NBA All-Star Weekend

ESSENCE.COM Aug, 28, 2008

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NBA All-Star Weekend: Celebs Party for a Good Cause

By Kenya Byrd

Superstar athletes, Hollywood’s finest and the music industry’s most talented stepped off the court in New Orleans during this year’s NBA All Star Weekend to prove they also got (pool) game at Suga Mills, home to the “2008 Boost Mobile Zo and Magic 8-Ball Challenge,” an annual pool tournament that raises funds for various charities, including Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc. and the Magic Johnson Foundation. (G2/Gatorade, Toyota also co-sponsored the charitable festivity.)

Chris Tucker and Gabrielle Union are good sports as they attempt to get their pool game on. Grammy award-winner Ludacris also co-hosted the competition.

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A portion of the proceeds was donated to New Orleans’ West Jefferson High School to create a new computer lab that included 30 laptops and a printer from Dell.

New Orleans Saints superstar Reggie Bush showed off his pool tricks and proclaimed: “I’m more than just a running back, my pool skills are just as good!”

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NBA superstar and co-host Alonzo Mourning and his pool partner, famed painter Alonzo Adams, proved that they are a dynamic duo after winning the grand prize for the second consecutive year.

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The industry’s glitterati joined co-hosts Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Grammy award-winner and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges to show their love and support for this worthy cause, which raised $300,000 this year and more than $750,000 over the last four years for various charities.

Gracious co-host and NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson greets Tony Parker and wife Eva Longoria.

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Former Knick superstar Allan Houston and actress Vivica A. Fox enjoy the festivities.

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R&B star Michael Bivins and Extra correspondent AJ Calloway congratulate NBA superstar Alonzo Mourning for winning the challenge for the second year.

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New Orleans Hornet fave, Chris Paul, shares some New Orleans tidbits with NBA stars Allan Houston and Carmelo Anthony.

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Boston Celtics star and 2008 NBA All Star Paul Pierce, whose been a competitor since 2005, shows his support and was the winner the inaugural event.

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Danny Glover greets Gabrielle Union.

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Despite losing for the fourth consecutive year, co-host Ludacris remained in good spirits and demonstrated great sportmanship to the grand-prize winners of the 8-Ball challenge, Alonzo Mourning and renown painter Alonzo Adams. “It’s always a great mixture of powerful people and great energy all coming together for an even more powerful and greater cause,” says the Atlanta rapper. “My participation is truly an ideal win-win situation for me.”

Ludacris strikes a pose with MTV’s LaLa, who was on hand to support her beau Carmelo Anthony.

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The legendary Michael Jordan shows off his billiard skills and teaches New Orleans Hornets star, Chris Paul, the winning strategy.

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