The former NBA star teams with friends, family and supporters to help America’s disadvantaged youth
Cori M. Murray
(LAS VEGAS)—Not even sweltering 100-plus-degree heat could keep the stars away from the third annual C-Webb’s Bada Bling! Celebrity Weekend at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The three-day event, a fund-raiser for the Chris Webber Foundation, which serves literacy programs for underserved youth, was a who’s who of Hollywood, the music industry and, of course, professional sports. Among the boldface names in attendance were Idris Elba, Tichina Arnold, Jill Marie Jones, Laz Alonso, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Terry Crews and his wife, Rebecca, Los Angeles Laker Derek Fisher, Doug Christie and his wife, Jackie, Clifton Davis, Mark Curry, Elise Neal, Clifton Powell, DJ D-Nice, Lil’ Mo, and our own ESSENCE columnist Finesse Mitchell.
Webber welcomes guests to the Saturday Night Soiree!, which took place on July 26.
The festivities kicked off Friday night with a celebrity poker tournament and welcome party, featuring a performance by Too $hort. On Saturday there was a golf challenge, and later that evening, a gala and auction. Guests were entertained by Raphael Saadiq and Gladys Knight, who headlined the event. The night also included an auction, where items on the block included private catering from celebrity chef Nikki Shaw; a boxing training session with Roger Mayweather; and an opportunity to be Idris Elba’s assistant on his upcoming film, “Bone Deep.” The host himself bid $25,000 on James Brown’s bejeweled purple suit, donated by Brown’s daughter from her personal collection.
Actor Idris Elba was on hand to show his support.
After the dinner, guests capped off the night with a post-party at the club Koi, where DJ D-Nice commanded the wheels of steel. This year’s auction set a record by raising more than $170,000. "Raphael Saadiq, Too $hort and Mark Curry made the night unforgettable,” Webber said.
Saadiq brings down the house with his classic 1960s soul.
ESSENCE relationship columnist Finesse Mitchell and comedian Mark Curry hang tight at the event.
Webber beamed with pride as he recalled the weekend’s festivities: “For me, the event was amazing. To have a legend like Gladys Knight on stage was really overwhelming; I’m so honored that she came and performed."
Gladys Knight rocks the spot with her medley of hits.
During the night’s charity auction, Webber and Roger Mayweather look on as auctioneer Curry clowns around with actress Jill Marie Jones.
Tichina Arnold of “Everybody Hates Chris” greets actor Clifton Davis.
Actress Elise Neal turns heads as she arrives at the Saturday Night Soiree!
DJ D-Nice makes sure he’s in the house.
Terry Crews of “Everybody Hates Chris” attends the charity event with his wife, Rebecca.
Rapper Too $hort gets much love from Jones and Arnold.
Doug Christie and his wife, Jackie, make their way inside.
We had a great time while raising funds for the Chris Webber Foundation, said Webber, 35, the former forward and center who played for the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons. The proceeds will go to the future development of schools for deserving youth.