WNBA Celebrates Health and Wellness During WNBA Cares Week

-- WNBA teams and players partake in WNBA Fit Clinics, inspiring youth while giving back to the community --

The WNBA gives back to the community during the week of May 11
Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images

NEW YORK, May 8, 2012 – In celebration of the WNBA’s 16th season, the league, its teams and its players will give back to their communities with special events and activities throughout the country. During the week of May 11, WNBA teams will join community members and partners in an effort to support health, education, and environmental awareness programs.

Community outreach efforts will emphasize the importance of role models in inspiring youth and promoting health and wellness. Highlights of WNBA Cares Week will include the reigning champion Minnesota Lynx hosting a WNBA FIT clinic for students at the FAIR school, and a reading timeout led by 2011 WNBA Rookie of the Year Maya Moore at Elizabeth Hall International Elementary School. As part of its anti-bullying campaign, the Indiana Fever will be conducting their annual Choices for Champions event, where players will express the importance of being a champion in and out of the classroom. And the San Antonio Silver Stars will provide youth with an opportunity to stay active through a cleanup of sports facilities and surrounding areas at Martin Luther King Park.

A schedule of select WNBA Cares Week activities is below. Additional information and dates on each event can be found on WNBA.com or on team websites.

Atlanta: The Dream has teamed up with the Sandy Springs Tennis Center for a “Love and Basketball Challenge” benefiting the Dream 4 Youth Foundation. Dream players and coaches and Sandy Springs tennis pros will be in attendance for a day of family. Youth ages 10-17 can sign up to take part in interactive skills challenges with Dream players and tennis pros. The setup will include Star’s Kids Zone, photo and autograph opportunities, youth clinics and more.

Chicago: The Sky and its Legacy Partners will team up with Samaritan’s Feet to tip off their 2012 season by donating 1,000 pairs of new shoes and socks to pre-identified children from the Austin community in Chicago. Sky players and coaching staff will be on-hand to help distribute the shoes during the event.

Connecticut: Sun players, coaches and front office personnel will be at the New London Community Meal Center to serve dinner to patrons alongside Girl Scouts from the New London area.

Indiana: Prior to the Fever’s preseason game, the team will hold its Annual Choices for Champions event for local students expressing the importance of being a champion in and out of the classroom including an anti-bullying message. Additionally, the Fever will hold their Get Fever Tip-Off event at Christel House Academy promoting healthy living styles. Select Fever players will teach and go through fitness and basketball drills with students and talk about the importance of having a healthy balanced diet and exercise routine.

Los Angeles: For the fourth consecutive year, the Los Angeles Sparks will team up with the Jenesse Center to provide a day of service for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Sparks’ players and staff will do inventory, stock items and organize for Nahla's World and the Jenesse Style Center.

Minnesota: The Lynx and 2011 Rookie of the Year Maya Moore will host a Reading Timeout at Elizabeth Hall International. Moore will also participate in a Q&A session with the students and distribute special prizes for the children. The Lynx will also host a Fit Clinic at FAIR School with Lynx players while staff members will participate in an All-Staff Volunteer Day to help a local organization with an outdoor project.

New York: The Liberty will kick-off its second season calling Newark home, by holding its annual Media Day event at the Boys & Girls Club of Newark. The entire squad and coaching staff will conduct a fitness clinic with interactive sports themed games for approximately 50 children who participate in the community group’s after-school program.

San Antonio: Silver Stars players will join volunteers from Spurs Sports & Entertainment and St. Philip's College in helping to clean up Martin Luther King Park. Located on San Antonio's Eastside adjacent to the AT&T Center, Martin Luther King is open to the public and features almost 40 picnic tables, a lighted basketball court, a lighted softball field, two tennis courts, two volleyball courts and a fishing creek. The cleanup of Martin Luther King park falls in line with the Silver & Black Give Back initiative to help revitalize the Eastside.

Phoenix: The Mercury will select and announce the 2012 Adopt-a-Team which is a year-long program designed to provide one high school girls’ basketball team with learning and enrichment opportunities. The team participates in community service projects, basketball clinics, and educational seminars, while also receiving new uniforms, shoes, and equipment.

Seattle: The Storm and mascot Doppler will visit children and their families at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle and participate in various fun activities for all to enjoy.

Tulsa: The Shock is partnering with Carver Middle School and the Carver Gardening Club in North Tulsa to beautify the school and block in preparation for the upcoming summer. Shock players will be working alongside Carver Middle School students, teachers and staff as well as the gardening club.

Washington: The Mystics Youth Summer League (MYSL) in partnership with D.C. Parks and Recreation is entering its fifth year and was created to provide girls in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, the opportunity to play organized basketball throughout the summer months. Currently sponsored by Kay Jewelers, MYSL Championship and All-Star teams for each age division will be honored during the MYSL Recognition Day which is held at Verizon Center in conjunction with a Washington Mystics home game. In addition, the Mystics will host Dreams for Kids basketball clinic along with an INOVA Reading Event at the Seed School.