Monday
Apr052010

Finalists Announced For The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award

Six Candidates from Ranks of Professional, Amateur and Grassroots Basketball Recognized for their Humanitarian Efforts 

INDIANAPOLIS – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced six finalists for The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award presented by CSX. The finalists, grouped in three categories, are: Professional: Samuel Dalembert, and Kenny Smith; Amateur: Jim Boeheim and Bob Hurley, Sr.; and Grassroots: Alfreda Harris and Johnny Kline.

The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award is given annually to individuals who have honored the game of basketball by virtue of their personal growth and life-long accomplishments.  Previous winners of the award include former Georgetown University center and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo; Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill; and Hall of Famer David Robinson, along with 2009 tri-winners, former NBA official Ken Hudson, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier and former NBA All-Star and Georgetown standout Alonzo Mourning.

Additional criteria for award candidates include embracing the core values of the game, hard-work, striving to improve the community and making a commitment to others.  Beyond the game, candidates must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for his or her actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.  All award candidates are recognized leaders and catalysts for change in their communities. 

Finalists were chosen from a pool of nominations by a Finalists Selection Committee appointed by the Hall of Fame and Mr. Jackson and have been grouped in three categories, representing the professional, amateur and grassroots levels of basketball.  A winner will be selected from each category to honor three individuals who have utilized the sport of basketball to contribute to the greater good of society. 

The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award winners will be announced in August and will be recognized as part of the 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies. 

Professional: 

Samuel Dalembert, Philadelphia 76ers center – A UNICEF national ambassador for Haiti who donated more than $125,000 to assist earthquake relief efforts in his homeland. In 2007, he started the Samuel Dalembert Foundation to help better the lives of people in Haiti. Dalembert is an active participant in NBA Cares activities with the Sixers and frequently participates in the Basketball without Borders program.

Kenny Smith, NBA Legend and TNT commentator – Created the “Aim High Foundation” to promote a commitment to education while encouraging ‘at-risk’ youth to participate in athletic and social programs to become productive and responsible members of society. Dating back to 2005, Smith helped raise over $1 million to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. He regularly hosts basketball clinics and holiday events to provide resources for the disadvantaged.

Amateur:

Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University head coach – A member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council who has helped raise $2.9 million over the past nine years by conducting the annual “Basket Ball” Gala in Syracuse. Overall, he has helped raise more than $4.5 million for the American Cancer Society. Boeheim volunteers his time and services to charitable organizations, including Crouse Hospital’s Kienzle Family Maternity Center, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Eldercare Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics.

Bob Hurley, Sr., St. Anthony High School head coach – A former Recreation Director and Corrections Officer in Jersey City, New Jersey, Hurley helps raise money to keep St. Anthony’s operating while he provides year-round instruction and guidance to youth in the community. Hurley’s efforts have resulted in hundreds of students gaining college scholarships to Division I and II institutions. Since beginning his coaching career in 1972, all but one player has gone on to attend college. Hurley is known for donating his annual stipend as coach for equipment and supplies.

Grassroots:

Alfreda Harris – Founded the SAT Preparation Program serving high school students in Boston while founding and coordinating girls’ basketball leagues and AAU teams for the city.  Harris also founded the Owen Wells Fitness Center and the Reebok Educational Athletic Partnership that provides students with community programs in social development, computer skills and tutoring. Serves as a Board member for the Shelbourne, Mass. Community Council, Boston Neighborhood Basketball League and the Police Athletic League.

Dr. John L. “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline – A graduate of Wayne State University where he earned his Bachelor’s, Masters and Ph D. degrees, Kline, played for the Harlem Globetrotters from 1953-59.  After battling back from drug addiction, he was appointed by Mayor Coleman A. Young as Detroit’s Director of Drug Prevention Services and later was appointed by Michigan Governor James Blanchard to the Michigan Board of Nursing to help battle issues of drug abuse. Kline also founded the Black Legends of Professional Basketball Foundation, a Detroit-based non-profit organization that promotes and preserves the history and culture of the sport of basketball, commemorating players from the years 1900 to 1960.

Monday
Apr052010

Zoo Games Releases Basketball Title of Legendary Proportions for the Wii

On the heels of the 2010 NCAA Final Four, Zoo Games pays homage to the hardwoods with their release of Basketball Hall of Fame: Ultimate Hoops Challenge.

Indianapolis, IN – With the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s announcement of its Class of 2010 taking place today, Zoo Games’ latest title, Basketball Hall of Fame: Ultimate Hoops Challenge, pays tribute to the sport made of legends. The title offers consumers the opportunity to play as their favorite Hall of Fame superstars to compete for basketball domination.

The latest release by Zoo Games, Ultimate Hoops Challenge was created as a casual, family-friendly game that pays tribute to basketball’s Hall of Fame legends. With today’s announcement of the 2010 class, Mark Seremet, President and CEO of Zoo Games, feels this was the perfect time to release the title. “Being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame is an honor of incredible magnitude, and what better way to pay tribute to the game and its superstars than to release a title that honors the Hall of Fame and its inductees.”

The game will offer customization with the option to play as a multitude of Hall of Fame superstars and on a variety of court locations. Up to four players can play head-to-head, Multiplayer or in the Campaign mode as they unlock new arenas, players and games. Zoo Games seemed an ultimate fit for the Hall of Fame to develop a title with considering their reputation for publishing fun, family-friendly games.

"We are very pleased to partner with Zoo Games on the release of Basketball Hall of Fame: Ultimate Hoop Challenge," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "Basketball fans everywhere will enjoy the interactive features of the game, which for the very first time allow gamers to build their teams from a remarkable pool of Hall of Famers representing multiple generations. The Basketball Hall of Fame and our participating Hall of Famers are very proud to be showcased in this new game that puts many of the greatest players in history on the court at the same time."

Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, Bill Walton and Clyde Drexler are just a few of the legendary Hall of Famers that consumers can hit the hardwoods with in Ultimate Hoops Challenge. “These players are iconic in the history of basketball, and we are grateful that we have the opportunity to honor their contribution to the game,” says Seremet. “Being able to partner with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to create this title, and now to release it just as the 2010 class sets to be inducted, is an honor in itself.”

Basketball Hall of Fame: Ultimate Hoops Challenge is currently available on Wii.

 

About Zoo Games, Inc.

Zoo Games, Inc. is an interactive leader in the gaming experience. Focused on licensing, developing and publishing a wide variety of casual and family-friendly video games for Wii™, Nintendo DS™, Playstation®2 system, PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system, iPhone™, and PC, Zoo Games continues to set and surpass standards in the video game industry. The company’s customers are comprised of national and regional retailers, specialty retailers, and video game rental outlets. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Zoo Games, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zoo Entertainment, Inc. For more information, visit www.zoogamesinc.com.

Safe Harbor

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about Zoo Publishing, Inc. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking statements, based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Zoo Publishing, Inc.'s management, are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: general economic conditions; geopolitical events and regulatory changes; requirements or changes adversely affecting the businesses in which Zoo Games is engaged; demand for the products and services that Zoo Games provides, as well as other relevant risks detailed in Zoo Publishing, Inc.'s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The information set forth herein should be read in light of such risks. Zoo Publishing, Inc. assumes no obligation to update the information contained in this press release.

Friday
Apr022010

NBA TV, NBA.com and CBS College Sports Network to Broadcast the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010 Announcement

NBA TV, NBA.com and CBS College Sports Network will provide coverage of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010 Press Conference live from Indianapolis, IN. on Monday, April 5 at 11:00am Eastern Time.

The Class of 2010 will be announced in front of a live audience of media members and VIP guests.  The press conference will include news and updates from the Basketball Hall of Fame President & CEO, John L. Doleva, including recognition of this year’s award winners for the Morgan Wooten Lifetime Achievement Awards, The Bob Cousy Award Presented by The Hartford, plus Hall of Famer Wayne Embry will announce this year’s finalists for the Mannie Jackson’s Basketball Human Spirit Award. 

The Class announcement will include remarks by the Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Jerry Colangelo with Jim Nantz of CBS Sports as the master of ceremonies. 

On February 12th, nineteen nominees were named as finalists for the Class of 2010.  The pool of finalists include twelve nominees from the North American Committee, Jerry Buss, Robert Hurley, Sr., Dennis Johnson, Bernard King, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Don Nelson, Scottie Pippen, Jamaal Wilkes, Tex Winter, 1960 US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team and the 1992 US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team.  Cynthia Cooper, Harley Redin and the All-American Red Heads represent the nominees from the Women’s Committee, Richard Guerin and Gus Johnson from the Veteran’s Committee, and the International Committee finalists are represented by Vladimir Kondrashin and Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira.

Thursday
Apr012010

Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Winner of 2010 Bob Cousy Award

Greivis Vasquez wins annual award to nation’s top point guard

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that Greivis Vasquez from the University of Maryland is the winner of the 2010 Bob Cousy Award presented by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.  This annual award is given to college basketball’s top point guard and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtics guard Bob Cousy.  An original list of 73 candidates made up of players from Division I, II and III schools was trimmed by a Hall of Fame appointed, nationally based committee to 20, down to 11, and a final six before voting on the winner of one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards. 

“The Hall of Fame is proud to present one of college basketball’s premier awards to Greivis Vasquez,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Greivis represents the best in the game at his position and truly represents Bob Cousy’s vision for this award.”

"We are proud to congratulate this year’s Bob Cousy Award winner, Greivis Vasquez for demonstrating the values of leadership, vision, teamwork and integrity,” said Mike Concannon, executive vice president of sales and distribution at The Hartford. “These values are shared by The Hartford and reflect the high standards set by Mr. Cousy to inspire people on and off the court to achieve what is ahead of them.”

Vasquez, a senior from Caracas, Venezuela, averaged 19.6 points per game for Maryland this season while recording 6.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game.  He led Maryland to a 24-9 record, a share of the ACC regular-season title and an NCAA tournament berth.  Vasquez is a Wooden Award Finalist, was named as the ACC’s Player of the Year, and was named to The Sporting News First-Team All-America.

Vasquez ranks second on Maryland’s all-time lists in career points (2,171) and career assists (772). He is the only player in ACC history to record at least 2,000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds in his career. He ranked throughout the season among the top 10 nationally in assists per game in NCAA Division I.

Each of the final six candidates was reviewed by the Hall of Fame’s Blue Ribbon Selection Committee, chaired by former NABC President and Hall of Fame Trustee Ken Kaufman. The Blue Ribbon Selection Committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Sports Information Directors and Hall of Famers.  The 2010 Bob Cousy Award presentation will be on Monday April 5 as part of the Bob Cousy Award Breakfast and Basketball Hall of Fame Class Announcement in Indianapolis at the Final Four.

Previous Winners of the Bob Cousy Award

2004             Jameer Nelson          St. Joseph’s

2005             Raymond Felton        North Carolina

2006             Dee Brown               Illinois

2007             Acie Law                 Texas A&M

2008             D.J. Augustin           Texas

2009             Ty Lawson               North Carolina

About The Hartford:

Celebrating nearly 200 years, The Hartford (NYSE: HIG) is an insurance-based financial services company that serves households, businesses and employees by helping to protect their assets and income from risks, and by managing wealth and retirement needs. A Fortune 500 company, The Hartford is recognized widely for its service expertise and as one of the world’s most ethical companies. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com.

Tuesday
Mar302010

“Tyler’s Court” to be Dedicated at NCAA Final Four

-- Court Refurbishment in Indianapolis continues tribute to former Columbia University NCAA Student-Athlete lost on 9/11 --  

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced it proudly will continue to assist the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation with its goal to support youth basketball by refurbishing urban courts in cities and towns throughout the United States. The unveiling and dedication of the newest “Tyler’s Court” will be held at the Ransburg YMCA in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 4 at 11:00 AM as part of the 2010 NCAA Final Four weekend. 

“The Hall of Fame is delighted to continue its partnership with the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation,” said John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President and CEO. “These courts celebrate Tyler’s passion for basketball and support his lifelong desire to share his love of the game with children throughout the country. 

“Thanks to the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation, there will be a ‘Tyler’s Court’ in Indianapolis, Indiana, a state well known for its rich basketball heritage. On a court bearing Tyler’s name, countless young athletes will have the opportunity to learn more about the game and share in the joy that Tyler experienced when he played basketball,” added Doleva. 

"Our family is so grateful for the continuing support of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, partnering with the NCAA Final Four Men’s Championship Community Initiative and the YMCA of the USA,” said Tyler’s father, Victor Ugolyn. “Tyler’s commitment to sharing his love of the game was demonstrated as a student-athlete at Columbia, where he helped establish a basketball clinic for Harlem area youngsters. As we have in the past, we continue to gain some comfort from Jackie Robinson's epitaph, which states ‘A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives’. It is very fitting that our beloved Tyler's legacy of impacting so many lives and loving one another be again recognized.” 

This court in Indianapolis represents the fifth “Tyler’s Court,” dedicated nationally and all made possible by the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation. Court renovations were made in Detroit at the 2009 NCAA Final Four, in San Antonio at the 2008 NCAA Final Four and in Springfield, Massachusetts during the 2009 and 2008 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement weekends. 

Named in honor of Tyler Ugolyn, a former NCAA student-athlete in basketball at Columbia University who, at the age of 23, was a victim of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, the Foundation was established by Tyler's family to support youth basketball, with an emphasis on court refurbishment and providing character building educational programs and skills clinics to children in urban settings. 

The not-for-profit foundation, formed by the Ugolyn family in 2001, provides for court refurbishment, clinics and educational programs in cities at no cost to participants and organizations, with all funding provided by the Foundation. Each refurbished court will be named “Tyler’s Court’, so noted with a special plaque installed courtside, along with the words “I just love playing the game’, a quote attributed to Tyler while a high school player in his hometown of Ridgefield, CT. 

“We feel incredibly blessed that our Ransburg YMCA was chosen by the Ugolyn Foundation for this project,” said Eric Ellsworth, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. “We are also proud to help carry out Tyler’s legacy and everything he stood for. Tyler Ugolyn’s values match perfectly with our YMCA values.”