by Catholic Community Services, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals who are in need achieve self sufficiency. Approximately 30 children between the ages of 8-17 attended the clinic.

Youth toured the locker room and received instruction in fundamental basketball skills from Scott Layden and Jeff Hornacek, assistant coaches for the team, and from Matt Harpring, Jazz broadcaster and former NBA player. Director of basketball operations, Richard Smith, and assistant coach/player development, Mark McKown, were also on hand to teach youth.

In recent years, numerous basketball clinics have been held by members of the Jazz coaching staff as part of their community outreach efforts.

Jazz and LHM Group Employees Honor Larry H. Miller Through Community ServiceClick for Slideshow

Jazz and LHM Group Employees Honor Larry H. Miller Through Community Service

On April 26, the Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Group of Companies paid tribute to the late Larry H. Miller for his many contributions to the community. That day, an estimated 1100 employees in Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and New Mexico simultaneously participated in service projects that benefited local cities, organizations and charitable groups.

In Utah, more than 600 Jazz and LHM Group employees provided several hours of service to Neighborhood House, the Salvation Army and other community agencies along the Wasatch Front that aid those in need. In addition, employees coordinated with the Seer Group to assist the City of South Salt Lake in painting, repairing and landscaping homes in a low-income neighborhood.

Larry H. Miller felt strongly about helping others and improving the communities in which his companies are based. He often quoted the phrase, “Go about doing good until there’s too much good in the world.”

In April of 2010, the Miller family initiated a corporate day of service in memory of Miller to recognize his legacy of giving. Since then, the family has continued the tradition annually on the anniversary of the former Jazz-owner’s day of birth.