Former Washington stars Brandon Roy, Spencer Hawes, Will Conroy and Isaiah Thomas will lead a team of local basketball stars against NBA players 3:30 p.m. Saturday at KeyArena in the H206 Charity Basketball Classic.
Event proceeds benefit the A Plus Youth Program, which promotes academic preparation, athletic training and civic-engagement workshops through the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club of Seattle.
Here’s a look at the updated rosters:
Seattle team: Roy (Portland), Jamal Crawford (Atlanta), Aaron Brooks (Phoenix), Hawes (Philadelphia), Conroy (Oyak Renault, Turkey), Thomas (Sacramento), Martell Webster (Minnesota), Avery Bradley (Boston), Brian Scalabrine (Chicago) and Michael Dickerson (Memphis, 2003).
The League: Michael Beasley (Minnesota), Dorrell Wright (Golden State), Klay Thompson (Golden State), Kyle Singler (Detroit), Nolan Smith (Portland), Trevor Ariza (New Orleans), Marcus Banks (New Orleans), Pooh Jeter (Sacramento) and Troy Bell (Entente Orleanaise, France).
Former Bremerton High standout Marvin Williams (Atlanta) was scheduled to appear, but is unable to play due to a family emergency. Kentwood High star Rodney Stuckey (Detroit) will appear, but will not play in the game.
Had a chance to talk to Tavio Hobson, the A Plus founder and executive director who also organized Saturday’s game. Here’s a transcript from today’s interview.
(We’re less than 24 hours before the game, how are things going?) “Things are going great. I spoke with a lot of guys yesterday, most of the Seattle guys and they’re all pretty amped about it. The uniforms came in yesterday so they got a chance to see them and they’re pretty cool. So they’re excited about that too. The guys really feel the camaraderie.”
(What would you like to see tomorrow?) “First and foremost we’re going to see a bunch of guys who are from this area get together to support a community that they are all pretty vested in. They’re supporting a youth program for our kids. Secondly, I’d like to see fans excited and be able to enjoy a game of professional men’s basketball at KeyArena. Those are the two things that we’re excited to see and I think that fans are excited to see.”
(Were you a Sonics fan?) “Of course, a huge Sonics fan. If you grew up near Seattle and love basketball, you can not be a Sonics fan.”
(For Sonics fans, will tomorrow’s game replace the Sonics or is it going to make you miss them even more?) “I don’t think you can ever replace the Sonics. I think the only thing that’s going to help fill that void is to have a professional men’s franchise here. I think what this is really about is showing how vested our athletes from Seattle are into the community. It’s a chance for fans to see professional men’s basketball. It won’t replace the Sonics by any means. But it will allow people to go right down the street rather than make a trip to Portland or have to go out of state to see professional men’s basketball.”
(There’s also a roundtable discussion in the morning, right?) “There is. It’s a really small roundtable so it’s not going to be a ton of people. It’s just going to be a couple of donors, some VIPs, people with Sonics ties and media. There will be some current NBA players and former players that have been with Seattle and then some up-and-coming players.”
(Is that open to the public?) “It is not, but there will be public rally at KeyArena. And that’s actually going to be a Seattle Sonics rally.”
(What time is that?) “The rally starts at noon.”
(What’s exciting you the most about putting this together?) “To be honest with you, just the response of the players. Hearing all of them say how excited they are to have a bunch of kids at the game and get to see professional men’s basketball for the first time. They’re excited. They’ve been wanting a game like this for awhile. … It’s just going to be exciting to see the fans and the kids get to experience something that I had. I grew up being able to go to Sonics games and I think that every kid should get to experience that.”
(What’s been the most difficult part of this process?) “The toughest part without a doubt is making sure we get all of the guys coordinated together. All of the guys that are from Seattle have very busy schedules. All of them have a lot of things going on. Those guys are extremely busy. So making sure guys understand where they need to be and at what time. That’s been the toughest part. Everything else just takes a little time and effort, but it can be done. Guys have been good to deal with, but like I said they have very busy schedules and they’re giving up quite a bit of time to make this game happen.”