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February 16, 2007 at 12:24 PM

Gates Foundation, NBA players reach for the net

At Sunday’s NBA All-Star game in Las Vegas, players will be shooting for something more than a basket. Five NBA All-Stars are donating funds to a grassroots campaign to fight malaria in Africa, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is matching their pledge.

The campaign Nothing But Nets, which raises funds to provide insecticide-treated bed nets for families in Africa, will get help from Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson, who will contribute $1,000 per basket made in the game. Other players will donate money and participate in charity events around the game.

Nothing But Nets was created by the United Nations Foundation and spurred by Sports Illustrated Columnist Rick Reilly. He challenged each of his readers to donate $10 to buy a bed net to protect a family from malaria, a disease that kills more than a million people a year. The Gates Foundation matches contributions dollar for dollar.

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