All-Star Legacy Initiative Targets Youth Nonprofits

Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Rick Fuson (WISH-TV Photo) Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Rick Fuson (WISH-TV Photo)

The NBA All-Star 2021 Host Committee has officially launched its legacy initiative. Organizers say the effort will invest more than $1 million in youth-serving nonprofits throughout the state and identify 21 high school students, who will be named Rising Stars and serve as honorary chairs of the legacy project in their areas. The committee says the initiative will provide grants of up to $50,000 for 21 brick-and-mortar capital improvement projects focusing on health and wellness or education.

Rick Fuson, founding chairman of the All-Star Board of Directors and president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, announced the initiative at a news conference Tuesday. He says the goal is to create an impact that lasts well beyond the All-Star game.

"We just don't it to be about the game; We don't want it to be about the ball bouncing," said Fuson. "We want it to be about how the NBA can come to Indianapolis and come to Indiana and leave a lasting legacy all around our state. This won't be the first legacy program associated with an NBA All-Star, but it will certainly be the widest-spread."

Watch the full news conference from our partners at WISH-TV

The committee says the funding could be used for projects such as indoor/outdoor basketball courts and playgrounds, or STEM labs and reading centers. Each project will have a Rising Star student associated with it. The Rising Stars will also have a corresponding scholarship program.

"We will create endless opportunities for our youth through these Legacy projects – whether they join a pick-up game for some neighborhood fun or they explore scientific theories in a STEM resource lab," Governor Eric Holcomb said in a news release. "When we take the opportunity to make events like All-Star celebration more than a game, we build a bench that prepares our students and our state for tomorrow."

Tamika Catchings, vice president of basketball operations for the Indiana Fever and co-chair of the NBA All-Star 2021 Host Committee Board, emphasized the initiative is statewide.

"Our biggest goal is to make sure that we get the word out and we get as many communities involved as we possibly can," said Catchings. "The biggest thing is we want nonprofits from all over the state. While we'll celebrate the game here in Indianapolis, our goal is to be able to reach all over the state. When you look at what we've been able to do with the Pacers organization and all of the people that are a part of our amazing committee, we want to make an impact on lives, not just for 2021, but for a long, long time."

Youth-serving nonprofits will have until December 31 to apply for the grants. The application process is being managed by the Indiana Sports Corp. through its Sports Exchange. You can learn more about the process by clicking here.

The grant recipients will be announced to the public following the 2020 NBA All-Star game in Chicago.

  • Perspectives

    • Ahh…Yes! Turning a Hot Mess into a Cool Breeze

      "Problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them," is attributed to Einstein over 75 years ago. This still holds true, particularly in challenging communications. Many people address conflict at the level it was created by rehashing and building more evidence for their ‘side’ of an argument. Repeating a position tends to intensify the separation of people.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • The IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering will now be named for Fred Luddy for his $60M gift. (photo courtesy James Brosher/IU)

      $60M Gift to IU, Second Largest in School History

      An Indiana University alumnus who founded the information technology firm, ServiceNow, has given his alma mater $60 million to establish an artificial intelligence center. The university says the gift from cloud-computing pioneer Fred Luddy is the second largest in the history of the IU.

    • POET ethanol co. announced in Aug 2019 it was closing the plant in Cloverdale. (photo courtesy: POET)

      Cloverdale Ethanol Plant Closes

      South Dakota-based POET LLC, the nation’s largest biofuels producer, is moving forward with a plan to shut down its biorefining plant in Cloverdale, leaving 50 Hoosiers without jobs effective Friday. The company tells Inside INdiana Business that it is not making any changes to the plans announced two months ago. 

    • The multi-year road project stretched from Bloomington to Indianapolis.

      I-69 Road Project Update

      The Indiana Department of Transportation has scheduled three public meetings for next week to update the community on the I-69 Section 6 road project.    Section 6 is an approximately $1.5 billion new interstate project stretching from Martinsville to I-465 in Indianapolis.

    • Chrissy Vasquez and Adam Ramsey

      Indy Reads Adds Staff

      Indy Reads Books has hired Chrissy Vasquez (pictured) as chief development officer to oversee marketing, development and the store. Also, Adam Ramsey (pictured) has been named manager of engagement, specializing in story telling through video and social media. Vasquez previously served as executive director and vice president of operations for Back on My Feet.  

    • Purdue Global Now Offers Analytics Degree

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the field of data analysis are projected to grow 26 percent over the next ten years. Acting upon that data, Indianapolis-based Purdue University Global has launched a new Bachelor of Science degree program in analytics.