NBA Star Wayne Ellington Partners with Connor Sports to Host 1st Annual Philadelphia Peace Games
9 months ago
Philadelphia, PA, August 4, 2016 – Philadelphia native and new member of the Miami Heat, Wayne Ellington and Connor Sports® will host the first annual Philadelphia Peace Games, aimed to bring at-risk youth and young adults together while emphasizing gun violence prevention and advocacy. The event will take place at Girard College on Saturday, August 20, and will include a basketball tournament open to the public.
“Gun violence is a global epidemic and it is my hope and intention to develop public education campaigns to help wipe out the threat,” Ellington said. “My father was taken from us due to senseless gun violence. I will do anything I can to prevent other families from suffering through these tragedies, which are all too common. I was really moved at last year’s Peace Games in Chicago and I’m excited to make an impact in my hometown community.”
Ellington was the 28th overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft. He signed with the Miami Heat this summer after spending last season in Brooklyn. Prior to the NBA, Ellington won the 2009 NCAA Championship with UNC and was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
The basketball tournament will include four teams made up of local at-risk youth and young adults. Along with Ellington, there will be appearances by local and national celebrities in an effort to bring people from different backgrounds together and have an open conversation while exploring the dangers of gun violence.
The event is part of Ellington’s “Power of W.E.” initiative – a campaign focused on the reduction of youth violence in Philadelphia communities through partnerships with existing gun violence prevention organizations and the City of Philadelphia. He created this initiative in his father’s honor. The “W.E.” represents the late Wayne Ellington, Sr.’s initials. The “Power of W.E.” unites victims and promotes change on the local and national levels.
Connor Sports helped establish the original Peace Game in Chicago in 2012 in partnership with Father Pfleger of St. Sabina, Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Isiah Thomas and has expanded the Peace Game platform to other cities in the U.S. This powerful initiative in Chicago will continue this fall and is scheduled for September 17 again at St. Sabina. Connor Sports continues to provide fully-wrapped basketball surfaces and event management support for the Peace Games as part of their Connor Sports Cares mission to address important social issues today through programs that impact youth and their communities.
“Connor Sports is so honored to be involved with Wayne in this very important event in Philadelphia,” said Lauren Gillian, Director of Marketing for Connor Sports. “We are moved to work with Wayne to spread his powerful and deeply personal mission as part of our Champions of Community initiative. The impact in his hometown community will be huge and we’re looking forward to continuing to partner for years to come.”
Ellington was recognized for his commitment to gun violence advocacy as the recipient of the NBA’s 2015-16 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. The honor, named after the NBA’s second commissioner, is presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to the player, coach or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community. Sponsorship is still available for the Philadelphia Peace Games and businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring the tournament are encouraged to contact Cary Grossart at (703) 740-5024 or [email protected] to learn more. With questions or media requests for the event, please contact Meredith Geisler at [email protected] or (703) 740-5015.
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