Utah Jazz forward Josh Howard continues to support the communities that support him by putting on events like “The Josh Howard Celebrity Weekend” in Dallas, TX, which was held in June 2011. Class Act Sports’ Dessie Brown covered the event and talked with some of the celebrities at the event.
“It feels real good to be able to come back to the city where I played and continue to do the charity support that I do. It’s great. So, I’m glad to be out here to do that,” Howard tells Class Act Sports at the Celebrity Basketball Game.
“The Josh Howard Foundation is dedicated to helping improve the quality of life economically challenged communities by utilizing programs and services that focuses on academic improvement, community outreach and athletic and fitness training,” according to the foundation’s website at JoshHowardFoundation.com. The foundation also helps those of all ages, from children to senior citizens, by donating money to community programs in need of assistance.
Howard shares with Class Act Sports that he also reaches out to his hometown of Winston Salem, NC, as well as the Washington D.C. area, where he played.
“I do stuff (charity events) back at home, in my hometown of Winston Salem, NC. I also ventured out in the D.C. area once I got up there and played (2010-2011). I did a turkey drive. I did a single-parent dinner. Just a couple of things like that to show the community that there is an athlete out there that is hands on,” he tells Brown.
Many celebrities were in attendance at the basketball game. Among those in attendance was LaMarcus Aldridge, NBA forward and center. Aldridge was drafted second overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by Chicago Bulls and then traded to Portland Trail Blazers, where he has played since.
Aldridge, who is from the Dallas area, tells Brown how he feels about taking part in the charity event.
“Feels good to come back home. To be in this gym is definitely big for me. I played here, so it’s bringing back old memories for me,” Aldridge tells Class Act Sports.
Brown also caught up with future NFL Hall of Fame receiver, Terrell Owens. Recovering from a torn ACL and missing the previous football season, Owens still found time to support the cause.
“Great to be apart of something special. Josh Howard, obviously doing what he does to support the community. And obviously the community has come out to support him. So, it’s a great deal,” Owens said to Class Act Sports.
Owens joined the Allen Wranglers with the Indoor Football League in November 2011 and became a co-owner of the team in January 2012.
Oakland Raiders cornerback Bryan McCann also came out to support the Josh Howard Foundation and talked to Dessie Brown with Class Act Sports.
“It feels good to be able to come out to south Dallas and give something back to an area that doesn’t get a lot of celebrities coming through or a lot of good positive events going on. And, so, as soon as I heard that they were trying to do something to give back to the community, I was definitely down to be apart of it,” McCann mentioned.
McCann signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2010. In his first game with Dallas, he broke the team record (100 yards) for the longest interception return of 101 yards.
Howard’s former Dallas Maverick teammate Marquis Daniels, guard and forward for the Boston Celtics, talked to Brown about the energy at the event.
“[I’m] Just coming out to support the Josh Howard Foundation. It’s a good turnout. As you can see, the crowd is all hyped up. [Josh] Got a lot of good players in here, so it should be a good game,” Daniels tells Class Act Sports.
Daniels, who was discovered by Mavericks’ head coach Don Nelson while watching game tapes of Josh Howard, played with Howard during the 2003-2006 seasons.
Also in attendance was Howard’s former Wizards teammate (2010-2011), forward Rashard Lewis. Lewis shared his take on giving back to the community with Brown.
“It feels good. I’m always willing to give back to the community. The community supports us during the season. So, there is no reason why we shouldn’t give back to them during our off-time,” Lewis explains to Class Act Sports.
Lewis is a two-time NBA All-Star and has played in the NBA since 1998, drafted by the Seattle Supersonics. He also played for the Orlando Magic.
Also taking a moment to talk to Brown of Class Act Sports was Martellus Bennett, tight end for the New York Giants.
“It’s my first time playing (in the yearly event). I’ve known Josh [since] he was in Dallas. So, it’s just a pleasure being out here with these NBA players,” he tells Class Act Sports.
Bennett played with the Dallas Cowboys since being drafted by the team in the second round in the 2008 NFL Draft. He signed March 2012 with the Giants.
Charlotte Bobcats center and Howard’s former Mavericks teammate (2005-2008), DeSagana Diop, gave his reason for his support of Howard’s event.
“Josh has been a great teammate with the Mavericks for three and a half years. We kept a good relationship, a friendship. [He’s] one of my best friends in the league. Having something like this, just to give back to the community. I just want to show my support,” Diop said.
The 7 ft shot blocking specialist was the 8th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2001 NBA Draft.
The Josh Howard Foundation’s 2011 Celebrity Basketball Game was a success with many celebrities in attendance all in support of a great community cause.
Get more great interviews and analysis over at Class Act Sports.