OPINION | Celebrity basketball game could have been slam dunk

The poorly- planned game could have raised more for charity.

Hopefully, Indianapolis can host a Super Bowl again in the near future so the Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XIV charitable basketball game can do a better job of getting its act together.

The Saturday event as a whole came off as if half of it was planned beforehand and the other half was made up on the fly, without much thought.

The fact that more people did not pack into Hinkle  to see the 2012 Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XIV charity basketball game is a shame.

The organizers missed an opportunity to market Saturday’s game to Butler University students who would be more than interested in seeing some of their favorite celebrities face off in nearby Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Stars like Terrell Owens, J. Cole and Dez Bryant were headlining the game, and the teams consisted of a good mix of people from big stars like Owens and Cole to locals such as Pastor Jeffrey Johnson, which gave the game a special connection to Indianapolis.

The addition of several dance performances by a local children’s dance group furthered that connection.

Other celebrities such as R&B singer Ciara and musician Stevie Wonder were also in attendance at the game.

The best part about the game is that it supported National Foster Care and American Foster Care—two charities that help thousands of children around the country annually.

Students and community members should have flocked to fill the fieldhouse to support charity and see the game—they didn’t.

A lack of advertising guarenteed a lower draw of Butler students and community members.

Even on Butler’s campus many students had no idea it was going on, even though all Butler students got half off for their tickets.

The marketing of the game to the greater community was poor as well.

I saw no TV commercials, and heard nothing on the radio about a game that was so star-studded.

The Butler Connection was the only formal advertising tool that I saw used for the game.

For an event that the people hosting tried to make so official and spectacular, they did not carry themselves that way.

Event coordinator Juli Jordan could not be reached before or after the game for a comment.

The event itself came across just as half-hearted.

Yes, they had notable celebrities participating or acting at the game, and they made an attempt to connect with the community by bringing in local faces, but they didn’t focus enough on the details like timing and accurate promotion.

The game was scheduled to start at 7 p.m., but didn’t really get underway until 7:45.

Although there were plenty of stars at the game, I was anticipating a personal idol of mine, Rasheed Wallace, to participate, like the website advertised that he would.

The game itself could also have been constructed to be more interesting.

The more than 30-point blowout was dull and painful at times to watch.

Seeing Luis Da Silva, a popular streetballer, horribly miss layups and UFC star Chris Lytle turn the ball over to give Dez Bryant another three-pionter or a fast break dunk got old quickly.

Judging the talent of each individual celebrity is probably difficult, but the group organizing the event could have done a much better job picking the teams.

The winning team had two professional athletes and two former NCAA Division I athletes, while the other team had a retired NBA star leading the team.

While the money went to a worthwhile cause, and it was mostly enjoyable, the management and organization was lacking, and the event could have made a bigger splash.


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