WNBA Gives Back to the Community During WNBA Cares Week of Service

The WNBA gives back to the community during the week of May 24
Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images
-- League Tips Off Week with Special Career Panel Focused on Women in Sports Led by WNBA President Laurel Richie, Sports Executives and WNBA Players in N.Y. --

-- Additional Events Include Tsunami Relief Efforts for Japan in Phoenix, Habitat for Humanity Build in Northern Virginia and WNBA FIT Clinics in Manchester, England --

NEW YORK, May 19, 2011 – In celebration of the WNBA’s 15th 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 24, WNBA teams will join community members and partners in an effort to support health, education, and environmental awareness programs through community outreach efforts.

Highlights of WNBA Cares Week will include the WNBA, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics participating in a career panel on Women in Sports followed by a WNBA FIT clinic for students in partnership with NY Cares at The Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn. The event will celebrate the WNBA’s inspiring women and will be led by WNBA President Laurel Richie and WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Renee Brown, among others. The Atlanta Dream and the Phoenix Mercury will give back on an international scale: The Dream will host a fit clinic in Manchester, England, in conjunction with WNBA Live-Manchester 2011 and the Mercury will raise funds for the Japanese Red Cross in order to support the millions that have been devastated by the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.

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

Atlanta: The Dream give back on a global scale: Dream players and coaches will participate in a clinic with local youth from Manchester, as part of the 2011 WNBA Live games. During the clinic, players and coaches will provide participants with basketball and fitness instructions.

Chicago: The Sky will be on hand and foot at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mt. Prospect encouraging customers to donate to the American Diabetes Association. Additionally, the Sky will host a raffle to assist efforts in raising money.

Connecticut: The Sun will participate in a Habitat for Humanity build in New London. All members of the team will work on the rehabilitation of a home for a local family. Players will specifically be helping with the raising of the interior walls at the site.

Indiana: The Fever will conduct a public practice session at Perry Meridian High School, the high school alma mater of WNBA All-Star Katie Douglas. Proceeds from the event will benefit Heather’s Voice, Riley’s Children Foundation, the Breast Cancer Patient’s Emergency Fund, Schools 4 Schools, and the PMHS Athletic Department.

Los Angeles: For the third consecutive year, the Los Angeles Sparks will team up with the Jenesse Center and Home Sweet Home to help renovate and decorate apartments for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Sparks’ players and staff will plant flowers and shampoo carpets at the three-story building in South Los Angeles, which houses over 500 women per year as part of its 30-day emergency shelter program.

Minnesota: The Lynx will be hosting a "Breakfast Rules" event at City View Community School expressing the importance of eating a healthy breakfast and staying active. Additionally, several Lynx players will be hosting an "Inspiring Women's" event at FAIR school with young girls talking about the importance of self-respect, staying active and supporting one another.

New York: Continuing with celebrating inspiring women in the WNBA, The Liberty and the Garden of Dreams Foundation will host a special career panel and basketball clinic for kids from Children’s Aid Society. Liberty players and coaches will be on hand to talk to the children about their different career paths in sports and show the kids a few moves on the court.

San Antonio: Silver Stars players will engage with Team Up challenge semifinalists on their projects. A franchise wide program – Team Up Challenge – a new initiative across 26 school districts – recognizes and rewards students who improve their community through activities that are tied to classroom curriculum. These innovative projects are developed by students to address needs in their own neighborhoods. Classes, clubs and teams participating in the Team Up Challenge are giving back to their community through projects supporting education, environment, health & wellness, arts & culture and uniformed services.

Phoenix: In support of the JX Sunflowers and millions of people in Japan who have been devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami, the Phoenix Mercury will be raising funds through a variety of activities at the team’s preseason game against the Sunflowers as well as donating a portion of ticket proceeds from the game to the Japanese Red Cross. Following the game, the entire Sunflowers team will meet fans and sign autographs to thank them for supporting the relief efforts.

Seattle: The Storm will refurbish an outside basketball court at Greenlake community center in Seattle. In conjunction with the refurbishment the Storm will host ‘Stormin the Lake’ at Greenlake where players will unveil the newly refurbished court.

Tulsa: The Shock will participate in renovating Wright Elementary School, extreme makeover style. Players will assist in painting halls and classrooms and planting a garden.

Washington: As part of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia’s Women Build, the Mystics will work alongside women volunteers to construct a garden shed.